Our process starts the moment you pick up the phone and call our office or send us your first communication. We are here to guide you every step of the way. We will ask you some very important questions about your current project. We will most likely ask to see a project specification document or RFP (Request For Proposal). If you don't have a project specification, we may be willing to work with you to create one.
Based on your project specification we will build an initial proposal that outlines what services we can provide for you. We will include cost projections, production calendar, etc. Our proposal will also include any questions related to your project that we do not currently have answers for. These remaining questions will be addressed during our discovery phase.
Please note that we are not able to submit proposals to every RFP we receive. We will closely evaluate every RFP that we receive to determine if the project is a good fit for our team as well as our current production schedule. We will always let you know if we intend to submit a proposal for your project. We will also let you know if we are not able to submit a proposal for your project and the reasons why.
Once we mutually agree to work together on a project, there will be some very simple paperwork to complete before we can get to work. This normally will include signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) that will insure that your project information and idea is never shared outside of our team. We want you to know that your valued information is safe with us.
Depending on the project, we may draft an initial statement of work that outlines our service rates and operates as a legal agreement until a full project contract can be drafted.
During the discovery phase we will learn everything we need to know to fully understand your project and the requirements involved to complete all tasks. We will listen carefully to what you are asking of us and respond with plenty of questions for clarification. We will determine any challenges that will need to be overcome in order to successfully complete your project.
During this phase we will also verify all assumptions made during the proposal writing process. If further investigation or conversations highlight features, tools, data structures or other elements that were not included in the initial RFP, and not included in the original estimated budget, these items can be added into the final project budget prior to submitting a project contract.
It is common to have changes implemented during the discovery phase. The more we know, the better we can outline exactly what needs to be built. By the end of the discovery phase, we should have a complete understanding of the project and be able to submit an accurate time and cost budget for approval.
Based on the initial project specification and backed up by our discovery process, we will provide you with a contract agreement. Contract agreements are normally written on a project basis, however in some instances we will work on a modified initial agreement that allows for continued work at an hourly rate.
During the design phase we will lay out everything we learned during the discovery phase. We will determine page layouts, navigation elements, data structures, server configurations, networking and more. You as a client will be guided through each of these elements to insure that you are seeing what you expected. There will be no last minute surprise reveals here. Every item will be presented, reviewed by you, and either accepted or sent back for revision.
You as a client should have a complete understanding of how things will look and act before anything is ever built.
Once the design decisions have been approved, we move onto the build phase. During this phase all the elements we imagined will begin to come to life. You will see elements start to fit together.
During the test phase, you will get your first real hands on with the end product. Tests are always closed environments. We check every element to make sure it stands true to our original specification. Bugs are found, verified, and resolved. Cross platform browser compatibility tests are performed. Anything not functioning as initially specified is reviewed and resolved.
Quality Assurance Phase (QA)
Once the test phase has been completed, we deem the project ready for QA testing. During this phase a small team of alpha testers will run through the project top to bottom to reveal any uncovered problems, cross platform compatibility issues, data issues or navigation problems. Each bug is submitted and tracked from start to finish. QA ends once both the production team and the client have determined the product is ready for release.
The site is released for closed beta testing to a small group of users. Beta is generally done by invite only and is not available to the general public. The project will operate for all intents and purposes as if it was in a fully released state. Error logs are carefully monitored and beta user feedback is welcome and reviewed.
When you and our production team collectively determine it is ready, we release the project to a full audience. We will scale up infrastructure to meet traffic demands as required. We will continue to carefully monitor all services, keeping a close eye out for large traffic spikes that come with news releases, article postings, etc.
Once a project enters into the maintenance phase, there are ongoing services that may be required. For example, users will submit bug reports and feature requests. The project typically will scale as the user base increases.
Future Development Cycle
Finally, a roadmap of future site development may be established. The cycle for the development of new features is often similar to that of new development. Discovery, Design, Build, Test, Release.