7 Crucial Steps when Choosing a Software Development Company in Ukraine
The best software companies in Ukraine can all carry out most development projects, but that doesn’t mean each one is perfect for your project. There are seven steps you need to take before you decide to partner with a software company to find the perfect match. So here is what you need to factor in before making a choice.
1. Your Project’s Goals and Requirements
Before you start your search for a software development company from Ukraine, you need to define the goals and requirements of your project. And we’re not talking about a broad-brush approach, like – develop a payment platform for my eCommerce website.
Well, you could do it like that, but then you would be paying for consulting services before the product even gets into the design phase. If you come to the table knowing what features the app needs to have, what it specifically needs to accomplish, and how it will work for the end user, the process is simpler.
Defining the scope of your project like this will also help you understand what type of developer/s you need to work on your project. In case you aren’t clear on what you need, you can end up paying for an entire dedicated development team, when the project may have just required one mobile dev and one UX designer.
Additionally, clearly defining the goals of the project will let the company you are outsourcing to make better plans. Yes, most software developers utilize Agile frameworks, and yes, Agile is meant to be flexible. But that flexibility is based on good planning, not doing things haphazardly. So, the clearer you are, the better it is for the project.
2. Referrals, Reviews, Ratings, Comments
Once you understand what you need, it’s time to start looking for a software development company from Ukraine to outsource to. The first step could be to get a referral from someone you trust. However, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article if you got a good referral and know which company you will choose.
Thus, it’s on to the next step – check companies’ reviews, ratings, and comments, but not just on their websites and social media, but also on independent review platforms. Development companies curate what they show on their websites and social media, so you might not get the full picture.
Independent review platforms also curate what they display, but in order to delete fake reviews and ratings, not to present a given company in the best light. If what you see on independent platforms aligns with what the companies themselves put out there, you can make a reasonable estimation about a company’s reputation.
3. Case Studies and Portfolio
Finishing the above step will give you a general sense of how well a company does business, but that’s just what it is – a rough approximation. You still need something more specific. And that includes a company’s case studies and portfolio.
From these, you can tell what projects the company has worked on and how well they did them. Besides gaining insight into the quality of work the company provides, you can also gauge what they specialize in.
Does 50% of their portfolio include creating cloud data storage solutions? Then, you can be reasonably certain what tech area they are best at. If your project requires cloud solutions, the company should definitely be shortlisted.
Mind you, we are not saying that a company should be outright dismissed if its portfolio doesn’t include projects that are comparable to yours. Ukrainian software engineers are highly qualified, so they can get the job done in most cases. However, they would need to prove themselves in other ways.
4. Areas of Expertise
To piggyback off of point 3, try to find out what the company specializes in. Software development is a very large field. While many developers have basic knowledge of multiple specialized fields, that doesn’t make them experts. And if you can get experts to work on your projects, you’ll be better off.
The best way to see what a company specializes in is by checking its portfolio, as we’ve mentioned above. However, they may not be able to provide you with one. The company may be new but have senior developers as employees, so while they may have the expertise you need, they may not be able to show you because they did the work at previous companies.
They may have even signed NDAs when working on previous projects – many development companies from Ukraine sign NDAs when working on outsourcing projects, so they are not legally allowed to showcase the projects publicly.
There could be a plethora of other reasons why a company may not have a good portfolio. In the absence of one, look for demonstrable experience. Ask a company representative to show you what projects the company has worked on or what their employees have done in previous companies. Anything you can get that proves they have experience.
5. Project Management Approach
If you are satisfied that a company can get the job done from a technical standpoint, it’s time to see how they would get it done. Most software companies have an Agile approach to project management. In fact, the Agile framework was developed specifically for software development.
In simple terms, Agile is based on an iterative approach to development, where each phase includes planning actionable steps and making changes to earlier plans, either based on the client’s wishes or the challenges of the project. This approach has proven to provide the best end product and minimize delays.
However, one of the building blocks of Agile is good communication, both within the company/team developing the software and with the client. From your perspective, that means you will need to be involved with the project to a certain extent. In practice, it open channels of communication between you and a company representative.
And that can be a stumbling block when outsourcing software development to Ukraine. Ukraine’s time zone is GMT+2 (that’s a +7 hour difference from EST). Once again, client input is essential to Agile software projects, which means that the company needs to figure out how you will communicate even with the time difference.
This point may seem irrelevant and easily overcome, but many projects have been unnecessarily delayed due to miscommunication. Thus, clearly establish how you will communicate:
- Will they use a Kanban-type platform where you can easily track progress?
- Will they provide you with a representative involved with the project that will work during your working hours?
- Will you work outside of your regular hours?
- Will you have daily, weekly, or monthly meetings?
- Will they send daily, weekly, or monthly reports?
- What software will they use to facilitate communication?
Yes, these are all solvable and practical issues. The entire project can go off without a hitch, despite the time difference. However, that is something that needs to be planned up front, instead of when the project starts.
6. Post-Development Support
The second to last step is to make it clear whether post-development support and maintenance is included in their services. This is not the default practice of all software companies. You may have an in-house team that can deal with it or outsource to another company, but it is still something you need to factor in.
Finally, we get to the cost. One of the primary reasons people outsource development to Ukraine is to cut costs. But that, naturally, doesn’t mean you should hire the cheapest company you find. The best software development companies in Ukraine have higher rates than mediocre ones, but still lower than US-based ones.
At the end of the day, it’s your choice how much you are willing to pay, but the cheapest option at the onset of the project is not necessarily the most cost-effective one. What happens if you are unsatisfied with the end product and need to outsource to another company? How much time are you losing? Always take cost-effectiveness into account.
Not Satisfied with the Offers of Ukrainian Software Development Companies?
If none of the companies on this list can provide the services you need, you don’t need to give up. We have provided similar lists of the best software development companies from other popular outsourcing destinations in Europe and Latin America. Take a look, find a company you like, and start working on your project.