Our processes are designed with the client's interests in mind. Our goal is to treat our clients the way we want to be treated. Below is a step by step rundown of the typical project lifecycle we follow with our clients:
Free Initial Consultation: We understand that potential clients are busy and want to find out as quickly as possible if Affordable Automation can solve their needs within the price range and timing desired. Our goal when first connecting with you will be to discuss what you want to accomplish within a short 5 to 20 minute phone conversation. We then usually give a ball park estimate of what the potential application will cost. If further engagement is desired by the client, we meet for a secondary consultation.
Secondary Consultation: In this phase we want to understand more in depth what is desired. This meeting can take 2 to 4 hours. Then the Affordable Automation team will brainstorm together and come up with a design that will solve the client's needs. We will then meet to present our design, cost estimate and timing to our client.
At this point the client can decide if they want to continue or not. If the client decides not to continue, no cost has been incurred.
Creation of SOW/Agreement: At this point we will put together a statement of work/agreement. This document will include the Project Overview, Project Deliverables, Cost Estimate, Time Estimate, and various other information. Once this document is signed by both parties, work can immediately begin.
Start the Collaborative Process: We believe the collaboration between the client and our team is where great things happen. The client brings to the table what they want to ultimately accomplish and we bring 32 years of experience in designing and developing solutions. By both parties working closely together and brainstorming together on a continuous basis, this will results in successful projects.
A common yet outdated way of developing applications is for the client to simply tell the developers what they want to accomplish. The developers happily oblige, and go away for 2 months to develop the application. After which they come back to demo the 'finished' application. It is then the client's turn to informs the developer this is not want they wanted... at all! This approach has always had a very low success rate.
We have found that following an iterative process of developing applications creates the most successful projects. For example, on a 5 week project, there may be as many as 12 short meetings between both parties. The beauty of this is each iteration gets the application closer to the end goal. The client will also get to see and test the application in its current state to get a feel of it actually working in the live environment.
Once all project deliverables are met, and both parties are satisfied, the application is ready to be implemented on your system.
Implement the Application: A date for installation will be scheduled and the implementation will begin. After everything has been tested, it will be ready to be used by the end users; we guarantee to walk alongside our clients as it goes live.
Support: Unfortunately, a large percentage of companies that develop applications for their clients show little interest in supporting the application whether they say so or not. However, at Affordable Automation, our goal is to develop long term relationships with our clients and we will support our applications if requested. We also work very hard to respond to our clients when they need support.
Future Enhancements: Many times down the road, our clients realize they would like to expand the original functionality. Again, we are interested in developing term relationships with our clients. Just give us a call and we will be ready to discuss and develop any future enhancements!