Create a Roadmap Before a Project Proposal
People often skip over the planning phase of a project. Without the planning phase, the full scope of your project isn’t fully understood. Roadmapping helps the client and vendor come to an understanding of the full scope of the project and give both teams the confidence they need to successfully complete the tasks at hand.
Check out this video where Scott Yewell explains the value and importance of Roadmapping.
The most important stage of any software projects is the planning stage and often when engaging with custom software providers, people skip over that because they want to get right to the buying a bigger or selling a big project. Make sure you always engage in planning phase before diving again.
Say you had a company that’s got processes and you’re like, I want this be more efficient, can you come and to do it and give me a quote. What we do first, alright, I can’t give you a quote on the solution because I don’t really know what the problem is yet. We need to do this thing called a road mapping session. We’ll come in, we want to meet with everyone on your team and we’re going to understand what the exact problems are. From there, we’ll design a solution, review with you, and from that, we can tell you what the scope of this project is.
A lot of companies don’t do that. They come and they pitch you a big project or a medium sized project without really knowing the full scope. And their goal is I think I’ve sussed out your budget, let me make sure I’m a little bit under that, get me in the door, we’ll figure this out later. It’s a recipe for disaster.
A lot of customers push back against a proposal. They say “Why should I spend money now and not get the full solution. I already know what I need to have happen.” And the challenge there is they might know at some internal level what they need to have happen but they don’t know specifically and you have not yet agreed as a vendor and a client purchasing what it’s going to look like and who’s going to use it and all the specifics about it. Without that understanding, no one’s going to succeed. I am just recommending if you’re engaging with any software vendor or custom software provider, make sure you have a conversation upfront about what exactly you’re expecting down to the wireframing the screens and understanding the persons using the product because only with that will you have the confidence that the scope is actually pretty close to accurate.