Whenever I ask my clients about their expectations for the ideal app development team they would like to work with, it takes them time to give an answer. There are 2-3 typical answers which I hear right away and these are pretty general ones like proficiency in English, high level of communication skills, responsiveness. It seems like all of the rest qualities are dug deep inside of your minds, although they matter the most. Let’s reveal them in an unusual way.

Everyone knows what makes a good application development team, right? Let’s talk about the bad qualities of the development companies. Even though the article is focused on the Ukrainian market, the points could be applied literally to any team. 


They don’t speak English

According to the EF, the world’s largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills, Ukraine possesses a 43rd place in the world.


Taking a closer look at the level of proficiency in English among European countries, you will see that more than 50% of Ukrainians speak English.


The statistics provided by a Zürich company means that every second person living in Ukraine speaks English. As a person living in this country, I can say that it’s not that true. There are indeed a lot of people with a high level of English, but it’s not every second Ukrainian citizen.

The point is that the majority of those people who speak English are agglomerated in the IT niche. Since almost all of the Ukrainian IT companies offer outsourcing services to other countries, English is a must-have for them. For you, it means that you should not experience any troubles with communication and understanding in case you deal with a good company.

With a bad one, you will most likely experience poor communication and low level of English proficiency. Because of this fact, you may communicate with the developers via a Project Manager who would serve as a bridge between you and the team.

They don’t hurry to give you a feedback

Oh, they have so much to do: neverending tea ceremonies with the other team members to talk about how bright the last night party was, or how difficult it was to catch that bug yesterday, not to forget the importance of scrolling the Facebook feed to the end (right, there is no end) to see what they’ve missed while sleeping. Just bear with them. If you are lucky enough, expect to hear from the bad team at best next day as sometimes it can take them even a week to respond.

The good app development team values your time and sticks to the common rules of the business etiquette. According to the best practices, a standard time to respond to a business email would be 1-2 hours, while 1 business day would be acceptable.

This statement can be confirmed by the survey conducted in 2017. SuperOffice CRM questioned about 1200 people to find out about the expected time to get a response to their business inquiry. As you can see, 90% of people expect to get feedback to their email within a day. 

They do exactly what you ask them to do, no more

Some of my clients mention that while dealing with the bad app development teams, no matter what country they are based i, they lack getting recommendations and suggestions on how to make the project better.  This fact can be explained by a lack of experience, skills or desire to add value to your project.

On the contrary, a good development agency would be challenging you, they would be asking good questions, and insist on being treated as the team. They won’t be just blindly coding as per your requirements. They are experts and know their job well enough to be able to help you turn your idea into a successful digital business. 

They don’t challenge you  

Why? Obviously because they don’t care about your business as much as you do. All they care about is how to make money on your project. As a rule, such teams are focused on filling in the gaps in their production and are focused on short-term cooperation. For instance, they may have available developers they have to involve into the projects as soon as possible no matter what.

On the contrary, the good team will care about your project success and will do their best to help you build a competitive digital business. By “doing to their best” I mean: 

  • having well-established business processes;
  • involvement of experts in different fields in order to help you cover both business and technical angles of the project;
  • showing interest in long-term cooperation;
  • adding value to the concept;
  • providing recommendations and suggestions for improvement.

They don’t overcome expectations

Obviously, a bad team won’t offer an alternative solution on how to meet your burning deadline, they won’t be staying late at work in order to deliver “yesterday”, they won’t be thinking about how to develop the project faster, they won’t be sending frequent updates on the project status to you, etc. Because it’s you who care. They are fine with your money.

On the contrary, a good team that cares about your project will treat you as a part of the team. Working together is like sailing in one boat. In order to swim to shore, you need to act synchronized. Don’t be afraid of sharing the information related to your project as in order to provide a solution to a certain business problem, they would need to understand the target audience, peculiarities of the target market, business goals you are want to reach.


They have no business processes

Most likely a bad development company doesn’t have the established business processes. They are going to learn on your project and you will have to pay for their mistakes.

You could turn a blind eye to absence of the business processes in the app development company because of it being just established. In this case, you should ask them to share some information from their business strategy as it may say for the seriousness of their intentions. But if you talk to the company that has been for 10 years on the market and still has no processes, maybe it’s worth thinking.  

They don’t share risks you take

They need to gain experience and make money no matter what. Thusly, you will have to pay not only for their stepping on the rakes but also for building up their experience. They will be charging you for everything, dismissing deadlines, overpromising and underdelivering.

On the contrary, if you deal with good app developers and let’s say there is a nontrivial task related to your project development which they do not know how to implement properly, most likely they would accept this fact. As an alternative, they would offer you to launch the development with small internal phase, research or test task, in order to minimize the risks you both take and not to set you on a hook.


They have a high rate of employee turnover

Employees come and go fast because of feeling unhappy working at the bad company. Remember, a typical turnover rate among Ukraine IT companies equals to about 20-30%. If this index is higher, forget it. Another fact to help you evaluate the company would be the average work time. A statistically average employee works at the Ukrainian IT company for at least 2 years.

They don’t conduct local events

Everyone knows how challenging it may be to find good talents on the market. The make the hiring process easier,  the companies try to build a trusted career brand. Companies spend time and invest money into building their reputation. One of the good ways to kill two birds with one stone (build a career brand and find talents) would be to sponsor local niche events. Like a Ukrainian annual RubyC event, for instance.   

Be careful while choosing the development team for your project as it’s all about your time and money. Follow my next articles to learn more tips on how to make the right decisions when it comes to the development of your project.

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