“How much does it cost?” - this is a question our potential clients often ask. We never leave it unreplied. At the end of the day, the costs issue gets to the table already after the client acknowledges the necessity of the project.
It is apparent that for an accurate and realistic estimate we need to receive information about the project as comprehensive and ample as possible, and also elaborate on lots of factors influencing its costs and implementation period. Having that said, in most cases the client wants to receive a preliminary estimate, not getting into technical and other details of the project. This creates peculiar problems for developers to the define the accurate costs.
In such circumstances, we prepare a preliminary estimate that presents the pricing corridor from top to bottom and can be a reference point at the initial development stage.
To prepare a preliminary project estimate one needs:
1. The brief filled out by the client - a questionnaire about the project. Or the project description in any form or shape, but with the emphasis on the project’s goals and objectives, and also on its functionality.
2. Meeting with the client via voice, video or in-person meeting to receive project info of prime importance.
3. Follow-up questions on the functionality to comprise a detailed list of features., For instance, the client wants push-notifications in their application. The task of our manager is to clarify how the customer sees the use of push notifications in his project exactly. You need to know the events by which they will be sent, whether you need a user interface for the targeted sending of push notifications with editable content, etc. The timing and costs of project implementation, depending on the clarification of these details.
4. Functionality enlisting. Based on the gathered data, we create a list of the project functionality. After discussion with the client, we specify the list by inscribing comments on certain items. This is done so that the developers can most accurately estimate the project.
5. Developers estimate functionality
After the manager has collected the maximum possible information on the project at this stage and has prepared a table with the functionality, he shares it with the developers to estimate. The works required to implement the project, which is: the programming of all functions and modules, wireframing and design, project management, testing, planning, business analysis, user portrait creation and others, are estimated in the price corridor from top to The evaluation is made by the most experienced employees of our company and is based on the experience of implementing such a functional.
When the manager has collected the maximum possible information on the project at this stage and has prepared a table with the functionality, he have our developers estimate it. The work that is required to implement the project, which is: the programming of all functions and modules, wireframing and design, project management, testing, planning, business analysis, drawing a user profile and others, are estimated in the price corridor from the top to bottom. The estimation is made by the most experienced employees of our company and is based on the experience of implementing alike functional.
Thus, for each piece of the functionality, or type of work, the customer receives a preliminary price, in a certain price corridor for a reference point for the total cost of the project.
6. Specification of the development assumption.
Preliminary estimate allows one to understand framework for the costs and duration of the project development (the so-called "entry barrier"). And it also makes it possible to determine the cost and duration of the first stage.
The first stage, the so-called "Discovery Stage", within which a package of all project documentation is prepared and as a result of which, we provide a further more detailed and accurate estimation of the project, is based on materials that are prepared in this phase. More on this stage.
A preliminary estimate of the IT project is prepared by our company for 1-2 days maximum, from the moment we receive the updated information on the project from the customer.
- Sure enough, it is not always the preliminary estimation meets the expectations and possibility of the client. In such cases, we do not reject the client, but try to find possible steps to optimize costs:
- Deferral of certain project functionality from the first release,
- Targeting narrower range of devices, platforms, screen orientations,
- Using ready-made solutions,
- Using simpler and less costly approaches and technologies.
All this can reduce the cost of the project significantly and enables the customer to test the concept of their product with a minimum risk accepted.
If the client approves the estimation and is ready to move on - the contract will be the signed, the work team is defined, the first stage is planned and begun as the next step. At the end of the first stage, the customer receives an accurate estimation of the remaining work on the project.