Development is a pain. Top 5 client fears when ordering software development

8 June 2024

Software development is not the easiest process. Therefore, it is not surprising that when the desire or need for development arises, you, as a Client, experience certain fears. Believe us, it happens to everyone. Over the years, we have encountered these concerns many times, so in this article, we will provide advice on this matter.

1. Nothing is clear

It is quite likely that you are not familiar with the development process. You might have never heard of Agile and sprints, you might not know about layout and that the result needs to be tested. Plus, you constantly hear various daunting technical terms: server, hosting, API, frontend, bug, etc.

You’ve been bombarded with many unfamiliar words. And you don’t want to keep asking questions to avoid looking foolish. What should you do in this situation? Take a deep breath.

The development team is used to working with people who have varying levels of understanding of the digital sphere. Don’t worry, the managers will definitely explain everything in plain language. Keep asking questions until you understand, because otherwise, you might end up with a result that’s completely different from what you expected.

Keep asking questions until you understand, because otherwise, you might end up with a result that’s completely different from what you expected.

You might also worry because you don’t understand the code and cannot assess its quality. Indeed, only a specialist can do that. However, you can check the team. Ask the executor clarifying questions about the code:

  • Are tests being conducted?
  • Are code reviews (checks of the written code by a more experienced specialist) being done?
  • Is the code covered by unit tests?

A “yes” to all these questions indicates that the team itself is striving for quality development.

2. It’s unclear what I’m paying for

This point partly stems from the previous one. When you don’t understand what’s being discussed, you also don’t realize what you’re paying for. Additionally, there are nuances in IT pricing. Therefore, our advice is the same – ask questions.

A team confident in their pricing will explain how the amount was determined. Sometimes, what looks simple to the Client can actually involve a large amount of work for the developer.

3. The team will disappear after the advance payment, or the result will be different from what was expected

In any field, there are unscrupulous contractors. Software development is no exception.

Solution: sign a written contract. This is a good insurance to prevent the company from disappearing with the money. Also, check the contractor in advance. There are free services online, such as Spark. Additionally, read reviews from past clients and ask for their contacts to reach out personally.

Regarding the second point (different result): nowadays, most companies work using agile methodologies and divide the project into stages (sprints). This prevents situations where the team takes a large advance payment and disappears for a couple of months, then delivers a non-functional (poor quality) or completely different program to the client.

Sprints can last from 1 week to a month. At the end of each sprint, the team presents the results achieved at that stage. You review, provide feedback, and make any necessary adjustments.

4. Project deadline overruns

This is a quite reasonable fear since software development is a creative, intellectual, and difficult-to-predict process. In practice, some tasks may take longer than initially planned.

Additionally, you may have already heard of other companies encountering unscrupulous freelancers or studios that delay deadlines, don’t provide updates on the project’s status, and occasionally disappear.

We want to reassure you that not all companies are like this. On the contrary, a firm that strives for high-quality service and cares about its reputation won’t behave this way. This is precisely why work is divided into small sprints, making it easier to predict labor costs. And even if there is a delay, a conscientious team will inform you, explain why it happened, and set new deadlines.

5. We might not get along with the team

It may turn out that you and the development team are not on the same page: there are communication problems, you have different visions for the final application, and your expectations do not match reality. Let’s call this “Not getting along with the team.” It happens.

Advice: First, try to communicate this to the developers. It might be a misunderstanding that can be easily resolved.

If not, and you decide to part ways, don’t worry; all materials and source codes will be handed over to you. This means you can continue the development of the program with another team. Provided that the contract initially included a clause about transferring exclusive rights and source codes to the Client.

However, changing the development team is not the most pleasant situation. You will have to spend time finding new people. Additionally, keep in mind that the new company will need time to study the code, and this will be at your expense. Therefore, it’s better to approach the selection process responsibly from the start (read How to choose an app development team). Communicate and interact more with the team at the beginning. This will allow you to understand early on whether they are suitable, how well you understand each other, and if they are trustworthy.

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