Our Sales Process
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. 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.
Trust me – it’s well worth your time and patience to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need. And this just doesn’t mean the software, but also the right team and people.
Our Delivery Process
- Weekly meeting to review successes, failures, and future plans – 1 hour
- Team members demonstrate what they got done the week prior
- Everyone discusses how they can improve the processes/techniques on the project
- A detailed plan for the upcoming week is agreed to
- Daily standup to create team momentum – 15 minutes max
|Weekly Status Update
|Outline the following: what was worked on last week, what’s happening this week, any questions/issues, status of the project
|This should be a standing call every week that’s scheduled upon kick-off. The purpose to touch base and talk through any issues, get answers to questions, check-up on action items, or gather feedback.
|This is an email notice sent by the PM to the Client outlining what’s happened since the last build and what’s ready for testing and feedback.
A typical small team for the projects we work on is two to three full-time developers and a fractional project manager. A large team can be four to six people.
For a rough approximation of project duration, we take the estimates above and divide by 32 hours for each person on the team. For example, a 1200-hour project takes approximately 3 months of calendar time for a team of 3 people (1200 hours / (3 people * 32 hours/person/week) / 4 weeks/month = ~ 3 months).
On large projects, we’re able to add people and go faster. That’s quite an amazing thing, and not something every team or company can do. Growing the team requires we have additional employees available.
When paying for custom software, you should have the mindset of paying a team to design and develop the first instance of a product. Custom software projects are ripe with risk, including building the right product, funding and schedule risks, third-party integrations, and technical approaches that need to be proved out.
Remember, you are paying your team to help you mitigate these risks, not to financially own them. Each sprint or release is not a guarantee of a finished, bug-free product.
However, we do have standards and best practices in place that encourage each team to do their best to build a high-quality product.
We encourage our clients to embrace bugs, embrace risks, and know that we will do everything we can to address both. Your team will track bugs and work them into the schedule each week with other backlog items.
Our teams are smart and experienced; they do their best at predictably building your product. With each iteration, we’ll take what we’ve learned and quickly your team integrate new insights to keep quality high.
Be aware that the financial risk of developing custom software is in your hands. A warranty doesn’t come from your development team, but it’s what you will offer to your customers and employees. Taking on the financial risk is why you have such a potentially significant financial upside.
Yes, we have had a handful of projects fail in our history. In every case, the failure could be attributed to communication issues that included:
- Not fully understanding the scope of the project
- Misalignment with what was being built versus what was needed
- Lack of client and team communication throughout the project
In the event of each failure, we ate the cost of the project until it was back on track. Why? Because we know this was the right thing to do. After taking our lumps, we work to improve our process, continually develop best practices, update engagement playbooks and concentrate on our centers of excellence to be the best at what we do for our clients.
Our Customers, Our Capabilities and Our People
- Non-technical business owners or key people with titles like: CEO, President, COO, Director of Operations, or sometimes Director of Technology or CTO.
- Technology-frustrated businesses who are outgrowing their technology/systems/processes or need to improve what they have.
- Mostly service-based businesses that see custom software as a competitive advantage
- Established small and medium-sized businesses with anywhere from 20 to 400 employees.
- The average Clear Launch client has been working with us for over 2 years, on an ongoing basis.
- Since 2013, we have worked with xx companies and completed over xx projects.
- Over 90% of our clients return for a second engagement.
With hundreds of inquiries a year for new projects, we select new clients and projects carefully. It is important to us that the value we bring will significantly exceed the fees we charge.
- Strategy – helping you answer the question, “what exactly should I build?”
- Design – creating appealing, easy-to-use interfaces that delight your users and make your company look great.
- Development – writing and testing code that runs smoothly, gets the job done and is reliable day after day.
- Quality Assurance – ensuring that we’re always building the right thing and it works securely across multiple platforms.
- Deployment & DevOps – getting your product to your people with minimum hassle.
- Hosting & Monitoring – keeping things running smoothly and securely once it’s deployed.
- Ongoing Support – keeping your product in top shape and responding to your needs quickly with your own dedicated, fractional software team.
Hosting & Monitoring
- Container for services like transactional email, notification, batch reporting, etc.
- Sandbox environments for development, testing and staging
- Regular OS updates
- Nightly web server and database backups
- Ongoing bot and attack monitoring
- Performance monitoring and event logging
- Standardized recovery mechanisms