Fixed or Flexible?
Laneways Software & Digital provides 2 main funding models that clients can choose from: Fixed Price and Flexible Pricing. There are benefits to both methods and we can help you choose the best one for your project. Further, some projects use a mix of both funding models, for example if the project requires some surety of cost but with specific areas of flexibility.
The Fixed Pricing model requires you to know exactly what it is you want built, up-font. This is usually defined in specification documents. If you don't have these, we can help you develop them.
The Flexible Pricing model provides great flexibility and often costs less. You are able to start with ideas and make changes as you go. This often suits innovative projects where the ultimate product is still in development.
Flexible Price Projects
Adaptable & Innovative
The flexible pricing model allows you to develop your project ongoing, safe in the knowledge that you're building up a team of people who are experienced in building and modifying your platform. Think of them as your team. We use software tools to provide detailed tracking and reporting to you weekly. You are able to raise tickets on a daily basis, requesting new work or amending existing orders. The relationship is built on detailed communication and mutual reward. If you're unhappy with the work or your circumstances change you can stop the project at short notice without penalty. This places an emphasis on client satisfaction.
Pros of Flexible Price?
- It is usually cheaper than fixed price and you know exactly what each item cost to build
- You control how much preplanning you require vs. how much you make decisions ongoing
- You can still set budgets, deadlines, incentives etc. and generally save on development costs
- You do not need to submit formal change requests or incur added costs when you modify the outcomes you want
Cons of Flexible Price?
- You don't have the guaranteed price and deadline that you have with a fixed price project
- Someone should be available answer questions and help prioritise tasks at least weekly
- You'll need to user-test tasks as they're completed (on a staging server) before they're released to Production
JIRA for ticketingWe use Jira Issue & Project Tracking Software by Atlassian for recording tickets on every piece of work that needs to be done. The ticket numbers are shared with you and at the end of the month they are detailed in your expenses. This way, you get to see exactly what each item cost to build.
Time DoctorOur staff use Time Doctor to record and track the work they do on your behalf. The system records keystrokes and takes screen dumps, as well as monitoring which websites are being accessed during work hours. This enables staff to work at their own pace whilst recording tasks against specific tickets in Jira.
Weekly & Monthly Reporting
With these resources at our disposal we are able to produce regular reports that are detailed and verifiable. This gives you extreme confidence to know that you're getting what you're paying for. Over time, clients develop a skill for being able to estimate the cost of various developments themselves and that helps with their planning.
Importantly, you are not locked in to a long-term commitment, the benefits of which include:
- Scaling the team size on short notice
- Adding relevant skills to the team for particular tasks
- Amending project priorities & objectives to meet evolving needs
- No obligation to complete tasks or projects when your requirements change
Fixed Price Projects
With fixed-price projects, a lot more detail and preparation is undertaken before work begins. A detailed specification document outlines everything that is to be built and all the technical information. From this, we create wire-frames, draft sketches and final designs. Once these are approved by you, a detailed spreadsheet is created that lists every task to be completed, grouped by functionality, categories and sub-categories etc. Each of these is further broken down into weekly 'Sprints'. Finally, the time anticipated to complete each of these items is estimated and from that the Fixed Price budget is produced.
Sometimes a client will give us a budget and we need to work to that, and sometimes we will produce the budget for the client's approval. Either way, one of the main objectives of this stage of the development is to produce clear objectives, an agreement on how change is managed and a fixed budget.
Pros of Fixed Price?
- You can see upfront exactly what you are going to get and how it will work
- You can budget very accurately and set deadlines. You can even add incentives & penalties
- If you're not happy with the budget estimate, you can take all the preparation documents and seek competing quotes
- If something has been underestimated, it's not your problem and Laneways Software & Digital bears the cost
Cons of Fixed Price?
- Making changes mid-way requires a formal process, including more estimates, and you must cover this cost
- This may mean that you avoid changes or delay them when really you should be doing them now
- We are obligated to build in a margin for error. Whilst this is not a significant part of the cost, it adds to the budget
- All this takes time to budget and plan, when you might prefer to get started ASAP