Archive for 2010/02/11

Tips to evaluate a potential business partner

In some of my projects, we search for potential business partners and it’s sometimes, as we all know, hard to pick the right one. Especially if you know that ending the collaboration will be expensive and/or difficult. Besides normal activities like personal meeting, evaluation of product, etc, I have my personal added steps in the evaluation. Here goes.Check out the career section
First up is reading the career pages on the web site. I guess most of us evaluate the web site as a whole but I also pay a specific interest in the pages for prospective employees. So, what do I think I can learn from these pages?

1. I can read about which resources they are looking for. This often gives a better idea of the technique needed but also the type of people I will meet in the organization. What traits they value, for example.2. If the adds seems old and not updated, that also gives some insight. Do they have problems employing or can’t they keep their employees.

3. I get an insight on how the company develop their employees. Many serious companies gives insight in how their education program works. I like partners which staff evolve. That result in better products.

I’m also sensitive to the companies which just post adds which lists all the current (or worse: the now outdated) buzz words. Not serious.

Google company name and negative words
Another thing I do is that I google the company name and search words like “bad service” or “poor quality”. If a company is known for the bad service or poor quality, this sometimes show online. If the only people talking positive about the quality are the hired ones or partners, that can also be a warning sign.

Meet real users
And one final advice. In a previous job, potential customers were sometimes given the option to meet other customers. They let the potential customer meet a manager in a conference room and that was for a reason. Managers are not confronted by everyday hassle of a poor quality system and since they are often the people responsible for picking the system themselves they are proud of their choice. Try to get a talk to a real user (best without managers) and you will probably hear another tune.

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Categories: Agile