Project planning and implementation
A brief overview of the project flow
On this page we would like to give our customers information about the course of a project in the field of web and software development.
What is a project
Gablers Wirtschaftslexikon defines a project as a time limited, relatively innovative and risky task of considerable complexity.
This definition applies to major developments from web presence to accounting software. It also applies to the development of complex interfaces and data conversions, but not to simple imports, installation or maintenance work.
The cost calculation
The effort for a simple task can be estimated relatively well from experience. A complex task is harder to calculate.
In the case of a website or a shop, the empirical value for a standard project is initially used. Depending on the specific needs of the customer, an estimate will either be too low or too high. In any case, an inquiry with a more precise order specification is recommended.
A project development
Admittedly, the child's swing on a tree isn't really a project by the definition above. But it illustrates what can go wrong. Because a project is complex, there is a high risk that an error in the design of the software will go undetected.
1. What the customer imagined
2. What was defined in the order
3. How the workaround around the design flaw was considered
4. What the result looked like
5. The conceptual redesign of the project
6. What could be realized with the remaining budget
7. What could have been realized with the project costs
8. What the customer would have needed
The task of planning is to correctly formulate the goals and process of development and thus ensure the creation of the product with the desired properties within the existing budget. Ideally, in the example of the swing, image 8 should be defined as an order.
The project steps
1. The goal definition
This is the definition of the scope and task of the software. What should it do and in what environment should it run. It is also often important to define what the software should not do.
The client can make an important contribution to correct and cost-effective implementation by carrying out this definition as thoroughly as possible in advance.
2. Analysis and development of a concept
As we have seen above, the definition of the mission is a crucial milestone for the development. In order to prevent conceptual errors, the target definition should be completed and analyzed in cooperation with the client and an initial software concept should be created. This enables a realistic cost estimate and then becomes part of the order.
In this step, partial steps of the realization and partial payments are already agreed. The end point of this step is the definition and completion of the development order.
It is in the interest of the client that the analysis and concept are carried out with the required thoroughness. The effort is not insignificant and we have to charge for it, especially for more complex projects.
3. The development process
The development takes place in close cooperation with the client according to the timetable agreed in the order.
We use our customer and team area for this.
Depending on the type and scope of the project, partial steps can be agreed that are already made available to the client for testing. In the course of the development process, questions or previously unrecognized problems may arise, to which an answer must be found together with the client.
4. Test and Acceptance
At the end of the project, the software is typically installed and tested on a server or the client's computers. Detail changes and improvements are often made.
At the end there is the commissioning for productive operation. We accompany them and make any necessary corrections.
Of course we are available for maintenance and improvement of the system. Depending on the nature of the project, a maintenance contract can be concluded.
Fixed Price vs. Hourly Billing
At first glance, a fixed price is more attractive for the client, because in this case the contractor bears the cost risk.
However, even with an agreed fixed price, additional requirements often arise in the course of a project that are not agreed in the order. A fixed price does not necessarily protect against an increase in project costs. In case of doubt, the hourly billing is also beneficial for the quality of the end product. We recommend hourly billing and agreeing on a budget framework. We want satisfied business partners, because good business is profitable for everyone involved.