One of the very first question coming from potential clients is what is our man-day rate. Obviously. Money and costs are crucial for any project. It defines the return on your investment and basically defines whether or not the project will be started. This information is definitely important, but is it the most important one? We took a closer look at it and we think maybe it's not. We put together a list of several factors you should consider and evaluate before man-day rate. Have a look at our top 3 factors based on which you should choose an agency for your next world-changing project :)
Go through the projects they've done. Agency of mid+ size had definitely worked on many projects and some of them might be compared to your solution. Have a look at it. How it looks, how it works. In case of apps check their reviews on Apple appstore and Google play. Don´t build your opinion on case studies only. Case studies give you a great perspective, but give a try and check how those projects work in real life. Download the app, go to the website, and click through it. Ask for contacts on project managers on the client's side. A serious agency would have no problem giving you those contacts. Calls with relevant clients can give you a better perspective than hundreds of pages of presentations. If you have contacts in that field, try to find some feedback on them within your network. Word of mouth works the best.
Stop looking on the deal as one time job. Consider it as a long-term relationship. Wanna do it fast and cheap, well then expect quality of that level as well. We all want projects we work on to grow. No matter if it´s from client or vendor perspective. Look for your partner as you would like to work with them for years. Consider if they have done projects in the past which grow from hundreds to millions of users. Are they ready to scale with you, not just from an infrastructure perspective, but also from management & quality perspective. SLA should be the very first thing they mention when you start a conversation about this. Ask them, challenge them, :) if they are ready, their answers will satisfy you.
It's people, the team, who create, build and maintain your project. People build the brand of the agency you are planning to work with. Believe it or not people are the most valuable what your future vendor has. And that´s good. Now you need to find out if that team is capable to deliver your project. And if you can work with them with ease. Check them on LinkedIn. Have a look on their skillset, projects they´ve worked on, posts they´ve published and generally what feeling they leave at you. You need experts, but you need teammates as well, a team which would work with you and you can count on. Challenges always come, have A-players on board with you and you will overcome anything.
At the end of the day most important is the value you get from that partnership. Value for you as a client should be ideally defined by some KPIs. I.e. time-to-deliver expected results, complexity of functionalities, quality of the code, quality of the user experience, stability, flexibility of your partner, satisfaction of communication. But some are harder to define, so don't be afraid to rely on your guts feeling. Man-day rate is important, it tells you a lot. But never underestimate Recommendations, Long-term aspect & Team.
So what do you think? Do you agree? Or your experience is different? Let me know. I'm excited to hear your feedback.