If you have ever sent a request to an outsourcing company, chances are you received a list of questions about your idea from the company’s project managers or sales representatives.
In this article, we’ll talk about the questions we ask our clients prior to creating the rough estimation. We’ll also touch upon the reasons why we ask each question (hint: it’s not because we are just being nosy. Neither they are the hoops we want you to jump through just for us to see you do it.)
1. WHAT KIND OF PROJECT DO YOU WANT?
Even if you don’t answer any of the following questions, this question – “What kind of project do you want?” – is the main one you need to answer if you want us to calculate the This is a general question about the project.
- Is it an app? (Native or cross-platform? Do you have a preference?)
- Is it a website? (Does it need an admin dashboard or is it a landing page?)
- Is it an integrated web and mobile system?
Tell us about your project – anything you consider important. Communication is key.
2. WHAT ARE THE BUSINESS GOALS AND PURPOSES OF THE APP?
The goal and the purpose of the mobile app or a web-based application is the key question that you need to know the answer to.
There are literally millions of apps available on the market and simply copying something that exists already isn’t a good idea. However, if you have come up with a new solution to an existing challenge, that’s great! That’s what we want to know – why did you decide to create an app or website? What do you expect it to do? How do you envision it reaching its goal?
Business goals also are an important part of understanding and building a software solution. For example, knowing that you would like to use this app or web application to increase your profits by 25% or clients by 10% will help us remain focused on reaching that goal. Otherwise, we might create a solution that will meet all the technical requirements but might not solve the original issue. We’ll “win the battle, but lose the war.”
The more precise your definition, the better and simpler will be for us to understand what’s required and what technologies we’ll need for those tasks. For example, “I want an app for restaurants” is quite broad and vague. However, when you talk about “An app where clients can see the restaurant’s menu, order food, and pay for it, as well as a backend system for administrators to manage the orders,” our PMs can already start envisioning the system’s architecture.
3. ARE THERE ANY EXAMPLES OF SIMILAR APPS OR SYSTEMS?
There are times when you use an app or a system and you think “Dang, everything’s great, except that one thing or one scenario. It would be perfect for a shopping app to have an option with a speech-to-text feature for the grocery lists. I need an app like that.”
If you tell us “Here’s a similar app I liked but I want it for another purpose,” this will also give us valuable information about the system architecture as well as what you want to see as the final product. We can reinvent the wheel, but at the same time, there’s no need to reinvent it just to change the tire pattern.
And if it’s a brand new idea the market hasn’t seen yet – well, great! Let’s do it!
4. DO YOU HAVE ANY PREFERENCE FOR THE TECHNOLOGIES?
If you have an existing system and you want additional modules for it, the solution should integrate with it seamlessly. If your system uses PHP, for example, we’ll need to make sure that everything works correctly (given the systems will work together.)
If you don’t have any preference and it’s a brand new project, then our PMs and developers can brainstorm on the best fitting solution that would suit your needs and use the strengths and experience of our team.
5. WHAT IS YOUR PROJECT DEADLINE?
Some sales representatives might tell you that it’s possible to create an app within two weeks. However, chances are that the app will not meet your requirements (except the deadline).
Therefore, it’s important to:
- Plan ahead and be realistic.
- Realize that good things take time (and no, we don’t just say that because we get paid per hour.)
Most of the time, you’ll need around 3 months for a good-quality MVP. However, based on your goals and plans, there is always a way out even when the deadlines are very tight.
For example, you need to pitch a project to your investor in two weeks? We won’t be able to have a product ready in that time, but we can create a prototype, which will show the advantages of the solution. Other things that can be done in a relatively short period of time are the project development plan, design, etc.
6. IS THIS A NEW PROJECT OR YOU HAVE AN MVP?
Do we need to start from scratch or do we need to rework the existing system? Counterintuitively, it’s often (not always) faster to create something from scratch than to dig through the legacy code in order to understand the project’s architecture.
A side question to this one is – do you need to create a standalone product or a module for the existing system? We mentioned this briefly in the question about the technologies, but it’s an important piece of information that will help us make decisions regarding the languages and databases used.
7. WHAT KIND OF BUDGET COULD WE EXPECT TO WORK WITH FOR THIS PROJECT?
Yes, we realize that oftentimes this question sounds too upfront. However, one of the reasons we ask is because having an idea about the projected budget for the system helps us to schedule the activities on the timeline, choose the technologies and integrations, and see what we can do for the MVP.
At HUSPI, we don’t work for stockholders’ equity in the project. It might be a good option for larger companies that are searching for startups to invest into and we’re steadily growing toward that goal. Nevertheless, at the present moment, this business model is not one of ours.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT QUESTIONS: INFOGRAPHIC
It might seem like we want a lot of information, but if you think about it – you probably have all the answers to the questions we’ve asked. Our final goal is to create such an application for you that will ultimately help your business grow and prosper. We love the success stories of our clients, especially when we have helped along the way.
Got all the answers? Let’s connect for a meeting.