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Choosing the Right Digital Product Development Company

James Ardis

Digital product development companies help you create applications that meet your customers’ needs and allow your employees to complete crucial tasks. While many providers could help you turn your ideas into digital capabilities, there are countless factors to consider before picking the ideal development partner.
CIO standing up to shake hand of new digital product development partner

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Digital product development companies help you create applications that meet your customers’ needs and allow your employees to complete crucial tasks. While many providers could help you turn your ideas into digital capabilities, there are countless factors to consider before picking the ideal development partner.

How quickly will my customers (and internal stakeholders) see value? How flexible will this provider be as my company’s needs change? These are just a couple of the questions you should be asking before signing on the dotted line.

In this article, we will look at six of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right digital product development company.

Capable of Iterative Development Cycles

Long, waterfall development periods are no longer going to cut it. Leaders within your organization cannot wait years to see value from your applications, particularly as tech budgets get tighter. 

Instead, team up with a digital product development company that has fully embraced Agile development processes. This allows stakeholders within your organization to see value in months instead of years. Plus, you can receive feedback and pivot based on their input.

Three young professionals of a digital product development company working together around a laptop


Here are a few useful questions to ask potential development partners:

  • What experience do your teams have working in iterative development cycles?
  • Do you prioritize development sprints based on what will bring the most value?
  • Do you provide end-to-end Agile development services?
  • How engaged are your teams in the latest thought leadership on Agile/Scrum/Kanban?

Here at Programmers, we are fully committed to Agile. Our digital product development services revolve around iterative development and Agile processes that deliver value early and often. Many of our experts are respected thought leaders in Agile, including our CEO, Alexandre Mac Fadden, who teaches and regularly contributes analysis for

Provide Everything Necessary for Iterative Development

A commitment to Agile is crucial, but it’s also important that the company you work with provides everything necessary to make the digital product development process successful.

Here are some helpful questions to ask:

Do you provide the Agile development tools I will need?

There are quite a few tools that are necessary for Agile development. That includes task management and communication software. That way, everyone knows what they are working on and can collaborate throughout the process. Depending on the product you’re creating, you will also want specific software development tools.

Can you use the tools I prefer?

In many cases, you will have tools that your organization prefers using. For example, maybe your company already uses Microsoft Teams and wants the partner they work with to communicate on that platform. Ensure the development company you work with is flexible to your unique preferences.

Microsoft applications presented on a computer screen

How do you measure the success of an Agile development sprint?

Having clear KPIs is crucial to knowing if development is on the right path. The organization you decide to work with should have a clear idea of KPIs that are always good to track (such as cycle time and attainment) and specific metrics related to your business needs.

Do you provide any large-scale Agile coaching?

It can be easy in Agile to get caught up in the day-to-day without taking a moment to analyze overall effectiveness. Ask the digital product development company if there are opportunities throughout a sprint to take a broader look at how everything is going.

Consider our Agile Experience process, which combines Agile methodologies with the right teams, tools, coaching, and metrics throughout development. We also offer our Agile Assessment, which helps to uncover how effective your Agile processes, teams, culture, and value delivery have been so far. 

Available for the Long Haul

For most organizations, creating digital products is not a one-time investment. Instead, they will need to continuously add new products to their digital ecosystem, along with adding features to previously developed software and modernizing outdated applications. That’s why it is important to ask digital product development companies if they are available for long-term collaboration.

This is one of the unique benefits of working with dedicated teams such as the ones offered by Programmers. For example, we recently developed an alerts and notification system for a company in the HR industry.

As time passed, they realized they needed this system to send out alerts in languages such as French and Spanish and needed to expand the number of possible recipients. We were able to make these key goals the focus of individual sprints and continuously improve the application to meet the organization’s (and the customers’) needs.

Five-star review of a digital product development company

Clear Track Record of Success

The next, and probably most obvious, tip is to vet this organization’s track record of success. Some companies will give you all the right answers to your questions but fall short when it is time to execute. Survey the provider’s website and find case studies (such as this one) that outline exactly what they’ve done for previous clients.

When you talk to these service providers, ask them specifically about previous experiences. Of course, they cannot disclose everything related to current or past clients, but they should be able to share enough to convince you that they have a solid track record.

Another good resource is to review websites such as These show you direct feedback from clients. We were honored this year to be named one of’s top development companies in Chicago with a perfect 5.0 rating. 

Bring the Right UX Skills

A high-quality digital product development company will know that UX design is about a lot more than just making things look pretty. UX is about “the optimization of the interaction between human and product,” writes University of California-San Diego instructor Kris Secor.

Effective UX design makes your applications more approachable for employees and customers alike. It also sets these users up for success, improving your internal efficiency and boosting your brand reputation with customers.

Look for a development partner that views UX as core to achieving a high-quality product and meeting business goals. Here are some useful questions to ask:

  • Do you keep UX experts on board past the prototype phase?
  • Will your UX teams go beyond designing eye-catching applications and instead provide important insights on what my end-users need?
  • Can the UX design your teams build scale up easily as we add new features to this product?
  • Can you track our overall effectiveness with UX in legacy systems?
UX design sketched on a piece of paper

For example, at Programmers, UX experts stay on board throughout development. If there are any questions about how to make the prototype actionable, the UX team is right there to help. Just as importantly, these professionals do the necessary work to understand what users are looking for in your applications and serve as day-to-day consultants on user needs.

We also offer a UX assessment that helps you understand how effective your user experience design has been up to this point.  By the end, you’ll have a clear, overhead view of how users can have better success (and feel more satisfied overall) with your applications.

Top-Notch QA Talent

Quality assurance specialists are crucial throughout the development process, not just the moments before deployment. High-quality QAs are deeply aware of the goals of the application, the needs of the users, and pay close attention to what may hinder the desired results.

Look for a digital product development company with exceptional QA talent. They should also integrate those high-quality professionals into the whole process. Learn more about the experiences of one of our talented QA leaders, Vanessa Pecorari, and how she views the QA as the conductor of Agile development.

Final Thoughts

Finding a digital product development company can be an overwhelming process. There are lots of companies that provide these services but only a handful will be exactly what you need.

Each of the factors described above will be crucial to deciding which development partner is the best fit for you. Feel free to use the questions in the above segments to vet these companies, and if you would like to learn more about Programmers’ digital product development services, contact us today.

Let us know how we can help you.

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