Revised June 25, 2018
The First Step to Starting Your Software Project
What the heck is pre-project consulting? Isn’t consulting expensive?
You’re right, consulting is an expensive and time-grueling task. But we think every software project deserves a probing, professional evaluation before any work begins. This is why every initial consultation with us is free.
In an industry notorious for low-ball bids, cost overruns, and fluffy proposals we think talking to a team of objective software professionals before you start is not only responsible, but smart.
Getting to Know You & Your Project
First off, we’re not sales people. We’re software consulting professionals with years of real-world project experience designing, developing and launching software products. Our upfront approach is highly consultative and is geared towards both you and us getting to know each other. We ask questions and then listen to you tell your story and your vision. We’re not here to sell you a product; we’re here to help you build what you need. Our initial goals include:
- Learning about you – your background, role at your company, role on the project
- Discover your challenges – what’s the big problem you’re trying to solve? How is it being solved today?
- Discover your vision – do you already have a solution in mind? What does it look like?
- How do you define success – what’s the business objective? How will your success be measured?
- Set your budget and timeline – it’s important to have an idea of how big or small we should solve initially
- Find out why – why did you contact FrogSlayer and why do you think we might be a good fit for their project? Is there something on our website that caught your attention?
Next, we’ll dig into the specific challenges you’re facing, share our experiences and brainstorm potential alternatives.
It may be obvious that because we’re a company of technical professionals we understand technology and technology trends. But because we work on such a wide variety of projects with companies of all sizes and across different industries, we also have a good grasp on the business side of technology as well. We know what business models are working in the market, what’s not working, and how you can make your idea better. We’re not shy about sharing our experiences and thoughts.
During the conversation we’ll help you determine if custom software is even your best option. In some cases, the solutions people need don’t require a high level of skill like the FrogSlayer team offers. In this case, we’ll help you to understand what your other options might be. However, if custom software is what you need, then we’ll help you understand what your technical demands are and what FrogSlayer’s capabilities are.
If we’re the right fit then we can move forward to develop a ballpark estimate for your project.
Pre-Project Consulting doesn’t end after the initial call or meeting; it’s an ongoing process. Besides answering any questions that you may have, next steps for us typically include:
- Discussing your project with the rest of the senior team
- Providing you with a ballpark estimate
- Scheduling a formal Discovery, Design & Planning engagement
Discussing with the team will allow us to bring back potential solutions that maybe we didn’t discuss earlier for you to consider.
To determine a ballpark estimate, we use early project requirements, historical data from previous projects, and our expertise to initially estimate cost. At this point, the estimate will have the broadest range. As we learn more about the project, the estimate will be refined.
The Discovery, Design and Planning engagement serves as a way to prepare a project plan that outlines our analysis, approach, design, the cost and schedule. This project plan will serve as the development team’s blueprint and will also include a tighter budget and schedule estimate.
Please note if the ballpark estimate is within a viable budget, a more formal and detailed letter of proposal can be prepared for an upfront cost of $500. The reason for this cost is due to taking consultants off billable work to ensure the proposal is comprehensive and accurate.
If you’re struggling with where to start with your software project, reach out to us and we can help walk you through everything. After all, this is the most critical time in the life of your project.