We value our client’s happiness and journey with us. Over the past years of experience, we learned that communication, education and transparency are the keys in maintaining a good and healthy relationship with our clients. We have created this FAQ to achieve exactly that.
WHAT TECHNOLOGIES AND LANGUAGES DO YOU WORK WITH?
WHAT METHODS DO YOU USE TO GATHER AND UNDERSTAND MY REQUIREMENTS?
Our approach to requirements gathering is simple and effective. Our consultants work with you to fully understand your organisation and various stakeholder needs through face-to-face meetings, stakeholder interviews and workshops. This deep understanding of your requirements ensures that we are able to deliver the project you need that adds value to your business. We take this information and we create a very detailed and comprehensive wireframe that outlines every single feature of the platform you require. This is signed off by you prior to any development work to ensure we are both on the same page.
WHAT IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND MY INDUSTRY?
Chances are very good we will not understand your industry. Especially if you are an accountant or engineer. We are not accountants or engineers, therefore your input and assistance to help us understand your needs at the deepest level is required in order for us to build a successful solution for you. We meet multiple meetings to better understand your trade, we ask that you will be available to provide such assistance.
CAN I MONITOR WHAT YOU’RE DOING ON MY PROJECT ON A REGULAR BASIS?
Yes. We believe open, transparent communication is the cornerstone to successful development projects. You’ll always know what’s happening on your project and you’ll be in constant contact with our team. It’s not unusual for our team leads to call their clients several times a week. We also provide weekly status updates and demos to keep you connected. At the beginning of the project there is less interaction between you and our team, due to a lot of development required before the project has visual elements to show. The deeper we move into the project the more the interaction between you and our team increases.
CAN I ADJUST PLANS, FEATURES ETC AS WE GO?
Yes. This kind of flexibility is important and could determine the success of project. We build in a % of the project cost for unforeseen variables and changes, but big changes after kick-off might affect budget or schedule – which will be communicated with you prior to any decisions being made.
WHO OWNS THE CODE AND DESIGNS YOU PRODUCE DURING THE PROJECT?
Your project belongs to you. Once you pay the final bill we sign over all the rights to the IP of your particular project over to you. This does not mean we cannot use similar code for another project. For example, just because we have integrated to XERO for your project does not mean we cannot do it for someone else. We own the IP of the code that we right, you own the IP of your project/solution.
HOW DOES TESTING WORK?
Once we reach a point where a project is ready for testing, it does not mean that we are done. In fact, we are far from complete. Testing is a phase of the project where we give you the opportunity to provide feedback. The amount of testing varies according to the size of the project. Once testing and fixes are implemented we move on to beta testing where you get the opportunity to test your new solution with an actual client. This does not mean we are going live. We are simply testing the solution in a real life environment to ensure we haven’t missed anything. We might need a few clients to beta test with before we are ready to officially launch your project to your customers.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU ARE DONE? WHO FIXES BUGS?
Software is rarely “done.” As your business changes, your software will need to evolve and adapt. But, we do expect the code we deliver to perform as intended. We’ll maintain the code for a reasonable amount of time and make sure that everything is working. Depending on the type of project we either bill you for ad-hoc maintenance or new features or we put a retainer in place that provides you with a certain amount of hours per month.
HOW MUCH WILL MY PROJECT COST ME?
This depends on the amount of hours needed to complete a project. We sell hours. Based on past projects, custom development of any web based platform or mobile app can range from R100k to over R1m. The more hours we have to spend on a project, the more amazing the end result will be.
WHAT TYPE OR SIZE OF PROJECTS CAN YOU HANDLE?
We design and build business-critical cloud and mobile applications. We’re a great fit for projects where user experience is critical and one or more of the technology domains of web, mobile, embedded, or desktop are required.
Projects like these tend to be large or complex, or both. They take a lot of time, and so they cost more money. That in turn means they need to be able to generate a lot of revenue, or possibly save a lot of money. Most of the projects we tackle are on the revenue side of a profit & loss statement (i.e. they grow your business in some way and generate revenue which provides a return on your investment).
Many of the projects we do fit in one of the buckets below. There are exceptions, of course, but these are common.
- Web or mobile utility (does a few simple things well)
- Prototype or demo applications
- Mobile app that compliments existing full-featured web application
- Basic new software application, rewrite of an existing application, or first phase of complex system
- Complex, multi-phase software application
CAN I COUNT ON THE BUDGET?
Yes. Our engagements are “fixed budget, scope controlled” meaning we’ll help you develop a responsible budget and we’ll stick to it. Since we’ve never worked with people who have fewer ideas than they have money or time, our job is to figure out the best possible application we can build for the given budget. That requires thoughtful understanding of the users and the market. From there, we’ll work to control the scope of the project, both in depth (polish, refinement, complexity) and breadth (features, functionality).
HOW DO YOU BILL?
We divide a project into multiple phases and have a deposit fee for each phase. This allows us to run multiple phases concurrently if needed to shorten the development cycle.
HOW LONG DOES A PROJECT TAKE?
A typical small team for the projects we work on is two to three developers with a designer used as needed. A large team is four to six people. There are only so many hours in a day per person so the larger the budget the more people we can put on a project. On average our projects have ranged from 3 to 8 months depending on the complexity thereof.
HOW DO I PROVIDE FEEDBACK?
We have a very specific document that you fill in that allows us to structure each feedback or comment in a way that enables us to manage the feedback and manage your expectation of the timeline for the implementation of the feedback. This document has to be sent to us via email.
CAN I USE WHATSAPP TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU?
We prefer communication via email and during meetings. Whatsapp can be very intrusive and interrupts our development cycles. Interrupting a developer during his cycle can lead to deadlines not being matched. When a developer is interrupted while focused and busy with highly complicated programming it can take him up to 40 minutes to get back to where he was focus-wise. Look at it as if it was a huge mathematical calculation. If you interrupt someone 70% into the calculation, he needs to start from scratch and familiarise himself with the flow of every part of the calculation. This could lead to promised deliverables being delayed.
DO YOU CODE EVERYTHING FROM SCRATCH?
We get incredible leverage from open source tools, libraries, frameworks and indeed entire projects or our own proprietary libraries. We never reinvent the wheel when there is a tool that is suitable for solving a problem. We always program from scratch the parts that make your project custom and valuable.
WHAT DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?
- Mobile Enablement
- Business Process Automation (BPA)
- Workflow Management
- Custom Dashboards
- Custom Reporting
- Billing & Payments
- Enterprise Commerce Solutions
- Customer Management
- Business Intelligence (BI)
- Content/Media Distribution & Management
- New Product Development
- Prototyping or Proof of Concept
- Hosting & Support
- Legacy Migration
- API / System Integration
- Approved XERO.COM Developer partner
WHAT DOES CUSTOM DEVELOPMENT MEAN?
Let’s imagine that you require specific software to accomplish a particular important task and in your search for an off-the-shelf product, discover that not only is the application very expensive to purchase and support, but it doesn’t do everything that you need it to do ‘out of the box’. Our developers can build a custom application based upon your specific business needs – we can do this quickly by using common software components, such as document generation, task allocation & management, and dashboards ultimately cutting short the development time and cost.
WHAT SUPPORT SERVICE DO YOU OFFER ON THE APPLICATIONS THAT YOU HAVE BUILT?
Our objective is to support you through your entire application lifecycle and foster a long term partnership – fundamental to this is our software support and maintenance service featuring SLA-backed support for your custom application. This includes a full range of support features such as a dedicated helpdesk, email, telephone and online support.