Outsourcing Guide for Customers: the Details of Cooperation Process
Cooperation with some companies can be pleasant, can be fruitful or tiresome. When you choose Cleveroad, we do our best to make your work with us as beneficial and enjoyable as possible. Nevertheless, such issues as misunderstandings or lack of information can emerge anywhere, that is why we are obliged to give you all the comprehensive information about how we build our work with small and middle size companies when they entrust their project to us. The goal of this article is to make sure that you understand all the steps we perform to deliver the highest-quality product to you as soon as possible.
From the very first time you contacted business development managers from Cleveroad, our team is ready to support and assist you. To start work, you need to provide us with some information about your project. That is why we ask you about:
Project details you need to share
You need to describe us your idea, features you would like to have in a product, list of supported devices, target audience you want to cover, localization, terms of collaboration you would feel satisfied and the monetization strategy and business model of your product.
Not all companies contact us and have all this data on paper. In most cases, our business development managers have to clarify the details to get a full picture. Usually, a Skype call is necessary to regulate all these things, however, we use different communication tools and can take one which you prefer. In a case you don't want to tell all the details about your project, we are ready to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). This agreement guarantees all property rights to the idea. After we've got this data, our business development manager can provide you with rough time and cost estimation.
The numbers are approximate because the full scope of work can be seen only after the planning stage. That is why we give you the maximal and minimal value. If you don't have any technical background our team is always glad to share knowledge and ideas how to make a product better. We estimate the idea to understand if it's viable at all. The results of our estimation we give to you and only you to decide whether you want to change anything or not.
Our feedback after the acquaintance
After the rough estimate, you have an approximate cost and timeline of the project. If both parties are satisfied after this initial stage, we sign a planning stage agreement.
It may sound cliche but planning is the most important stage in the whole process of a product delivery. A planning stage agreement regulates the duration and all the works during this stage. Depending on a size of a project a planning stage can take from 2 to 4 weeks. A team is formed specifically for this part of the job. Usually, they are a requirements analyst, a designer, a QA engineer, developers and a project manager.
The team put together for the planning stage
These specialists are needed to prepare the required documentation for the project and give the comprehensive information to you. At first, we create a list of requirements. Our specialist communicates with you all the time to understand and describe how all the features will work. After that, we create user stories. They are a detailed description of everything that a user can do in an app, site or software system. This process requires a consultation with developers to find out the best way for a feature realization. You need to approve all these documents as well.
After that we create wireframes. And, again, you approve them. Wireframes then are used for a clickable prototype development, which we make with the help of InVision platform. Then, a project manager lead and a lead of QA department validate all the documentation. Their task is to find the lowlights. The prototype allows you to see how the final product will look like. What is more, you can show the prototype to your stakeholders and investors. This documentation plus a prototype are the base for a detailed estimation. It determines the cost and time needed to implement your idea into reality.
Materials you get after the planning stage
Sometimes it's difficult to see the difference between wireframes and mockups. And understand the importance of wireframes, mockups and prototypes for the development. In our previous article, we shed light on these notions and explain their role in a perfect design creation.
During this time, you choose what pricing model you prefer. In Cleveroad, we offer a choice of a Fixed Price or Time and Material models. The first option is preferable for projects with a definite scope of work and strict timeline. We form a team, which include all the needed specialists, and a project manager who leads this team. We also set the price based on a detailed estimation and a project's deadline. All this data is included in an agreement. We take all management responsibilities and guarantee that you get a final product at a given time. Unless you change the requirements of the project. In such a case we conclude an additional agreement.
Time and Material model is a great option if you have your own in-house team that needs rapid expansion or additional technical expertise. if you need a software development partner with an adaptable business model. Or if you don't want to create a software department in your company, but need dedicated software specialists. In all these cases we offer you a needed specialist or a dedicated team. What you get in such case is:
- Flexibility in labour arrangements and in a dynamic change of plans
- Savings from staff recruiting and training
- Ability to focus on the project management, not people management
- Efficient workflow and clarity on the status of the project ensured by an experienced dedicated team leader.
