In software development agency most of the time work is outsourced to other development companies or freelancers. During project execution there is direct communication between client and developers.
1. There is always possibility that for future projects client will directly contact developers avoiding Agency. What precautions software development agency should take to avoid this business loss?
2. In Service Level Agreement with client for software development project is it advisable to mention development company name? If yes what related clauses should be mentioned there.
3. What things in software development project Agency should handle itself other than software coding?
4. What value addition Agency can provide to its clients?
Thanks and Regards!
Hi, as a former client services director for a dutch software agency I think I can help you with this.
1. Always stay in the lead if it comes to communication. Make sure you know what the customer wants and make sure your agency is the middle man that gives the orders to the developers. This is not only the best way to keep the business, but you also guard your end succes with this involvement and thus keeping the customer happy. Make sure you, or your colleague is the first person the customer calls if they have a (software related) problem by solving them!
2. If your company is the responsible party in the SLA then you will just need to mention that you work with external developers, there is no need to mention other company names if your company is responsible for the end result / if things go wrong.
3. In a word: communication. So many projects have gone wrong because of high expectations, no expectation management and poor realization. If you only have introvert people working for your company (mainly developer types), you would probably do good by getting someone who can speak up to the client and the developers, a communicative expert who can support you in guiding the project towards the customers satisfaction.
4. Just make sure you over deliver by doing the aforementioned really, really well. For example, plan a MoSCoW session before the project start. Start with an MVP first. And make sure you do Scrum meetings so you keep close watch on the project.
If you have any follow up questions, feel free to plan a call.
Congrats on creating your own agency.
Software developers and clients often speak 2 different languages and your job is to communicate between then effectively.
For your questions
1. This can happen, the agency is the project manager. Manages requirements, user needs, spec document, milestones, payments and everything outside coding. On the next project, they will see your value.
2. I would not mention it, it gives you less flexibility, if you have to change teams or something happens. I don’t see a reason for mentioning it
3. Everything outside the coding - getting clients, creating the spec document, customer care, making sure project on schedule and budget, launching the product, working with design teams
4. The most value a agency can provide is what I call a brain. When things go wrong (and they will) who can solve that problem. The programmer will hit some tough spots in a project and come to you to solve it. You need to know how to handle it and keep the project going. Now if the client worked directly with the agency, this is where your value came in.
Last, I would suggest to get into each conversion and understand how everything works, it will help you build a better business, good luck.
If you need help, call me
Agreements are useless, because there's never any way to enforce agreements.
I work for many agencies + I have one simple rule, which I cover when I onboard a new agency.
If a client tries going around the agency + coming directly to me, I refer the client back to the agency...
Because agencies always refer more business than one random client.
Best rule for agencies, is hire people competent enough to understand this simple math.
First, I am not a lawyer.
No-hire and/or non-solicitation clauses can be added to your contract (MSA/PSA). My understanding is they are variably enforceable in different states.
They are generally not enforceable against employees (you are better off developing and maintaining a good relationships with your employees, then trying to force them to do something).
That said, your agreement with your business customers is generally a binding agreement, and should they try to hire your people out from under you, you should have grounds for a lawsuit. Suing your customers has other implications that you may want to consider.
I had a situation where a customer tried to hire one of my employees who had been working on his project for a couple years by that point. He was trying to reduce his expenditures. My employee notified me that this was happening, because we had a good relationship, and I contacted the customer and reminded them of our contract agreements.
This is considered an ethical breach. We weren't providing contract-to-hire headhunter services. Most people who hire vendors understand the distinction, and this customer knew what they were doing (they were being intentionally sneaky about it). At the completion of the contract I fired them as a customer, and moved the employee to another project.