How to prepare for your first meeting with your technology partner
It can be daunting, preparing for your first meeting with the developer you hope to entrust with the technological future of your business. How do you explain what you need and,
if you aren’t technically savvy yourself, how can you tell whether they’re going to work well with you and deliver on that?
The best way to prepare yourself for that first meeting is by asking yourself some key questions about your business and your intentions. This will not only help you to gain clarity around where you want your project to go but it will also help you to evaluate your potential partner, from the questions they ask and their response to your answers.
Why it’s important to prepare for the first meeting
Adopting the right technology, a more interactive website or an app can have a transformative impact on your business success, which is why finding the right technology partner is so important. They will help you to drive business growth through the digitization of key parts of your operation, and if that partnership develops into a successful long-term collaboration, you can also ensure that your technology is updated to keep pace with competitors and customer expectations long into the future.
The initial meeting with a potential development partner is your first opportunity to start sharing your vision with them and to ask the questions that will help you understand what they stand for, how they work, and the depth of their expertise. These are essential components for understanding how you will work together but to gather this information you need to be asking yourself and your potential development partner some critical questions.
Defining your vision in 10 questions
For a project to be a success, you must first be clear about what you want to achieve. Go into your first meeting unclear of your goals and you will end up talking about a shiny new digital product that will tick every box on the developer’s checklist – smart coding, good design and novel features – but doesn’t really work for your business and doesn’t give your customers what they want.
In preparation for the first meeting with your technology partner, ask yourself questions about the current challenges you face and your aspirations. These questions should include:
- What are my frustrations with the technology I’m currently using?
- How could new technology improve my business’s internal processes?
- Who would be the primary users of the technology?
- Who are your closest competitors?How would technology differentiate us from our competitors?
- What are our business values and how do our clients see these?
- Do you have a clear roadmap of what features will add value to your customers?
- How could technology launch my MVP or scale my business to remain competitive?
- What is my budget for the project?
- Do we need to meet specific deadlines?
Spending time before the start of the development process to thoroughly scope out your project can save you money and time down the line by setting clear boundaries. These will prevent your project from becoming ambiguous, with drifting deadlines, expanding budgets and lacking a meaningful end-state and will help your project to run more smoothly and go live without delays due to frequent changes in direction.
Understanding the technology partner
At Incepteo, we hold detailed discovery workshops in which we focus on the “why” before the “what” or the “how”. This way we establish a shared understanding of what success will look like for both our client and for us.
A professional technology partner shouldn’t just be talking in the first meeting about colours, designs and features. Before we even start writing the first line of coding, we want to know about the company, its business model, plans for growth, target audiences, branding, what your aims are for the project, etc. but just as we will ask probing questions about your vision and how it relates to your business, you should take the opportunity at this first meeting to dig deep into the background, processes and business philosophy of your technology partner of choice to make sure they understand you and match your values and communication is in synch.
The questions you ask the technology partner will determine how their experience aligns with your needs, whether their approach matches how you would want to work and what value they can add to your project. To understand why you would choose to work with a developer, consider asking:
- Have they worked on a similar project to this before?
- What’s their process for a project like this?
- What is their expectation of your involvement?
- Will they outsource any aspect of the project?
- How do they determine the cost for projects like this?
- What is the estimated timeline for this project?
- How will we work together and establish clear communication channels?
- Who owns the IP rights on such a project?
- What ongoing support and updates do they offer post-implementation?
- Will you work with a dedicated project manager?
The importance of creating a partnership with your technology partner
At Incepteo we offer an end-to-end service to support digital transformation and the realisation of our client’s vision. From turning ideas into products and services, supporting and evolving them to adapt to changing marketplace demands, we take an entrepreneurial approach and use our technical, as well as our business, expertise to execute efficient and timely technical solutions that transform businesses and support growth by delivering competitive advantage.
Clients come to us with a problem that needs to be solved and we can help them to do that, but it’s very noticeable when a client has taken the time to ponder what they need to achieve and come to us with an understanding of their business, its internal processes and client interactions and have a clear and confident idea about how a technological transformation will help their business to grow.
This confidence comes from thorough preparation done before our first meeting. This depth of understanding drives innovation because it makes it’s easier to take bolder leaps when they are underpinned by knowing what success will look like.
Choosing the right technology partner is key to your business growth and ongoing success. Investing the time to prepare for your first meeting by asking yourself key questions about your business and the technology you want to introduce will result in a rigorous conversation with your technology partner so that you can take confident first steps on the exciting path to your technology transformation.