We’ve all heard the horror stories: a company brings on an outside developer that doesn’t meet deadlines, goes over budget, drops the ball on QA or just doesn’t deliver what they promised.
We’ve also heard the success stories, with stunning projects delivered on time and relationships that prosper for years to come.
Pair that with a rise in the amount of work going to remote developers and development teams – a recent study from Oxford Enterprises and SAP found that 83% of executives planned to hire remote employees, consultants and firms over the next 2 years. It’s more important than ever to understand how to get more happily-ever-afters and less (or none) of the nightmares.
So when you need to hire a team to get a project done, what can you do to make sure it’s a success?
There are some common traits the best development teams share. Before you commit hiring one, make sure you have these bases covered:
They’ve got loads of technical knowledge. Not only should they know the technology they work with, but they should be able to explain their experience to you clearly. If you know your stuff, you’ll want a team that can talk the talk with you. If you’re less technically inclined, you’ll want a team that can translate those complex ideas in a way that’s easy to follow.
They’ve worked for some impressive clients. You’ll want to look for two things in their portfolio: companies like yours and major brands. The first speaks to their ability to understand – really understand – your needs and challenges. The second isn’t about bragging rights, but rather a clear sign that they’re prepared to do high-quality work and can handle large-scale projects.
They have standards in place – and enforce them. No matter who’s involved in your project, it should meet a certain level of quality. Consistency is key, that means everyone is working toward the same expectations.
They’re master communicators. Communication will play a huge role in the success of the project, especially since you’re not working in an office together. Get a sense of how responsive they’ll be to your questions, how they’ll report their progress and how punctual they are for meetings. Don’t forget that the best communicators are great listeners, too.
They’re proactive. You need a team that can put together a plan of action and deliver on it. That team should be full of self-starters and problem-solvers who don’t shy away from legwork, aren’t afraid to ask for clarification, offer insights to optimize the project and keep the job moving through challenges and roadblocks.
Their values mesh with yours. This one’s all about motivation. A team that shares a similar vision or set of values as your company will be more personally invested in what you’re building. That means you’re more likely to get a higher quality end product compared to a team that’s just in it to complete it.
They’re also a strong community. Most successful teams have a solid sense of culture and community at their core – one where developers share progress, learnings and ideas, along with stuff they just find interesting and funny. These teams are more likely to be happy and engaged with their work, which translates into better productivity and results.
On top of a Google search, try tapping into:
Once you have a few names, don’t be afraid to do a little due diligence. Talk to past clients about their experiences, meet the team members you’ll be working with and check out each individual’s portfolios and qualifications if you want to know more.
The bottom line is you have to be able to trust the team you hire, so if you have unanswered questions or concerns, ask for more information.