Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions and answers relating to Spot On Software and our services. Click the + button to view the answers and use the filters below to shorten the list. Please Contact Us if you have any further queries.
What’s involved in Custom Development?
The path of custom software development is often taken when off-the-shelf software does not fit requirements. It involves several stages and utilises both logical and creative processes. A summary of our usual custom development path is as follows:-
- Initial Contact
- We get together to see what problem you are trying to solve and how we can help. We will gauge whether we can use one of our existing solutions as a template otherwise we look at building a new project. (We have several solutions, including CRM’s which often work well as a foundation. We usually do not charge for this initial meeting however we will endeavour to give you a ‘ball-park’ estimate via email after this meeting.
- Gathering Requirements
- Here is where you tell us exactly what you want. For smaller projects, this may be a s simple as you providing us with some of your existing forms and an overview of the functions required. (2-4 hrs). For larger projects, we we may suggest going through a formal ‘Specification’ phase whereby we sit with your people and document the requirements in a more formal manner (usually 1-2 days).
- Once we have the requirements our developers will work through how any new functions will be designed.
- Development (Phase 1)
- We start programming new work or make changes to existing functions (if using a template)
- Ongoing Support
How do you charge for custom development work?
How we quote is often dependent on the client and the project size.
Typical Small Business Projects
Small business operators are usually very time-poor, so spending lots of time documenting what needs to be done often isn’t practical and it’s often faster working in an ‘agile’ or phased development cycle: Develop (Phase 1) > Test and Refine > Use it > Next Phase or Function.
We will endeavour to give you a fixed price for work that has been specified well (ie. we both know what’s required and how it’s going to be solved). In areas where we don’t know what’s involved such as data migration or integrations, work will be billed on a ‘do-and-charge’ basis. We also have pre-paid hourly packs whereby the hourly rate is discounted by volume. i.e.: 20, 40 or 60 hr packages.
For Corporate clients or large projects
Corporate level procurement processes normally dictate fixed-price activities. In order for us to establish a fixed price we need to ensure that we are also have a fixed specification so we know exactly what we are quoting on. Depending on the project size, this could involve the following activities:- Business Case consulting work; Specifications and Design, Development, Deployment, Data Migration, Training, User Manuals and Monthly Support and Maintenance.
Please contact us for a Rate Card.
How can I save money during this process ?
As with most professional services, any non fixed-price work will be billed on a ‘do-and-charge’ basis. There are a number of key areas where cost savings can be made if you are well prepared.
Appoint a Project Manager
For us, having a single point of contact to work with speeds things up enormously. Ideally this person would be across the needs of your requirements and can speak on behalf of your users and is able to make budget and functionality decisions quickly. Things can often get lost in translation if we have to deal with multiple people on the same task!
A good brief works well! We work in a visual environment and we are all busy, so screen shots, existing forms with changes outlined clearly work fine with us.
Group Support Issues
When tabling new enhancements or issues to resolve, it’s often a good idea to group them into logical areas. This means our developers can stay on a ‘thread’ which is faster than jumping around on disjointed tasks.
Tips for a successful project
Tips for a successful project
If you are new to custom development, here are a couple of tips which will help make for a successful project:
- Be clear about what you want. What problem are you trying solve? Grab a word processor or outlining tool and start fleshing out or brain storming your requirements. Use bullet points to start, gather your existing forms, talk to other users.
- If you are too busy, appoint a Project Manager to work with us. Ideally your project manager will have a very good handle on the objectives and authority to approve any small changes during the development. A single, highly-skilled, locally-based contact speeds up development time.
- Managing expectations. Both parties need to know in advance what’s expected from each other. Custom development projects are usually one-off projects using highly skilled locally based consultants and software development personnel. The design work is a creative process and making software easy to use takes time.
- Reduce Risk. Let’s face it, we’ve all heard stories of failed software projects. If you have big plans, try breaking it down into smaller phases.