We love your feedback. Especially when it’s about what we can do better. We’ve had a lot of great feedback on the challenges with custom projects, what we could do better, and what you needed from us. From this, we developed and implemented a new web-based proposal system.

One of the major advantages of this new system is that you will no longer need to print, sign and scan quotes. The approval process is built in. The proposals will now track the person who requested the work and limits the approval to pre-determined staff in your organisation.

Overall, this system is much more flexible and secure.

The new web-based system lets you view and share the proposals with other staff in your organisation see the design in your inVision prototype, ask questions, or give approval.

The proposal links will remain during the development and user testing, so you see the original scope and details.

We’ve created an infographic on the new process stage below.

Stage 1 - Analysis

The analysis is the most time-consuming part of a project and often needs the client to work us on the details, options and discuss the impact. This was done after the cost estimates. Many clients thought this process was complete in the initial evaluation and didn’t understand why we would be asking questions after the costs were given.

Discovery and Scope will be done before we give you the costs

In the new proposal process, we’ll make sure we get the full details of the project, talk about the advantage and disadvantages and use this to determine the scope of the work.

In our old custom project process, we completed the full scope and details after the cost estimate, so we could give you an idea of the cost to see if you would proceed.

The drawback of that process was lack of understanding of where the project was in the process, delays due to needing replies from the client, and we found that clients weren’t getting significant benefit from knowing the cost before they had a full understanding of what work they wanted, and what would need to be done to complete it.

The potential drawback of doing the analysis up front is time - Analysis is the most time-consuming part of the process and often needs us to work through the possible designs, what benefits they may have, and how we can achieve it in a what that works with your current process. We’ve tried this new process with a few clients recently, and while the process took longer to get a quote, the overall project was completed more effectively.

Design and technical review of the proposal design

The final step in the analysis, before the costs are provided, will get feedback on the suggested design from technical staff. This will help to identify potential issues before work begins and help reduce time delays.

Sometimes a project can need another feature or update to be deployed before the custom project can be completed, and knowing this before we finalise the design means you have a better idea of what could impact the project. This means we can let you know before you commit so you will have the choice to put the plan on hold, to wait, or even reduce the scope and remove that component.

We’ll go back and forth between Discovery, Scope and Design until we have a proposal clearly outlined and then provide you with the full details of the work to be completed and the costs.

Stage 2 - Build

In most cases, the development is quicker than the analysis. What we need to do has a lot of variables, considerations and requires a lot of discussions. Once that’s out of the way, the project becomes quite procedural, with the split into tasks, assigned to developers, and then the working prototype created.

User Acceptance Testing (UAT)

One of the newer aspects of the Custom Project process is the formalisation of User Acceptance Testing (UAT). This is where we give you access to a working prototype or example, usually in your database, so you can test to see if the project does what you wanted it to do.

Since the project hasn’t been finalised, you have an opportunity to give feedback, clarify the use, and sometimes the prototype gives you ideas for more things you’d like to do, and we can update the scope or modify the costs accordingly.