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How to Choose a Technology Partner That You Enjoy Working With

Choosing the right technology partner isn’t just about the tech they offer, it’s about finding a team that truly understands your business goals. While technology itself might be readily available, defining its purpose and integrating it seamlessly is where the real challenge lies. This requires a partner with a strong business understanding and a collaborative approach. Here are key questions to ask to ensure you find the perfect fit:

Ask Questions about Their Process and Team 

You might have started to get the feeling that the success of a technology project has less to do with technology.  These days, technology can do anything you ask it to.  That’s not usually the problem.  The challenge lies in determining what to ask it to do.  This is why having a team that understands business is so important.  You should be sure to ask about the background of the tech team members your partner will choose for the project.  If the partner isn’t yet sure, ask them about some other projects or the types of people they typically assign to roles.  You care most about the individuals who will be defining the project’s requirements.  If they brag or focus too much on their technology experience, that’s a red flag.  You want to get to understand their understanding of business processes and people and who they add value to using technology. 

Ask about Their Project Methodology 

For some time now, a buzz word for many software companies has been “Agile”.  Many claim to use the Agile “methodology” to optimize their terms.  It’s important when choosing a technology partner to understand however that Agile is not itself a methodology.  Rather it’s a set of principles used to develop a customized methodology for a unique team that helps that team perform its best.  So, if the technology team claims to be “Agile”, you might ask them what they believe to be the benefits. If their answers are not clear, that’s certainly a red flag. 

Ask about a Prior Project that Didn’t go So Well 

Every technical company has a project or two that didn’t go so well.  Maybe it was still a success but was more challenging than others.  A great way to learn about a technology company is to ask about a project they’ve done that had more challenges than others.  Your goal isn’t to find out why, rather you simply want to understand whether they have taken the time to consider this question themselves and improve from it.  Also, as we discussed in this article, the reason likely has little to do with technology and more to do with communication, so you’re looking to see how well they understand and are able to articulate that. 

The Cornerstones of a Successful Tech Project

Building a successful project involves more than just a good plan and the right tools, it’s about choosing the right technology partner to fit your needs. It requires fostering a culture of agility, open communication, and continuous learning. These fundamental principles empower teams to adapt to challenges, deliver value quickly, and achieve outstanding results.

  • Embrace an Agile Mindset: Break down your project into smaller, manageable sprints, allowing for iterative development and quicker feedback loops. This adaptability helps you adjust to changing needs and avoid costly mistakes later.
  • Empower Communication: Foster a culture of communication and collaboration. Encourage open dialogue, feedback, and ownership among team members. This fosters a sense of responsibility and engagement, leading to better decision-making and improved project outcomes.
  • Measure and Learn: Don’t just throw technology at a problem and hope for the best. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress and identify areas for improvement. Regularly analyze data, learn from successes and failures, and adapt your approach as needed.

The Bottom Line:

Working with technology is the easy part. The real challenge lies in defining what it should do and how it should do it. By prioritizing finding a partner who excels in communication, understands your business, and has a proven process for tackling challenges, you’ll avoid the biggest mistake: treating technology projects as purely technical endeavors. Choose the right tech partner, and you’ll have all the elements for a successful journey.

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