We typically begin by having short meetings between you and Peter Skouhus after you directly contact us or get referred to us by existing customers.
This is where we get an initial idea of what your project will be about and check whether we are a good fit for what you’re looking to achieve. We say “no” to potential projects when:
- It requires a technology that we don’t work with;
- Our time zones don’t overlap (we only work with companies with at least four overlapping hours with our time zone, GMT+8, to ensure that we have enough time to hold meetings);
- Our current workload does not allow for it; or
- We believe that we’re simply not a good match.
Otherwise, when we’ve determined that your requirements are within our specialization and that we have resources who can take in your project, we turn you over to your project manager for requirements gathering.
Very quickly after the initial contact with Peter I was assured that this was the right company to work with.
You will have a meeting or series of meetings with your project manager/s for requirements gathering. This is when we drill down to the specifics of the project, which can be as simple as discussing the details of an ad hoc task, or planning all aspects of a new system from the look and feel (UI/UX), all the way to its features, functionalities, and integrations.
Depending on the nature of your project, you may work with one or two project managers—a Design Project Manager and a Technical Project Manager. Unless it’s a design-only project, it’s typically the Technical Project Manager who is overall in-charge of the project.
We provide suggestions on what plugins or modules you can use so you can save on development time, themes that you can purchase instead of getting a full design done from scratch, and other things that can improve your project based on our knowledge of best practices and more than 20 years of experience with IT projects.
If the project is a support/maintenance project where we'll work on an existing website, webshop, or custom software application, we may also do a review where we look at how the system was initially put together. We look at different things like the plugins used, types of integrations, if there is anything changed in the core of the CMS/system, etc. This is for us to catch any errors and warn you of them before we officially start on the project, in case you want your previous supplier to fix these errors.
We also do an onboarding interview, which covers the non-technical details of the project. It’s an important step for us to understand you as a customer beyond the technical specifications of your project. This interview is typically done around the same time that you’re introduced to your project manager/s.
We usually cover four main topics:
- Experience – Have you worked with other IT suppliers in the past? How was your experience with collaborating with other developers or IT agencies? Have you ever tried outsourcing/offshoring before, and if so, what worked and what didn’t?
- Expectations – Do you foresee any challenges that may prevent the project from being successful? Is there anything that worries you about our collaboration (e.g., the location and time zone difference)?
- The project –What are your goals for the project and how will you measure its success? Are there important dates or time constraints that we have to be aware of?
- The company – What can you share about your company that can give us a better perspective on the project (e.g., your history and other details that may not be apparent when we look at your website/webshop)? What is your role in the company?
These are only a sample of the questions that you can expect from us, but note that this is not a one-sided interview. You can also ask your own questions about our company, services, and processes so that you too can get an idea on how your collaboration with 1902 Software will be.
After the interview, we prepare a report from our conversation and send it to your project manager/s.
Project estimation - for smaller or ad-hoc type projects
For smaller or ad hoc type projects, your project manager prepares an estimate based on your discussions during the requirements gathering phase.
Our estimate document typically contains:
- The basis for the estimate – this explains how we created the estimates, including the specifications or requirements you provided for the project.
- Estimate breakdown – this is a detailed list of tasks included in the project and the time and cost associated with each.
- Working with 1902 Software – this explains how we do things at 1902 Software and the standard features we implement by default in every project we work on, so that you know what you can expect throughout our collaboration.
At this point, it’s up to you if you wish to stop, or accept the estimate and continue. Either way, you will not incur any cost.
Project planning - for large projects
When a project reaches a certain size, we’ll need to create a comprehensive project plan, which is a detailed review of what will be developed, how it integrates with other systems used by the company, what technology to use for the project and why, the project’s success criteria, as well as detailed estimates for each individual phase of the project.
In larger projects, the project manager always prepares a rough price estimate for the project and a fixed price for creating a project plan.
At this point, you can decide if the price estimate is within your budget as well as whether the cost of the project plan is acceptable for you. If you can answer "yes" to both, then we proceed to create the project plan.
Note: Creating a detailed project plan, along with conducting meetings with you and other stakeholders can be time-consuming so we charge a nominal fee for that.
- Design process – For projects where we create the design or offer design assistance.
- Development process – For large development projects or for projects where we build a new website, webshop, app, or software from scratch.
- Ad hoc support or maintenance – For post-project support to existing live projects or for projects where we take over the day-to-day maintenance of a system developed by a different company.
- System upgrade – For projects where we upgrade an existing system to the latest version (i.e. upgrading the CMS/platform the system is based on).
- Stalled projects – For stalled development projects, where we take over the unfinished system and bring it to completion.