Transparency is one of the most important values for the ARP Ideas team. We believe that is the key to build mutual trust between individual business partners.
Therefore, we decided to describe step-by-step how does the cooperation with ARP Ideas look like. From the moment of establishing contact and interview that allows us to thoroughly understand the client’s needs, through analysis, defining the terms and model of cooperation, starting cooperation, training the client’s employees and post-implementation support.
Of course, the whole process is flexible, and we always adjust it to the characteristics of individual partners.
1. Understanding the client’s needs
Usually, we start our cooperation with a meeting during which the client defines the problems that his company is facing and initially defines his needs. Of course, in the era of COVID-19, all meetings, presentations etc. are online.
Then we prepare a presentation during which we discuss the solution that we would ultimately implement, show what problems it will solve and what benefits it will bring. We tend to discuss it on specific examples taken from the processes of the client’s company and other companies in its industry.
We try to ensure that each department of the client’s company, which would ultimately be affected by the implementation of the proposed solution, has its representative at this stage. Thanks to this, the solution will have its ambassador who will help to build awareness of the benefits of its implementation among employees.
During both of the above stages, we share our experiences and inspirations. We try to suggest a few possible solution proposals in order to match the most adequate ones.
Depending on the client’s needs and awareness, we perform paid business or pre-implementation analysis.
It is recommended for implementations in Time and Material model. Mostly in medium, large and extensive projects. It identifies the main processes in the organization and shows the overall perspective and requirements.
It breaks down the processes into steps and describes the requirements and effects of each step. It is characterized by wide-range of possibilities of adjusting the scope and method of implementing functionalities based on the prepared document due to its flexibility.
It helps in determining the licensing and infrastructure requirements for the deployment and security roles. Also helps to prepare the architecture of the solution and possible integration between the systems. It allows us to learn about the needs of the organization relatively quickly and start implementation without the need to analyze all requirements comprehensively.
It allows comparing business requirements with the functions of the about to be implemented system and determines what modifications will be needed. It helps to estimate the required work-time to implement each functionality at a level that allows deciding on the final method of their implementation.
Very precise and comprehensive requirements analysis. It is recommended for implementations settled in the Fixed Price model and small and medium-sized projects. It defines the system requirements down to the interface level, individual fields, forms and steps as well as actions that users will take in the system.
It allows defining the method and architecture of integration models precisely. Systematizes what data, in what form, how, and in what frequency will be transferred between systems.
It requires a complete document covering the entire implementation area and all integrations. The document must be approved by the client, as it is the basis for the valuation, acceptance of each stage and the project settlement. It is much more time-consuming than business analysis but enables a precise evaluation of the implementation.
Any changes to the requirements specified in the received document affect many aspects of the project, primarily its work-time and budget. It precisely defines the number and type of licenses as well as the security role of individual users, as well as comprehensive scopes of individual security roles.
3. Defining the model of cooperation and settlements
The next step is to choose the model of cooperation and project settlement. We describe them below.
Models of cooperation
Offer for the entire project
We propose an offer for the implementation of the entire project. After its approval, to increase efficiency, we ask the client to appoint a person responsible for supervising the project and to cooperate with our team that deals with the implementation. In this model, ARP Ideas is the main driving force of the project.
Team or specialist
The client receives a person with the skills necessary to carry out the tasks assigned by the client, regardless of whether he needs a programmer, consultant or a whole team of experts, fluent in a given technology. At each stage of the project, the client can scale their engagement up and down.
We provide the client with one of our technical leaders who can lead the project, our or client’s team or even coordinate an implementation led by another Microsoft partner.
Depending on the project and the client’s choice, we work in one of the settlement models: Fixed Budget or Time and Material.
Time and Material
Time and Material is a project settlement method in which we start working on a project after a paid business analysis. This model implies greater freedom and flexibility of work. The client can change the scope of work and priorities at any time during the project. It is possible to add new or drop individual implementation modules.
Detailed system design and work planning are divided into smaller stages, e.g. before we start working on the next module or functionality. Settlements are made every month, based on the actual working time, which is recorded during the project implementation.
It is possible to start cooperation with workshops in the Fixed Price model, which allows a better understanding of the client’s needs, thoroughly examine and analyze the current situation, and design and implement the first solutions. In this case, a transition to the Time and Material model takes place at the next stage of cooperation.
Fixed Price is a project settlement method in which we start working on the project after a paid business, and pre-implementation analysis in the client’s company is carried out.
After the analysis, we prepare a detailed scope of work. On its basis, we define the time and budget necessary to complete the project in order to finally prepare an accurate work schedule. In this settlement model, billing takes place after the completion of work on individual functionalities or the entire project.
We recommend this model of settlement for smaller projects, in which the preparation of a precise specification requires a relatively low amount of work, and the project is burdened with low risk related to possible changes or external factors.
Would you like to know more about Fixed Budget and Time and Material? Click HERE to read our article.
4. Beginning of cooperation and implementation
We base our collaboration on the transparency of procedures, full communication, regular monitoring and sharing of progress during the project implementation.
We plan our work according to the milestones and each functionality. After completing a given fragment of the solution we are working on – we share it with client and conduct tests together, collect feedback and introduce improvements. We keep verifying quality on an ongoing basis and correct any possible errors. As a result, we implement solutions quicker while maintaining high quality.
We systematically provide new functionalities and strive to ensure that the client can start using individual elements of the solution as soon as possible, rather than having to wait for the full completion of the project.
5. We train the client’s employees
After completing the implementation of the solution, the client appoints his employees for whom we conduct training sessions during which we teach them how to use the system effectively.
In addition to learning the basic principles of software functioning, we also focus on training based on solving real problems that affect employees on everyday basis, and which will be solved thanks to the implementation of the project.
6. Post-implementation support
We also support our clients after the implementation is completed, on terms individually agreed with a given company.
How it might look like?
Usually, as part of a support agreement, we provide the client with an individual e-mail. We set the scope of support availability hours and together with the client define response times to the support requests. We also appoint a team that deals with the requests and directs them to the appropriate specialists.
We regularly collect comments and ideas for further system improvements and set the monthly number of development hours. Within these hours, we implement further solutions and functionalities with out additional cost. Of course, if the preset amount of development hours is not exceeded.
In addition, we provide automatic monitoring of services which allows to observe the client’s systems and take action when the performance of the servers decreases, before they are entirely unavailable. Performance control also enables easier identification of problematic areas and optimization of the environment and code.