Have you got an idea for a fantastic website, web system or application? Your company want to automate manual processes to improve efficiency? You have a software company who you think can complete the project?
STOP… here comes the difficult part! How can you be sure the chosen software house will deliver your project on time and according to your needs..?
Before signing a contract, it is necessary to define the scope of your project, commonly known as the SRS (Software requirements specification). The SRS is a link between the business world and the project world. This is the time when you and your contractor document in detail the system features which will bring your ideas to life. This document will specify the functionality and limitations of the software. Based on SRS, one can estimate the size of the project as well as its labor consumption. The SRS is usually built up of separate descriptions of each function, as well as describing in depth the links between the different functions. Your contractor should definitely recommend that you create an SRS document. If they do not, it should be a yellow light for you.
Note, in the case of smaller projects, such a detailed plan is not critical. However, it is still worthwhile defining a basic list of required functions as well as having a basic design mock-ups of the system/website.
No matter how much you want to get started on the project, you should never start before signing a contract with your supplier. A contract should comprise: the NDA terms, due dates (if possible in stages or per separate system modules), the technical specification (preferably with mock-ups), the price including a break down of installments per delivered module, number of iterations, the conditions of potential maintenance agreements, the terms of warranty and, last but not least, the copyrights. Unfortunately, even the best intended cooperation without a signed contract more often than not ends with misunderstanding and can even lead to your project idea being stolen…
It is good practice to regularly verify the progress of the project against a staged project plan. The stages should be clear, understandable and verifiable, for example: graphic design ready, start page ready, subpages, test on the test server and so on. Usually if you step in the middle of coding/designing process it will be hard for you to evaluate real progress because the changes in the code and design are usually implemented on the contractor’s local server. Thus at this step you need to be patient and wait until the contractor lets you know the design/system stage is ready for your evaluation. Each stage should have its due date which the contractor should meet.
In case you do not at all follow the working progress of your contractor, the worst that can happen is for you to find out, at the final due date / when its too late that the system is not ready, or even started yet…. “when the cat’s away the mice will play…”
Before the launch of your application it is recommended to perform automatic tests. Among others, automated tests provide the ability of detecting malfunctioning components of the system as well as erroneous interactions between its modules. Beta tests can also predict the results of targeted user actions, for example what will happen when user clicks a “submit” button in a contact form.
Your contractor should suggest to you performing automated tests or at least manual tests before the launch. If they do not, then they are probably not taking your project seriously.
As a reminder, at the end of the project remember to transfer copyright! It should be included in your agreement. The contractor must clearly state what is transferred, in what rights, at which point. The client will reuse the system’s code so the agreement should state its redistribution, copying, resale, etc.
“SYSTEM’S READY, OUR JOB’S DONE”
Every IT investment will require maintenance and future development. It is worth marking the scope of the support your contractor can offer you after completing the project. The contractor should also foresee a guarantee of its system functionalities.
STILL NEED HELP?
Sticking to the above principles, you can be sure that the project implementation process will go smoothly. However, if you are implementing an IT system and you feel like you may not be able to prepare a proper scope of requirements, feel free to use the services of an experienced and highly skilled software house, like createIT.pl
About the article Author:
Hi, we are createIT!
As a passionate group of professionals with a love for Web and mobile technologies, we have been successfully serving our clients for the past 15 years. Through these years we have continuously striven to create the best IT solutions our clients seek.
Our 50+ developer team creates cutting-edge complex B2B and B2C web systems and apps as well as delivering top-notch direct outsourcing services.
We work in multiple frameworks but we hold special feelings and are experts in Symfony, WordPress, AngularJS and PhoneGap.
We are located in Warsaw, Poland, in the heart of Europe. Concentrated on delivering durable web solutions of high integrity, we do not always try to be the cheapest. However, thanks to our location you will be surprised how reasonable our prices are.
Fluent in English we offer services worldwide. Among others, in countries such as the U.S.A., Great Britain, Germany, Australia, Sweden and Poland.