Projects from scratch using time & material model

While small- & mid-size projects are usually easy to manage as fixed price contract could not be so trivial with large projects. The problem lies in the fact that it’s very hard to compose the whole product vision in a detailed document that covers all aspects of the software. Our experience working with different customers shows that efforts needed to create such document can be man-years of work of an skilled analyst. Moreover even if such document can be created it can go out of sync with the market requiring massive corrective actions. And finally the very essence of development requires R&D work to specify the next steps.

To make things run for this type of project we recommend our customers to stick to time & material contract driven by Scrum methodology. While it does not provide a secured estimate for the whole product (but what “whole” means in this case?) our customers still have full control on deliverables and budgeting for the next product increments.

Product increment here means that we release product on a regular basis following our sprint schedule. Each sprint takes 1-3 weeks to release. Continuous integration principle as long as commitment to automated testing allows us to deliver fully shippable code.

For this approach it’s very important to have stakeholders involved into the process as we not only need some initial input, but also a regular review and feedback on results shown. It’s a responsibility of the product owner to maintain prioritized list of requirement in a form of user stories called backlog with a comprehensive help of Forma Pro.

Project development planning is a repeated activity in this case. We schedule a regular meeting that involves a team and a customer to actualize backlog and plan next sprints. Additionally Scrum as a methodology takes care of a business value of an increment released. Usually we have a schedule for several next sprints which gives our customer confidence in development tempo.