Learn how we discuss, analyze, suggest and provide a Project Assessment to new customers to guide and advise on new projects.
Perhaps one of the very first tenants of a strong business relationship is building a sense of trust. The easiest and most thoughtful way to build trust and simply provide good service, is to ensure we're timely in our communications, respectful of our customer's time, and clear in our intensions while offering simple action items to make this process as easy as possible.
Sometimes we meet in person, but quite often this initial call is a roughly 30 minute video conference where we learn more about our customer's pain points and goals, budget, timeline, and share some of our experience and general thoughts.
The outcome of this session should be for us to evaluate if the customer is a good fit for us and if we want to proceed. Most customers won't have enough information at this point to be able to make any decision about working with us or not. A followup call is scheduled if all looks promising.
If we've determined that the customer's goals seem technically achievable, align with our expertise, and have a reasonable timeline for the project, then at this stage we engage in a brief discovery session.
A discovery session is simply an opportunity for us to get undivided attention from the customer to walk us through what he hopes to achieve, while allowing us to probe with scenarios, raise concerns, and ask questions. For small projects this might be 30-45 minutes, and for larger projects this could be spread out over a couple meetings to walk through everything.
The goal of the discovery session(s) is to ensure we have a clear understanding of why the customer is considering building a software solution, what he hopes to achieve by doing so, how he is going to deem the project a success, and when the project should be deployed and available to the public.
Now that we have a clearer understanding of the project, we can begin to prepare a groundwork to work with the customer. At this point we usually do not have an exhaustive list of requirements and functionality (although some clients are super prepared!), so we are focused on the business value and purpose the technology will provide, and don't get into the super detailed.
We deliver a Project Assessment to the customer, outlining the following items:
- Project Background
- Keys to Success
- Core Components
- Risk Factors (if applicable)
- Next Steps
When the customer reviews our Project Assessment, he'll have a lot of information at his fingertips - a clear, understandable definition of the technology we envision solving his problem, our understanding of his problem and what we see as critical factors to ensure the success, and how proceeding in the process works. Our clients love this, as this is a great educational tool and shows how committed we are to making what is a potentially scary investment, a success.