You’re ready to scale your business, provide more value to your customers, and outperform your competition. In other words, you’ve decided it’s time to create your custom-built signature platform that reflects your brand.
Getting the most from your investment is critical, so you look to a third-party development provider with the technical expertise to get you to the next level. But how do you get the most value out of your partnership?
Let Them In
You need to hire someone who gets you, your company’s vision, and how you want to connect with your customers. Some companies will talk a good game but may force their agenda on you. You’ll want to look for a provider that understands your culture and business goals. You’ll know that they “get you,” and you can develop a trusted relationship with them.
Mutual respect takes time. You can help the process by not just telling your vendor partner what you have done but by providing examples of how you built trust with your customers and team. Introduce them to your leadership and staff and tell them who the official and unofficial decision-makers are. Be transparent about what you want to achieve and what your challenges are. The qualitative aspects of your business can be a significant contributor to the success of your platform.
Your new platform is a significant investment for the long-term success of your company. Therefore, you have a substantial stake in the outcome of its development and will need to work closely with your third-party provider.
Setting expectations at the beginning of the project is essential to reduce the number of surprises that pop up during development. Be clear about timelines, budget, and additional resources you can provide. Your provider should also be honest about what can and cannot be achieved with those resources, which will help you work together to develop a mutual understanding.
Likewise, your provider should also be transparent about what they can do, what potential problems you will encounter, and how much it will cost. If it seems like they are overpromising, challenge them, or find a new vendor.
Treat Your Provider as Part of Your Team
A third-party digital consultancy provider brings a wealth of knowledge, but you have to collaborate to get things done. If you and your team show them the cold shoulder, it will be difficult to accomplish anything. Before your partner starts the project, let your team know who they are and the project’s purpose. Get your team’s input and identify any roadblocks that would prevent a successful collaboration. Forcing help on a team that doesn’t want it will take longer to accomplish your ultimate goal of serving your customers.
Your provider should have experience working and managing teams. They may start with a workshop where your product team can share their goals, challenges, and frustrations. Getting it all on the table at the beginning of the project will help uncover important issues that could hinder the development process.
Before the teams begin working together, it’s important to understand the roles and responsibilities of each contributor. Once clarified, the internal team and third-party consultancy can perform as a cohesive group toward common goals.
During the development stage, your provider will put processes in place to ensure you have a healthy, productive team that can sustain your product investment.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Successful third-party digital consultancy providers will move you out of your comfort zone. They listen closely to leaders and team members, then challenge your assumptions. With expertise and candor, they recommend specific tactics for success, transforming your organization by instilling healthy team dynamics, streamlined work processes, and advanced technical knowledge.
You hired a provider for their expertise because they know something that you don’t. They know what it takes to scale a company to the next level and the challenges that come along with that growth. Your provider will take the time to understand your business, customers, and product vision. They also respect your investment and want you to get to the next level as quickly as possible with a quality product.
Micromanaging your provider will only delay your success. You can respect their advice and work closely with them to understand what needs to be done without questioning their every move. Or, you can fight it and delay your project and waste your resources. Trusting your provider to do what is in the best interest of your company and customers is critical to your platform’s success (it’s also why choosing the right partner from the start is critical).
Develop a Roadmap
Scaling companies have so many things to do that they end up overwhelmed. Their product teams may not know how to prioritize platform features or there may be too many people with conflicting agendas that derail development.
Third-party providers have the expertise to guide your leadership and product team to focus on the most important things they need to do. Often, executives might micro-manage their product team, and they need to refocus on strategic decisions. Likewise, product teams may not know how to prioritize the growing list of platform features and not meet milestones.
Digital consultancies add value by understanding your business objectives and reflecting them in platform development. Then, they work with your product team to develop a roadmap with development priorities and milestones. Building a roadmap that includes clear objectives and time frames will reenergize your product team and ensure your platform gets developed on time and within budget.
Typically, the most daunting challenge can be maintaining a flagship platform after the product launch. Companies often fear that they will not be able to sustain the product or development momentum. A third-party digital consultancy’s value proposition must include upskilling teams so they are confident and well-prepared to support the core product for the long term.
An expert digital consultancy provider will help you scale for sustainable success. Achieving that success requires a partnership with commitment from both parties. Setting expectation early on, allowing your partner to work as a seamless part of your team, and keeping communication open throughout the process is key to running a successful partnership.
DockYard has succcessfully helped companies of all sizes to reach their goals. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 organization or just starting out, our team can help you find success, faster. Reach out today to learn how we can become an extension of your team