From Request to Final Delivery
From Request to Proposal
As soon as our IT Sales Consultants receive a proposal request, our first priority is to ensure a complete understanding of the client’s needs, and subsequently to supply a proposal for establishing cooperation, ensuring mutual benefits, and defining processes, workflow, roles, responsibilities, mutual obligations, coding criteria, programming specs, and how the software is developed. For some projects, proposal creation takes just a few hours; for others, it can take months. Why such vastly different delivery times?
The main reason is that each client has their own project requirements which are in different stages of completeness and complexity. In other words, some projects are further along the development cycle than others. Here are the three most common scenarios:
- When a client indicates a desire for a custom remote team of Sibers specialists, our first step is to provide the client with individual CVs for the candidates we believe are best-suited for the job. The next step is to arrange an interview between the client and our handpicked candidates. Once it’s been determined that the candidate team meets all of the client’s requirements, the team immediately becomes a natural extension of the client’s local staff and adopts their business practices and industry-specific standards. In this scenario, the request/proposal cycle doesn’t take much time at all.
- If a client would like Sibers to develop a specific software package, we first need time to learn the software’s specifications inside and out. To this end, the Sibers Sales Consultant reviews all associated documents and then contacts the Business Analyst; together, they jointly assess the project from a business perspective. When this is done, they connect with the Platform Team Leader, whose job it is to calculate all potential technical obstacles and design a plan for overcoming them.
Throughout this “discovery” process, the Sales Consultant stays in regular contact with the client, clarifying all unclear points and handling requests along the way. In this scenario, creating a formal proposal with a documented inquiry requires more time and effort from both sides. Also, Sibers may need to create a working prototype of the proposed software during the estimation step.
- Sibers also works with clients who may have an idea for a desired product but lack a concrete plan of action. In this case, our Sales Consultant always involves the Business Analyst and the User Interface Designer. These professionals have considerable expertise creating tangible user interfaces, software and program logics based on client ideas. The end-result of their involvement is the creation of a specification document which will guide the total production process, providing a complete understanding of what needs to be created for the prospective product in terms of wireframe, assets, etc. Upon completion of this step, the Technical Team Leader takes another look at the client’s requirements and ensures that the Sales Consultant has everything he/she needs to draft a proposal. This is by far the most time-intensive partnership scenario, since a large amount of clarification and formalization must take place in order to ensure the client receives a proposal that is not only tailored to their exact needs, but will also deliver significant return on investment.
Awarding a Contract
When the scope and financial terms of our collaboration are agreed upon, a Statement of Work (SOW) is issued for signature. The SOW is a formal contract between the two parties; it describes deliverables and is meant to protect mutual interests and relations.
Once the SOW is signed, Sibers’ Financial Manager drafts an invoice according to the contract terms, and the client issues a deposit payment to begin the development process. It is Sibers’ policy to require an upfront payment equal to at least one work-week of development, which equates to a significant investment from our side. We consider the deposit as a guarantee of the client’s commitment.
Sibers assembles an outsourcing project team consisting of a Project Manager (PM), a Customer Care Manager and a suitable number of Developers, Designers and Quality Assurance Engineers. Team assembly is usually completed in 1-2 business weeks; however, the PM is in touch with the client as soon as the deposit is received. To ensure the highest level of quality, PMs are assigned to projects according to their background and interests — for example, if the project is healthcare-related, we’ll provide a PM with medical expertise.
Once the project is underway, all team/client interaction is handled by the PM and the Customer Care Manager. The latter tracks all of the software versions designed during the project and responds to customer feedback. Daily communication is encouraged between the team and the client, since open lines of communication equate to a smooth process. Project development commences immediately after the “Project Start Meeting”, in which all participating team members meet with the client to discuss the project outline.
Throughout the development process, the Sibers team delivers demos and revises them according to the client’s feedback. Each programmer’s work is diligently monitored by the Sibers Team Leader to ensure optimum quality and complete compliance with the client’s specifications.
At a predetermined date, the software enters the Beta testing phase. Sibers’ QA Engineers undertake a comprehensive quality check to verify there are no problems. To accomplish this, the software is put through the technical equivalent of Dante’s nine circles of Hell. Also, a precise set of tools, along with every last ounce of the QA Engineers’ experience, ensures that the software is bug-free.
When the software is finally deemed ready for publication, we of course make all necessary preparations for its release.
Final Product Delivery
After the final files are delivered and the client provides their stamp of approval, Sibers’ job isn’t over. Instead, we also assist with product launch. For example, if it’s an iPhone mobile application or a web portal, Sibers obtains AppStore approval or ensures installation on the client’s live hosting. Taking things a step further, Sibers also provides post-launch support and maintenance, and is always ready to work on the software’s next versions and updates as needs arise.