Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a valuable strategy for small- to medium-sized businesses looking to scale their capabilities by deploying new technologies. The software development methodology allows organizations to build business solutions quickly while maintaining enterprise-level quality.
RAD particularly empowers small businesses, as it allows them to divide the technology development process into small, approachable segments. They must, however, choose the right development partner to keep their projects moving along efficiently. Otherwise, a project can become a financial nightmare that costs thousands while providing few benefits.
A Good RAD Development Partner Is Important
The right RAD partner will help you keep your project on track throughout each phase of the development process. Development includes four core phases:
- Outlining Requirements: determining the scope of the application
- Design and Input: prototyping, testing, and refining the app
- Construction: implementing user feedback to create the final product
- Finalization: assessing stability and performance of the app
Navigating each phase of the RAD process requires a solid internal team and access to highly skilled developers. Your partner should provide the assets needed to supplement your in-house team. This approach will help you maximize the benefits of a Rapid Application Development strategy.
Know Your Project First
Before you start seeking a RAD partner, you must have a detailed understanding of your project. Specifically, you will need to define what you want out of your application:
What tasks will your new application need to perform? What will this software be used to do? By answering these questions, you can clearly define the overall scope of your project. When speaking with prospective RAD partners, understanding the extent of your project will help you convey your needs and expectations.
How soon do you need the project completed? Are you hoping to have a fully functional application within a few weeks, or do you have several months to commit to development time?
When setting a deadline, it is essential to be realistic with your goals. While RAD is designed to expedite the app development process, your new partner will need adequate time to gather requirements from you and then create your new software solution.
Your budget and time frame are often at odds with each other. If you want to complete a project in a compressed time frame, the development partner will need to commit massive amounts of resources on short notice.
Naturally, this will drive up the cost of completing your project. Therefore, you must set a clear budgetary threshold before sitting down with a RAD partner.
An experienced RAD partner can augment your company’s team. They can provide everything from developers to consultants and more to complete your project.
However, your in-house staff must still lay the groundwork for the project. No one understands the needs of your business as you do. A strong internal team will be the point of contact for the development firm throughout the entire project.
Your team is responsible for conveying your goals, providing feedback regarding the app, and ensuring that the final project is in line with your expectations.
Evolving Your Technology
RAD strategy is designed to provide your business with new applications as you outgrow the functionality of existing technology. With that purpose in mind, it is crucial to understand what technologies and solutions you need from your RAD partner.
Prospective partners will want to know what types of technology solutions you seek. Are you only pursuing assistance for app development, or do you need to upgrade your entire infrastructure? This information will help them deploy appropriate solutions that will streamline the day-to-day operations of your business.
5 Tips to Secure a Good RAD Partner
After you have taken the time to get to know your project and its goals, it is time to start searching for external partners. When seeking a good RAD partner, you should:
Discuss Your Expectations
As with any partnership, communication is key. You should discuss your expectations and identify what services you need from the RAD partner. In addition, make sure to ask what they need from you regarding project information and other contributions.
Be Clear About Your Timeline
We also recommend discussing your project timeline. Find out whether your RAD partner can meet your deadline and if they consider it a realistic timetable to complete a project of that scope.
An experienced RAD partner will provide information regarding h
w long such a project should take to complete. They can help you temper your expectations so that you can strike the right balance between your deadline and budget.
Confirm Tech Stack Alignment
If the RAD partner will need to provide you with additional technology solutions, make sure to factor that into your budget and deadline. Ask what systems they use to confirm that your tech stack will align with the solution they plan to provide.
Inquire About Security Parameters
Cybersecurity has become an increasingly important topic in recent years due to the surge in the movement of data to the cloud. It is a good idea to inquire about the RAD partner’s security protocols with that in mind. Ask how they plan to keep your business data safe. If they cannot confidently address your concerns, it may be a good idea to continue your search elsewhere.
Check Out Their Portfolio
One of the best ways to gauge a RAD partner’s skill level is to check out their portfolio. Ask them to provide case studies and client testimonials. These sources of information will offer valuable insights into the prospective partner’s capabilities and approach.
RAD Solutions from Soliant Consulting
Our team at Soliant Consulting serves as a trusted RAD partner to SMBs. We specialize in development practices intended to help you launch applications that meet your organization’s unique needs. Contact our team if you would like to learn more about how Soliant Consulting can help you scale your business with RAD solutions.