Hiring a software development company to build a custom app may seem like a piece of cake – but there is a lot more to it than most people realize. For your project to be successful you need to collaborate effectively, which is much easier said than done.

If you want to pull off your project without a hitch, here are eight useful tips that will help you collaborate far more effectively:

. Define Your Needs From The Start

Before you even start to look for software development companies or get in touch with them, you should clearly define your needs. Ideally you should write a brief about the software that you want to develop, and include as many details about it and the expectations that you have.

If possible you should also come up with a timeline and set deadlines so that the company you hire knows exactly when you expect them to deliver.

. Make Sure You Choose The Right Partners

Don’t rush into choosing a software development company. Instead, be sure to take your time and vet them carefully so that you find one that fits your requirements.

It would be best if you can find a company that has experience developing the type of app that you’re interested in. Aside from that you should also assess their past projects, quality of work, communication skills, and so on.

. Make Sure Everyone is On The Same Page

The first indication that collaboration is going well is making sure that everyone involved is on the same page. In other words you need to understand the partner that you’ve chosen, and ensure that they understand you too.

If you have difficulty getting on the same page at an early stage, odds are things will only get worse as time goes by.

. Take Advantage Of Modern Communication Tools

Email and instant messaging may be the most common way to contact software development companies at first, but eventually you should move on to more effective communication tools. For example video conferencing apps like Skype are the next best thing to ‘face to face’ meetings, and apps such as Slack may make it easier to share and collaborate on projects.

. Use Project Management Software

Aside from modern communication tools, you should also look into some of the project management software that are available. Software development companies often use tools such as Trello, Asana, or Jira to manage their projects, and if you check them too it can ensure that you’re up to date.

Keeping tabs on the progress of your project in this way will let you quickly handle any issues that crop up while monitoring the status of the project and making sure it isn’t delayed.

. Be Involved But Do Not Micro-Manage The Project

It is generally good to be involved, keep track of the project, and point out or query anything that you may feel isn’t right. However at the same time you should not micro-manage the project.

To put it simply, you should trust the software development company that you’ve chosen to get the job done and let them work unhindered under normal circumstances. The only time when you should get involved is if something is amiss.

. Try To Be Flexible

Despite the fact that you may have a contract, you should try to be flexible. The working practices and culture of some software development companies may be different, especially if they’re located in a different country.

Trying to be flexible can help to bridge the gap and resolve issues that may crop up. Just keep in mind that you should not be flexible if it is going to compromise the quality of the project or crosses any hard boundaries that you may have.

If you pay attention to these tips you should find that your custom software development project goes a whole lot smoother. Although some issues may arise here and there, with good communication, flexibility, and the right approach you should be able to overcome them.

Always remember that partnering with a software development company is a two way street and the more effective your collaboration, the more likely your project will be a success.