The payment for such services is made according to the hours spent on your project. If you need only one specialist (or a few), then the management of the project will be held by you. If you hire a dedicated team - by us.
It's also worth mentioning that this stage isn't free. The cost depends on the complexity and size of a future project. Yet, even if you are not ready to start the development, you will have all the needed materials in hands. Which means you can use them anytime you need. If you agree to start the development, we sign a development agreement and a project manager prepares a development plan for you.
Development and release
Here, at Cleveroad we prefer Agile development methodology. It's flexible and allows you to change the initial scope of functionality and requirements during the whole process of development.
What is the Best Software Development Methodology for Your Project?
In simple terms, the overall scope of work is divided into sprints. Sprint is a part of functionality which we have to create in a particular period of time. Usually, it's a fortnight. Our project manager chooses a part of a functionality and discusses it with you. If you believe that there is something more important to develop right now, the task of a sprint is changed. Our team starts the development after a scope of a sprint was approved.
When a feature from a sprint is implemented, QA engineers begin their job. In such a manner, development, testing and bug fixing are held at the same time. And no time is wasted. When a sprint comes to an end, a project manager shows you a demo (implemented functionality). Along with the demo, we send you a checklist for testing the functionality, that we have developed. If you test it and approve everything, we move forward, if not, we collect your feedback and perform bug fixing, before starting a new sprint. After the sprint has been approved we send you an invoice for the performed work. So you pay only for what has been developed. No upfront payments.
One of the most important criteria for the software development company is the quality of products it creates. The full process how we keep us with the quality standards at Cleveroad you can find in our report!
Find out what 7 hidden expenses of a mobile app development process you still don't know about!
When a sprint is approved, a project manager forms another one and gives it to you for an approval. Sprint by sprint, a puzzle comes together. By the end of all sprints, the initial testing is finished and we start the regressive testing. Thus, we make sure that the deployment was successful, all business logic works seamlessly and there are no blockers, critical and major bugs in our product. After that, a release candidate is ready. You check it one more time. If a project is a mobile app development, we give it for an app store approval. If we created a website or a web app for you, it is moved to a product server. And here goes a release.
Support and updates
All the rights to a product belong to you. Only you decide what to do with your project after the release. As far as we value our reputation and understand that some bugs can appear after the release, we support all our products within 30 days for free. It's enough time to detect and fix all trivial bugs. If you want to continue the support after this time, we offer two option, based on time and material or fixed price model.
If you choose Time and Material model for support and maintenance, you get a developer who worked on the project and knows all the architecture from the inside. We sign a contract where you indicate the required amount of hours you believe is necessary. In a case, you prefer Fixed Price model you'll need to describe the overall scope of work. We estimate the task, the cost and find an available developer within two weeks.
Useful do's to get the best results
During the cooperation, you can communicate with a business development manager or a project manager. You can also have a chat with any member of the development team on your project. We protect our clients and ourselves with the agreements we've mentioned above. Below, you'll find recommendations which help build strong relationships of trust between our companies.
Tips to follow for the best results
- Be open. You are the only source of information for us about your project. The more you tell us the better we understand your idea.
- Choose the pricing model and the terms of collaboration which you would be satisfied with. We are flexible and are willing to negotiate.
- Describe your expectations to the team. Tell us what is the best outcome of the whole project.
- Share any existing documentation concerning the project, even if it's a simple sketch.
- Don't hesitate to ask questions, clarify details and contact developers if needed. If you feel like talking to a project manager, a developer or other specialists, we are always open for communication.
In Cleveroad you can find the most modern management practices which allow us to be efficient and open. If you want to track the overall development process, you can get access to Jira, Redmine and Trello platforms (project management tools which we use). Thus, you'll be able to see what tasks are being done at the moment.