Evaluating the ROI of Outside Software Development Services: A Conversation with a Valued Client
by Mike O’Malley, SVP of Strategy, SenecaGlobal
A SenecaGlobal client – let’s call him “Mohan” – recently shared that he led a performance review of the outside vendors they engage to help with product development. It was budget review time, and he was evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of the third-party vendors they use to augment their software product development efforts. Low performers would not make the cut to continue as service providers.
I was curious about how the firms, including SenecaGlobal, were evaluated. Mohan asked me not to divulge the name of his company but agreed that I could share the criteria he used as benchmarks for other firms to consider.
Fortunately, SenecaGlobal ranked high in scoring. Mohan mentioned that our software development is critical to their product’s stability and capacity to improve services for their clients.
Here are the evaluation categories he recommends when assessing software product development services:
- Learning acuity
- Quality of work
- Delivery timelines
- Accurate communication
Learning acuity – The solutions Mohan’s company provides are very complex. Understanding how the solutions work is critical to contributing meaningfully to the product development process. He anticipates it takes six months to a year to onboard an outside vendor fully, but only if the team members have the right level of intellect, technical expertise and desire to learn.
The SenecaGlobal team proved to be quick, curious learners who asked the right questions and were committed to a deep dive into the solutions’ history, architecture, client needs and the larger ecosystem of the industry.
Quality of work – There’s no hiding whether an outside software development team has the promised technical skills. The proof is in the quality of the code.
Mohan was impressed with SenecaGlobal’s first-time-right approach to software development.
Delivery timelines – Development timelines are not suggestions. It’s important that outside software development teams meet deadlines and understand how their work affects the bigger picture.
Again, this is an area where SenecaGlobal performed well. The team raised questions with internal subject matter experts when needed to expedite problem-solving. Quality code also reduces the time required to fix issues, so deadlines were not at risk.
Accurate communication – Effective communication is the lifeblood of any good collaboration. With multiple balls in the air, Mohan needs outside partners to provide honest, timely updates on progress.
Mohan appreciated that SenecaGlobal’s team lead proactively delivered accurate weekly status reports, highlighted obstacles that could affect delivery timelines and logged the status of tickets and what percentage was resolved. He mentioned he had difficulty even getting one-off status updates from some vendors.
Business relationships can often be transactional. Building a partnership based on trust, commitment and quality can set you apart. Hearing that SenecaGlobal had ranked highly in our client’s evaluation proved that we are living up to our promises.
We’ll fold this evaluation criteria into our review process with this client and others to ensure we provide the ROI that clients need and expect.
Founded in 2007, SenecaGlobal is a global leader in software development and management. Services include software product development, application software development, enterprise cloud and managed services, quality assurance and testing, security, operations, help desk, technology advisory services and more. The company’s agile team consists of world-class information technologists and business executives across industries, ensuring that we provide clients with a strong competitive advantage.
SenecaGlobal is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and has a state-of-the-art software development and management center in Hyderabad, India. The company is certified as a Great Place to Work® and is ISO 9001 certified for quality and ISO 27001 certified for security.