The development stages of a custom software project involve various people. Depending on the project size, Vazkor Technologies will use a Project Manager, a Software Architect, and one or more programmers.
The client company also has various employees, some at the top of organizational
chart, other who are manager, and finally software end-users, who in turn, can be lower level employees, managers, or executives. Additionally, some software
projects are created for use by customers, which is often true in the case of web applications. All of these "project participants" will interact with one or more
other project participants to design, develop, implement, use, and support custom software.
Below is a work-flow chart that you can use as a reference for the information to follow:
The custom software project begins with a Vazkor Technologies Project Manager and the Client Decision Maker (CDS). The CDS is the staff member of the client company who can approve
financial expenditures and is in the position to approve the software project, sign the contract, and make sure invoices are paid. Often, the Project Manager, will kick around
some general ideas with the client or ask for clarification. If the client's need are urgent, the project manager will determine where the "bleeding" is happening
and prioritize work with the CDS accordingly. After one or more rounds of meetings/conversations with the CDS, the Project Manager will get to work. If it's
a small project, he will create a proposal with some general layouts and a breakdown of the estimated hours and present it to the CDS. Usually a programmer
or software architect doesn't factor into this scenario. For larger projects, the Project Manager will take all the specifications and paper work provided by the CDS's staffmembers,
and consult with his software architect and/or programmer. If the CDS requests that Vazkor Technologies create the specifications, then the Project Manager will interact with the CDS, his
managers, and in rare cases, even the client's end users. Also, with bigger projects, the Project Manager will consult with his architect and/or programmer(s) to create
While the custom software is being developed, the Project Manager will interact with the CDS or her managers at the client company. These meetings will include the following:
- The Project Manager will give the CDS or client managers status updates on the progress
- The Project Manager will demo key functionality
- The CDS or client managers will verify that the functionality created to date is working correctly
- The CDS or client managers will inform Vazkor Technologies of any necessary changes (minor changes are expected, but changes completely outside the specifications may cost extra, and the CDS will need to be involved).
Additionally, the Project Manager will constantly work with his programmer(s) to make sure the programmer understands each detail of the specifications. The Project Manager is the key Vazkor Technologies employee who has the "big
picture" understanding of the what the client needs, and it his job to make sure the programmer conforms to this.
Beta Testing & QA
One the custom software is near complete, the Project Manager will work with the CDS or her managers to set a target date for beginning Quality Assurance testing. Unless specified in the original contract, the
client is responsible for Quality Assurance testing (this can also be considered Acceptance Testing). Vazkor Technologies tests also software to a reasonable degree to confirm that the functionality is working when the software is used
in a typical fashion. However, it is near impossible for one individual to test all the possible usage-scenarios. The Project Manager can help the client managers come up with testing plans that should involve multiple end users putting in a
good deal of time "beating up" the software.
Once the software has had all the bugs "exercised" out, and the Beta Testing is completed, an implementation date is set. The Project Manager sticks close to the phone during this period, and will often be onsite. A line of communication is set up
between the client's customers (if this is a web application or other software used by the client's customers), the end-users, the managers, the CDS, the Project Manager, and his programmer(s). Every situation is different. A small project might involve
a single individual working directly with a programmer. A larger project will usually involve one manager who is in charge of working with the Project Manager. The manager will also work the end-users much in the same way the Project Manager interacts with the
programmers. End-users very rarely communicate directly with the Project Manager, and client's customers never interact with any member of Vazkor Technologies. Implementation is often a very busy time, and a solid chain of communication funneling through one
or two interpreting individuals is a key to success. The client manager can translate the needs of the end-users in a way that the Project Manager will understand, and the Project Manager can communicate with his programmers the needs of the manager, in a way
they will understand.
After the custom software "goes live" and is in use, the the lines of communication stay mostly the same. The manager or CDS will get reports in from the end users on problems or suggested changes, and will compile lists that are then communicated to the project manager.
After a certain free maintenance period for the software, services are billed on a hourly per-need basis. Changes outside of the original specs, however, are always billed on an hourly basis, or a separate flat fee proposal is created.
Many of Vazkor Technologies' clients have been with them for years, and we are here to fulfill any needs that you have. We will never allow you to feel helpless, and we will always be available to service you.