Creative agencies have their head in a lot of places throughout a client’s project. Everything from the initial conversation stages through the completion of the project is a ton of work with multiple steps involved. While most creative agencies are well equipped to handle the bulk of work scoped out in a customer proposal, occasionally there are a few key pieces that need to be outsourced; most commonly, development.
We’ve heard a few people speak of development as a complex dark art of sorts (actually, no one has ever said that, but it sounds cool so we’ll run with it.) The truth is, development is a very big category. Different developers have different areas of expertise, communication practices, and methods of working. Unfortunately, most creative agencies treat development as a commodity and end up viewing at all as a single ad-hoc service that can be handled by any developer.
Every development project is different, and while any developer may convince you they are capable of taking on a project, there’s a few things you should be mindful of during your search.
1) Communication Style
Most creative agencies experience the bulk of their frustration in development stages over communication issues. And it’s not necessarily an issue over the quantity of communication as it is the style of communication.
Agencies are, well… creative. They’re big thinkers that look at the big picture, see the start and end points from afar, and devise unique and clever solutions to achieve the finished product. There’s a ton of brainstorming, communication and collaboration, and suggestions/debates along the way to find the best approach to any of their client’s projects.
Developers are linear. Very linear. If you thought your co-worker who lives, breathes, and dies by their “To-Do” lists was the definition of linear, you’ve never talked to a developer.
Developers need every single possible detail regarding the functionality and use of an app far in advance to development, and the bulk of communication throughout the duration of your project often involves making decisions about minute details that rarely cross the mind of non-developers. Things you may not even have opinions about. But frankly, that’s the style of communication developers need in order to do their jobs correctly.
2) Inaccurate Price Quotes
You just rolled your eyes, didn’t you?
Any creative agency that has outsourced a project before has dealt with the infamous “let’s revisit pricing” issue when their vendors finally start working. Development is no different.
Keep in mind – most of the time, this isn’t an issue of developers failing to properly assess the scope of a project. Usually, it comes from over-generalization of a project on the part of the creative agency (don’t worry, we’re not trying to call shots on anyone here.)
This ties back to the communication style piece. This isn’t an issue of creative agencies being lazy or developers being forgetful. It’s simply an issue of communication style. In early quoting phases, there are so many details that are crucial to a developers pricing that most creative agencies don’t ever have to worry about. When the time comes, the developer returns their pricing, begins the project, and quickly realizes there are a lot of additional pieces that weren’t clarified early on.
3) Developer Fit
Remember, you’re dealing with a human here. For some reason, we all tend to lump development in this weird, non-human service land. You assume you’ll pay a certain dollar amount, code will get spit out, and wah-lah! – you have your finished product.
Developers are humans, and everyone has a different approach to a project. Similarly, every creative agency is different. The way you work and communicate won’t be right for every developer. Don’t make a decision on a developer solely based on price. Take the time to converse with many until you find the one that will be the right fit for your agency.
Finding a “Translator”
All struggles above can be boiled down to one common issue – the lack of a good “translator”. A translator between the creative agency’s vision and development team.
As we mentioned, creative agencies think differently than developers. Creative agencies are focused on the big picture, while developers are entirely linear. The perfect solution for a creative agency outsourcing to a developer is to find someone who can translate the needs of a creative agency into the linear style of communication required by developers.
That’s what KudosCode specializes in. We provide a connection between the right and left brain and have tons of experience working with creative agencies to translate their objectives into clear steps for developers. With our Agency Partner Plan, we come alongside your team throughout the entire project – not just the development piece – to make sure everyone is well informed on project scope, pricing, objectives, and delivery.
Reach out to us if you need to get the ball rolling on a development project or want to begin a conversation to see if we’re the right fit to work with your company on future projects.