It seems obvious that the project proposal for your FileMaker solution is extremely important. However, most clients think that it’s only important from a cost value. The truth is your project proposal does so much more than that. Your project proposal is the foundation for the entire execution of the project. So what types of project proposals are there? And what should you as the client expect to see?
What Types of Proposals Should You Expect?
There are three major types of proposals you will receive when you are requesting the development of custom software development:
- Discovery Proposal: This proposal, whether in a block of hours or a fixed rate, will outline how you and our developers will scope the project and determine the needs for your custom software solution.
- Project Proposal: This proposal will outline the process and needs for the actual development of your solution. This will be the focus of the rest of this blog post.
- Maintenance Agreement: This proposal explains how we will support your company once development has been completed.
When Should You Expect a Proposal?
For the next two sections, we will be focusing on the Project Proposal. This isn’t necessarily more important than the other proposals but it does tend to be where things in the project can go off the rails. You should expect the main project proposal once Discovery is complete for the needs of your new software solution. In Discovery, you can expect us to go through your companies processes, structures and needs to figure out what will work best for your new solution. In Discovery, we try to identify everything that you need for your custom software. Remember, the more we can define, the higher the probability that we can identify everything in the initial project proposal.
What Should You Expect in Your Project Proposal?
As a new client, it is incredibly important that you know what to expect in your proposal so you can review it the most detailed way possible. Your proposal should include:
- The Why: This is an important introduction for your proposal. Why are you wanting this custom software solution and what goals are you hoping this solution can help complete?
- Scope and Options: This section contains everything we defined in Discovery. It should define exactly what you need for your custom software and provide options for the total package, the middle ground, and the most basic version. This section is incredibly important for clients to review to ensure that we have included everything you know you need.
- Timing: This section defines the schedule on how we will complete, review and test your solution with you. The timing aligns with the scope in regards to what we will develop and when. It should factor in vacation times and holidays for both the development team and yourself.
- Price: This is the section that most clients tend to focus on. How much money will this cost me? Whether it is a fixed price or a block of hours, you should see a price for each option defined in the proposal so you can best pick the one for your budget, reflective of the value you will be receiving.
- Terms: This can be anything from how you will complete payment and when it is due, to the availability of the developers or yourself, to any other terminology that needs to be defined before development will begin.
What Happens Once Your Proposal is Signed?
Once the proposal is signed and terms agreed to, our project management team will schedule weekly status calls with you. These status calls are not meant to go over development, but instead, outstanding questions, the schedule, and budget. It is to make sure we are adhering to our project proposal.
But what if things change? This is normal and for the most part, expected. We (including your team) can’t predict everything. When you notice a change to the initial scope of the project or something you want to add, you and the project manager can evaluate its priority.
Is this a right now feature? If so, we will probably need to change scope, timing, and price from the initial proposal. If not, we can add it as a wishlist feature and return to it when initial development is complete.
Remember, the project proposal is the foundation and layout to the execution of your software solution. That doesn’t mean it’s set in stone, but it does mean that your detailed review and approval will ensure that we can create the best custom software for your company.
If you are interested in a Jarvis demo or a project proposal, please contact the Scarpetta Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.