- How much does it cost?
It's always good to come straight to the point. But, of course, the cost depends on the several factors: what the application does, how long it takes to develop, and how complicated it is. To illustrate, an application that processes financial information must be completely secure to prevent error or fraud. The last thing you want is someone’s funds to go astray. Similarly, an application that processes medical data needs to be both secure and safe, to avoid a breach of privacy or causing someone harm. However, if the application, say, allows members of staff to book a room or other office facility, then the security and safety factors are much reduced, and the application is therefore much quicker to develop and cheaper.
To give you an idea, work that we have done has ranged from £1,000 for small, “in-house” applications to over £500,000 for more complex, public-facing applications.
- What is your development process?
We start with a project initiation. This means we listen. You tell us what your business goals are, what you want to achieve, and what the ideal end-state is. We ask you what your current infrastructure is, and get an idea of the challenges you’re facing. Between us, we then agree on the best approach to realising your goals.
Next comes formal requirements gathering. Here we set out the details of what the application will do, its performance and security requirements, its features, and identify any other constraints that may apply. We prioritise the requirements into must have, would like to have, and won’t have categories.
We will then begin developing your software application using the agile methodology, here we focus on communication and collaboration, with frequent (preferably daily) releases so that the customer can actively collaborate in the development process. Customer collaboration is essential to the success of a project.
Once completed, the application will be delivered and installed, performing any migration that is required. Any training required will be provided.
Finally, we have on-going support. Overwhelmingly, applications do need to be enhanced and refined after delivery. In fact, it is a hallmark of a successful project that they require enhancements, because a successful project is well-used, and using an application often reveals enhancements, or other uses for the application, that were not obvious at the start of the project.
- Do you offer fixed price contracts?
Yes. We believe that the risks of the contract should fall on the supplier, not on the customer. We’re the ones who are holding ourselves out to be the experts. This means that, after having studied your project brief, and having agreed a design with you, we will then give you a firm budget and timescale for the project which we commit to, which you may accept or reject.
It’s too easy for a supplier to hide behind vague estimates, which always only seem to rise. With our approach, there are no nasty surprises for the customer and no hidden costs. The price that you agree to is the price that you pay.
- What experience do you have?
Calandra Lark was founded in 2013 working primarily for NHS clients. Since then, we have worked with and completed projects in a wide range of industries, including library automation, commercial and retail banking, the travel industry, Local Government and education. Recently, we have concentrated more on iOS Mobile apps, and OSX apps, but convert to Android or Windows as our customers require.
- How do I get started?
As a first step in the process, please contact us and we can talk through your project with you to agree what would be a good solution for you. This can take place either at your workplace or ours. At this point we’ll aim to provide an indication of the project timescales and budget so that you are quickly in a position to decide the best path ahead.
- What support or training do you offer?
All our applications contain task-oriented help facilities, that are thoroughly tested with novice users. We also provide extensive web-based and printed manuals. Depending on the complexity of the application, we can also provide onsite training.
Our goal is to involve the customer as much as we can throughout the development process. This means that, usually, many members of the customer’s staff will have seen and used the application before delivery.
Only the simplest software is bug-free, and even the most thoroughly tested software can contain faults. Where faults do occur, our policy is not to deny it or pretend that it is “user error”; rather we want to take responsibility for the fault and fix it to the client’s satisfaction as a priority.