Engaging a software development house is no trivial matter. There are significant operational and financial considerations that must be taken into account by any business before taking the leap.
In fact, whenever we’re approached for a potential project, we‘re asked many important questions that decision-makers have on their mind before getting started. To that end, we’ve answered the most common questions we receive before a project begins, along with other questions that are not often asked, but probably should be.
Do you have any questions that aren’t answered below, or want any extra clarification? Feel free to get in touch.
What exactly do you do?
We are a software development house, specialising in custom software solutions for businesses.
What solutions do you sell?
We don’t sell any particular out-of-the-box solution. Our strength lies in working hand-in-hand with our clients to understand their business goals and the operational requirements needed from a software point of view, then building a custom solution that caters to their exact needs.
To be clear, if the best solution to your problem is an off-the-shelf product, perhaps with a few custom tweaks, we will always suggest just that. While what we do is custom software, we will always propose the solution that we truly believe caters best for your needs.
The short answer: we recommend whatever solution is the most effective and efficient for your business and ultimately, your ROI.
Do you focus on any specific industry?
We have experience and expertise in multiple industries such as retail, logistics, customer engagement, finance, and stock management, among others.
But, we pride ourselves on being industry agnostic, so we don’t really focus on any one industry in particular.
We are firm believers that our internal creative process produces the right software solution for any client in any industry, thanks to our focus on the client’s business goals and operational requirements.
What is your most common type of project?
We work on a lot of projects in the digital transformation space, automating and integrating existing systems, and aggregating data into multi-dimensional reports, but we also love building brand new applications from scratch. The solutions we build are focused on improving business processes to be as efficient as possible. This could entail connecting off-the-shelf applications, automating manual steps or facilitating access to insights to track business performance.
Where are your clients based?
We have clients in over 8 countries across the globe. Our largest client bases are located in the USA and UK.
Will I be charged for a project quotation?
No. All project quotations are free of charge and free of financial commitment.
We also don’t start with a quote immediately.
After the initial enquiry, we begin a scoping exercise that allows us to fully understand the client’s situation and goals. If we believe we can offer a solution that achieves said goals, we hold workshops with the prospective client to build a set of technical requirements and development roadmap, along with an effort and cost estimation – all with no financial commitment required.
If, through our analysis, the most obvious solution is not necessarily one that can be solved with the technology we offer, we will suggest that.
Do you take small projects?
We take projects of all sizes, as long as a custom software solution is what will benefit our prospective client the most. We’re happy to refer enquirers to off-the-shelf solutions if they make more financial and operational sense for them.
Our no-commitment scoping exercise often helps businesses understand whether a custom or off-the-shelf solution suits them best.
How do you decide on priorities before and during a project?
Our first step for any project is to agree upon a prioritised list of requirements. Progress on this list of requirements is shared with the client, and they can be involved to the level they prefer, from handing over high level direction, to commenting on specific tasks. This list of priorities is also a live one, meaning that things can be moved around based on evolving business priorities.
How do you keep the quality high?
Quality delivery is what our business is based on, and there is no one method we used to ensure it.
- Our training and recruitment processes are always being developed to bring in the best talent.
- We make sure that we never have any developer working on a project alone, so each step of the development process is reviewed and considered by multiple individuals with a wide range of expertise. This is a key advantage of hiring a quality development house over hiring a solo freelancer.
- We always strive to achieve the correct balance between quality and cost for our clients. While we would never create anything low-cost at the expense of quality, the effort placed behind each task is always proportional to its importance to the project so as to remain efficient.
- Our team specialises and are experts in a few powerful and versatile technologies that allow us to build great solutions.
- We have strict coding standards and always adhere to industry best practices.
- Our team is constantly encouraged to learn and improve based on the latest industry trends, and is regularly given access to newly available technologies.
- We write automated tests where we think it is necessary, such as for complex logic or important user interface features.
- We follow processes to ensure repeatable outcomes, and when we do get it wrong, we take the learnings and incorporate additional procedures to make sure mistakes don’t happen twice.
- We have dedicated quality assurance engineers that can write test cases and execute additional testing where required.
How do you guarantee accurate delivery?
We always have a technical lead assigned to each project with the goal of ensuring that your solution is technically of the highest standards, and always matches your business goals. We always follow an agile methodology, ensuring the client is fully involved in the delivery phase. We give the client access to the tasks, allowing them to prioritise and comment, as the software is being developed. Any large chunk of work is split into smaller deliverables, which we demo regularly to make sure that we’re always on the same page with stakeholders. While our scoping exercise allows us to put together an accurate roadmap, when unforeseen challenges crop up, or business priorities shift, the client is fully aware and in a position to take the necessary decisions.
Will the software we build for MVP (Minimum Viable Product) be scalable?
We always consider scalability in all our projects by understanding the full picture first. Based on the client’s needs at the time, we are able to adapt and suggest the best course of action based on reaching MVP – but the ability to build around the MVP is considered and scalability is thought of and when possible, catered for from the very beginning.
What happens after you’ve delivered the solution we agreed on?
This depends on the solution itself. Normally, a support agreement is signed for maintenance purposes, should it be required. That said, there are no commitments beyond the initial agreement from the client’s side. However, we’re proud of the fact that we often end up working on more than one project with the same client based on different pain points that we can help solve.
If we work together, how will we be communicating?
Good communication is key to a successful project. During the scoping phase of our collaboration, we have an open-channel policy towards communication: video meetings, in-person meetings, emails – everything is on the table. Once the project begins, we streamline communication based on agile principles, providing you with access to project status and deliverables, and allowing you to communicate with us on specific topics efficiently and effectively.
Will I have a dedicated account manager, or will I speak to several people throughout the process?
Once the direction of the project is agreed upon, a technical team lead will be assigned to your project. They’ll be your main point of contact for everything technical. Our client management team will also always be available for anything else. Based on the project type, you’ll even have access to the developers themselves should a more direct line of contact be required.
How do we go about initiating a project?
We begin with a scoping exercise with all the stakeholders where we fully understand your particular business and operational situation. We then provide you with an effort and cost estimation based on the best solution available – all this with no financial commitment. Then it is your choice whether to move forward or not.
Do you have any client references or case studies?
Yes! We constantly update the resources section of our website with information about past projects.
How do you keep up with the latest industry trends?
Other than consistently researching and testing out new technologies, our team regularly attends events such as ICT Spring in Luxembourg and Digital Transformation Week in Amsterdam. We also stay up to date with developing trends in the business community by being active members of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, and attending other conferences and events.
Our developers have quarterly goals aimed at improving their skills. As a team, we make sure that we are continuously learning and everyone at Cleverbit gets a career development budget to use towards their improvement.
Are you open to collaboration with startups or other tech-focused companies?
Absolutely. We already work with multiple partners in various fields and are always open to collaborations that help us improve our service offering.
Where are your developers based?
Since being established in 2016 our head office has been in Malta, but we’ve always also had remote workers. Our team is made up of 60+ members across all disciplines, nationalities, and locations across Europe, the UK, and beyond. 45% of our developers are based in Malta.
When can you start?
The scoping exercise can begin within a few days of enquiry.
The start of actual development depends on many factors, based on the result of the scoping exercise which takes into account project complexity, capacity required, the client’s readiness and developer skills match. If you’re ready to get in touch, just click here.