By rick | Thu, 06/18/2015 - 20:26
Drupal web development is in high demand. Web sites are becoming more complicated and the use case scenario is always changing. It is not uncommon these days to have a website that is never finished, but instead is in a constant flux of feature requests and sprint completions.
This can lead business owners and leaders to focus on their internal team. Believing that building internally will save them time and money. Not to mention the ability to streamline projects and greatly reduce lead times.
Unfortunately, this train of thought is dead wrong.
Finding your Unicorn
The first myth that leaders have to banish is finding that mythical unicorn of a developer. One that can accomplish anything. Let me be clear, they do not exist.
Sure, there are developers out there that are experienced in back-end and front-end development. Developers that are wizards with code of any form. But how are their design skills? Project management? What about time management or leadership?
Instead, web workers specialize these days. Each disciple is simply too large to be an expert in all of them.
Saving time and money
Drupal sites can be complicated.
Let’s assume that it is possible to find a Drupal developer that is skilled in the full stack of development needs. Because Drupal can have so many moving parts, a full site review will be needed. This it to make sure you are not going to break anything down the road. And to be honest, even after a review it will take months before the developer is familiar with all the ins and outs of the site.
However, the real elephant in the room is that not all business needs can be solved with coding alone. A solid business analyst portion is needed to be sure that not only are they developing correctly, but that they are developing what is needed.
And, this is considering the best case scenario. Where you can find, hire, and manage an experienced developer. If you need to develop a developer then the cost of building that expertise can be simply stunning.
Sometimes it is just smarter to let someone else handle the expenses. You may not need a killer designer all the time, but when you do, it sure is nice to have someone with expertise and can prove it.
An outside agency can provide this type of expertise. Sure the hourly rate will be more than what you could hire for. But, you are only paying for what you need. (Read.. no waste)
Sounds great doesn’t it? Well not so quick. You still need to evaluate your potential partner. Generally speaking, you will need someone who can:
- Code Drupal. Assuming that you have a Drupal site, then find a team that has a proven track record. One of the best places to look is on Drupal.org. Most experienced companies will have profile pages.
- Practice what they preach. The web industry moves at light speed. What are good practices today are yesterday’s old news tomorrow. A company that constantly learns and adopts new best practices is going to make a massive difference to any project.
- Can be creative. Not just in a design sense, although that is important as well, but also when it comes to solving problems. Oftentimes, a problem is not a problem when it is looked at from a different angle. Sometimes you just need a little perspective.
- Communicate. If I had to look for one thing that makes a project run smoothly, it has to be communication. So, many times I have seen things become problems that could have easily been solved with simple communication. Make sure your agency has someone that you can talk to, and that speaks plain english and not just code.
When you finally decide on working with an external provider, your job is not done. Nobody understands your business quite the way you do. Let your partner know how you do things. Who you sell to, why you are making a decision, what you are trying to accomplish. Don’t assume they know, and that all problems can be solved with code.
Stick to the plan, trust the professionals, and you will not only reap the benefits of a great website, you will also benefit from the peace of mind working with a professional Drupal Agency and all that entails.