At Calandra Lark, we believe that close collaboration with the client is the key to success in any software development process. The more client involvement we have in the project, the better. To this end, we use an agile methodology that emphasises frequent releases of working software to the client.
We invite frequent client feedback throughout the process. The client feedback is essential for correcting any of the inevitable misunderstandings that creep into the process. It also gives the client an opportunity to revise his or her requirements as the project progresses. We do spend a lot of time at the start of the project establishing a solid understanding of the client’s requirements, but it is often the case that the development process itself uncovers new opportunities that were not visible at the outset.
We would not want to sign someone a blank cheque, and we don’t expect our clients to do that for us either. We believe that the risk associated with a project should fall on us, and not on the client. We’re the ones who are claiming to be the experts, and we’ll demonstrate our commitment to this by offering fixed price contracts.
Our approach is this: we start with a free consultation; we will then provide an estimate of the time and cost of a project. If this is in line with the customer’s expectations, we will then develop a prototype of the proposed application, which will the give the customer a better understanding of our proposal. If the customer approves the prototype, we then provide a formal quote for cost and time, which the customer is free to accept or not. If customer decides not to proceed, then there is no charge.
We never skimp on documentation. We document all our applications thoroughly, treating documentation as much as deliverable as the application itself. We believe that the attention and care that a company pays to its documentation is indicative of the attention and care it pays to all aspects of its business.
The main purpose of documentation is functional, that is, to allow users to understand what options they have, and how to achieve their goals efficiently. Using ‘task-based’ documentation, we guide the users through the steps required to achieve a specific goal. We always attempt to tailor the documentation for the intended audience; if the application is for internal use by, for example, the client’s staff, then the documentation can be more succinct; if the target audience is members of the public, then the documentation is more verbose.
Post release and aftercare
We aim to provide support agreements that are tailored to each client’s unique requirements, thus ensuring that the client’s application continues to meet the client’s current and future business needs. We’re happy to discuss with the client any enhancements or new functionality that may be required to support the client’s changing business requirements.
All clients have a dedicated manager who will be their single point of contact; it is the manager’s responsibility to ensure that issues are dealt with promptly and satisfactorily, not the client’s. We undertake to promptly fix software bugs and other issues, for example, performance. We assist with troubleshooting of software malfunctions, installation and deployment, and other procedures.