Long-term Partnership Around Advanced Business Solution Development – Proactivity Is the Key
The client is a big software vendor producing sophisticated enterprise solutions. The company consists of several geographically distributed departments all over the world developing and supporting a number of business software families.
The company works with Apriorit for almost 6 years.
One of the company’s department created an idea of a business-oriented product providing advanced migration of user profiles across the domain. The team received limited budget for this project.
Indoor development would require considerable research, as the team did not possess needed technology experience. Moreover, internal development rates would not fit the budget. It was decided to find an experienced outsourcing provider. Apriorit was recommended to the company by one of its partners because of the valid skill set and proven delivery process.
Scheme and Scope
Limited budget prompted a fixed price model. Nevertheless, the project scope was big, and approved estimates supposed five developers and two QA specialists working during ten months.
Apriorit experience proves that an optimal size of a fixed-price project does not exceed 2-3 man-months. Longer projects suppose higher risks that can be not so easy to manage. But in this case, the client insisted on the fixed price delivery model for the whole planned scope.
It was finally agreed to start the project with the fixed price corresponding to the initial effort estimation. To mitigate the missed deadline risk, the joint project team agreed to break the project into five iterations and review the scope at each one of them.
Cutting the Scope and Meeting Deadlines
The team started to work, interacting with the supervising development manager, business analyst, and technical writer at the client’s side. Part-time Apriorit project manager was in charge of this project.
The first iteration met the planned schedule and budget, but at the second iteration retrospective meeting, the Apriorit team reported about possible schedule and budget risks – the developed code base needed additional stabilization. Newly developed features impacted each other and put the quality level at risk.
The joint project board decided to cut the project scope to meet the deadlines and initial budget.
At the forth iteration, the situation repeated but it was critical for the client team not to cut the project scope any more. As the budget was limited, additional funding of the project was impossible.
At this stage, Apriorit management decided to take this risk to save the project – the team was augmented by additional resources to meet the deadlines at no additional charge for the client. Fixed price agreement terms were met.
The product alfa-version was delivered on time and presented to the client’s management board. As the project included all minimally required functions and demonstrated high quality and stability, the board gave the green light for the further development.
Initial Project Results
To bring the product to the market, the client continued working with Apriorit, forming a team of two developers to work during six months by the more financially beneficial dedicated scheme. As usual for the pure-developer teams, Apriorit provided a QA specialist working 80 hours per month with no additional cost for the client to make sure that delivered code had acceptable quality level. QA specialists at the client’s side performed comprehensive product testing.
In half of the year, the product was delivered to the market.
The level of skills and code quality, proactivity when deciding on project and technical tasks as well as flexibility of the Apriorit team made Apriorit a Preferred R&D Service Provider and opened the door to the collaboration with other company’s departments.
Backup System Improvements
One of the strongest Apriorit competence is driver development. After officially presenting its profile as the Preferred Provider, Apriorit received the estimation request from another company’s department, working on an advanced backup system for heterogeneous environments.
The assignment included file system drivers for Linux and Windows platforms, and Apriorit provided a dedicated two-developer team managed by a part-time project manager. The agreement was signed for one year with the prolongation option for the second year. As usual, Apriorit provided minimal QA work for this team as a bonus.
After a year with successfully met deadlines and estimations, the team received additional assignment for several solution installation tasks and added one more developer to the team. The bonus QA work was proportionally increased.
Because of a number of technical nuances and the need for proper integration with other solution parts, Apriorit also provided part-time business analyst to facilitate communication within the joint team and manage documentation.
The agreement with the augmented Apriorit team was prolonged for the next 2 years.
Integrating Business SaaS Platform
Another department of the company got in touch with Apriorit regarding the set of tasks around a business SaaS platform. The solution delivered integrated services from a number of popular cloud providers. Apriorit team was signed to expand the list of supported business services, including mobile application management and IaaS.
The dedicated team was formed of four developers and initially signed for the 10 months. A part-time QA specialist was also added free of charge to perform minimal testing on Apriorit side.
After a couple of months of work, Apriorit specialists performed technical analysis of the market and made some suggestions about the further integration list development. The client’s team appreciated Apriorit proactivity and accepted a lot of recommendations. Since that time Apriorit specialist continues to work on the road map with the project board.
Remote Access Solution
The next assignment came from the remote access solution department. Apriorit is experienced in various redirection technologies and this accumulated knowledge became the reason of choosing the Apriorit team.
A dedicated team was formed of three developers and one full-time QA specialist. Development team included a driver developer and two C++ developers specializing in network communication. The initial agreement was signed for one year and subsequently prolonged for the next year.
Besides big new features such as USB and media redirection, Apriorit team introduced a lot of performance optimization for both the developed components and general solution. Once again, the proactivity of Apriorit team helped a lot in building road maps and optimization plans.
The client works with Apriorit for more than 6 years. The client’s representatives make special mention of the considerable low-level programming skills of the Apriorit team, thorough attention to the quality of the delivered code whether QA services are quoted or not, and proactive and flexible collaboration.
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