How to Choose a Proper Software Service Provider. Make IT Happen podcast launch

We’re very excited to launch our new podcast series, Make IT Happen by Intetics Inc. Listen now and catch up with all the important questions and latest trends of the software industry. 
Our brand-new episode’s dedicated to a question of “How to choose a proper software service provider for the project”. With our Magic Matrix of Software Provider Integration we make this complicated process easier and consequent. And our special guest Yuri Piskunovich — the delivery director with Intetics walks you through 4 types of software service vendors and explains how to pick the one suitable for your project.

— Today our topic is “How to choose a perfect software service provider for your project” and our special guest is Yuri Piskunovich — delivery director with Intetics.

— Hey, Yuri, thank you for coming. How are you doing?

— Thank you for having me, I’m great, very excited, how are you?

— Same here, thank you. So, Yuri, I know you’ve been managing and governing relations of many projects of different nature and size during last 15 years, why the topic of selecting a proper software service provider seems to be of major importance for you?

— Many difficulties I faced on the projects I dealt with where caused by the fact that the customers originally picked wrong type of provider, team structure or relationship types. And it was not about the technology stack but rather about the expected roles and responsibilities definitions, domain level expertise, provider integration level and some other factors.

— Thanks, great to know more about you. Well, what are those things we should pay our attention to, when we need a provider? What type of integration should we choose, what could you recommend?

— As I said before I’ve been working for a lot of clients with diverse needs. So, choosing the most relevant provider’s type is very important to find one which resonates perfectly particularly with your project. For example, it’s not easy to find a provider with domain knowledge. But are you sure your project really requires them? So, if not, maybe you should go for the provider of another type.

— So, what are those provider types you’re talking about? How can we describe them?

— From my experience we can roughly divide the providers into four common types depending on vendor and project type requirements: Doer (who basically provides resources, has no domain knowledge, no BA), Assistant (works on delivery level, makes tech propositions, manages a part of the project), Adviser (this one has advanced domain knowledge, creates or backlog and advises priorities), and Partner (these teams go to more of a business level, I mean, take ownership of the BA, manages the entire project and so on).

I see. Which of these types the customers should pick for their projects?

— There’s no best type of provider among those — each of them serves best for a particular project and business type.

— So you mean depending on the project type you shall pick the type of provider that will be the best for the particular situation?

— Exactly. Advisers or Partner providers won’t efficient for projects that need Doers and vice versa — Doers won’t do a good job where Advisers are optimal. Each type of software service provider offers a different level of integration into business. And at this point to make the best choice I’d recommend to ask yourself certain questions to decide how deep you want the team to be integrated into your project. Such questions as GIVE A FEW QUESTIONS. The full questionnaire can be found in our recent white paper on this topic.

— OK, I’ll leave the link for it down below. And what’s after that?

— So, having your answers in mind you should match them up with that criteria we’ve discussed before (doer, assistant and so on). You see, adding your requirements you go upwards from Doer level to Partner level. It should look like a matrix in the end.

— I see.

In general that the deeper integration of the provider into your business you need, the more advanced type of provider you need.

— OK, could you give us some examples?

— Ok. Let’s say you have a project. So, you ask yourself: Should my provider to have domain knowledge? Then you think “Nope, not really. I feel it more like they shouldn’t” So you see, it looks like you need a doer on this stage.

— Ah, I see, so you are just doing it step by step, setting up more and more requirements.

— Exactly, let’s move on: Should my provider team make decisions? And if an answer might be like “Hmm, I’d like my provider to make tech propositions”, then now it’s a bit deeper level of integration, right? Moving on. “Do I need my provider to manage all the project activities himself” And here you may have thoughts like “I want my provider to follow my instructions”

So according to our research, it looks like at this case you have a doer again. Of course, to get a more precise picture you need to think about more factors as project management, development of client processes and testing activities and more.

— OK, that’s clear for me now.

— Yes, actually, you can check it out in our blog, we’ve just posted there the whole our research, I’m pretty sure it’ll brighten this up for you.

— OK, that’s nice. So, what’s next after that?

— As soon as you define the desired level of integration I’d say your next step should be choosing a certain contract type and cooperation model.

— And which options do we have?

— Well, according to before mentioned levels of integration there are diverse options based on contract and commitment type, provider team structure and way you would communicate.

— Any examples?

— Let’s see, if you prefer Time & Material type of contract it’s about Doer level of integration. If besides emails, regular conference calls and your PM business trips, you expect regular personal communication and even business trips of both sides stakeholders then you must be thinking of integration on level “adviser”. I know it may sound a bit complicated, but when you start to work on your own specific project, it’ll strengthen out. It’s great when your provider is aware of different integration level and can give you some advice.

— So what kind of 4 provider types Intetics is?

— I my experience we’ve been building teams of all 4 types for different customers. So it’s not about the type of the software company but rather about the types of the teams the company can build for their clients. Some companies (often those practicing outstaffing) can build teams of Doers only, some ca build Doers, Assistants and Advisers, some do all 4 types. It’s important to know the difference between the types and being able to define the right type of the team you as a customer are looking for and you as a providers are building.

— It was Make IT Happen, a podcast where software concepts come alive provided to you by Intetics Inc. Thank you for being with us. To get to know more about this and other podcasts, please visit our blog at www.intetics.com

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