Although we’re working all the time to drive down the costs, we have no problem admitting that enterprise-grade custom software development can be a big investment. That is why, before committing to developing something from scratch, we always make sure that our clients have a good handle on what business value the project is intended to deliver. This helps establish the maximum investment that should be made, and prevents you from moving forward with an ill-advised project.
It’s possible that custom development is not the way to go, so a Build vs. Buy assessment should be conducted. Our clients often get us involved at this stage in the process, as we have experience performing these types of assessments.
We usually split our custom software development projects into two parts, of which Envision and Plan (E&P) is the first part.
During the E&P phase, we lay out the high-level features to be developed, the business value that will be delivered, the architectural design, and the plan for the upcoming build phase.
The deliverables for this phase are the Vision and Scope document, which contains the elements described above as well as a prioritized product backlog, which is just a list of work to be performed during the build phase.
During this phase, the team turns the Vision and Scope document into working software. We take an agile approach, demonstrating working software to you every two weeks, and allowing you to re-prioritize the remaining scope so that we are always working on the most valuable feature.
It’s up to you if you would like our team to handle things like training and documentation, or if you would like to have your employees handle some of this work. We are more than happy to do this for you, but our clients often take this on to reduce the cost of the project.
All software needs a certain amount of maintenance to address small tweaks that users want, corner-case bugs that were not identified during testing, and upgrades necessary to allow the software to play nicely with other systems.
For this reason, we always work with our clients to estimate the amount of maintenance time that will be needed and put in place a support contract. We offer low-cost retainer packages that allow us to respond quickly to maintenance events and even use the leftover hours for system enhancements.