In Part 1 of How to Work with Software Development Companies, we covered the beginning of the engagement process though the proposal and negotiation phase. In Part 2, we’ll get more into estimates, SOWs and MSAs, and dealing with change orders followed by project delivery.
Project Estimate Efforts – Time & Money
One way or another, when your only real costs are personnel, the adage time is money certainly applies. As does the Theory of Constraints. There’s a number of variations on this theme, but basically it’s along these lines: For any project, you have time, money and features. (Some add quality.) You can pick any two. In other words, you can spend more to buy less time, (though not always), or you can cut features for time, etc. etc. There are some that claim in the Age of Agile or for other reasons that this isn’t as true as it once was. They’re wrong. Common Sense doesn’t always hold up under careful scrutiny, but in this case, it does.
So what’s the point? The point is when we’re done with all the back and forth discussion, an estimate will be based on anticipated time to do something and the costs. So you will likely face potentially wide ranges of estimates depending on how easy/hard it is to estimate the tasks at hand. And software development is notoriously challenging to estimate. Discussions as to why are out of scope of this article, but suffice it to say, it’s a challenge. You will most likely get an early rough estimate. But for any project with deep complexity, chances are good some form of deep discovery will be required to get rational estimates. [Read more…]