All our development projects start with a User Requirements Document (URD) in which we state the scope of work that will be delivered under the terms of an associated contract. We try to be thorough in writing these documents. We consider user stories and journeys, as well as corner cases and boundaries, in order to define a solution we believe will provide the product you require.
We often meet with clients several times while creating a URD, as we hash out the minutiae of the project. It is by nature a dry technical document, but we try and use common language that makes the intent plain. We offer to sit with our clients and review each item in turn as many times as needed until we have a shared and documented understanding of what will be delivered.
The thing is though, no matter how many words you write or say, the scope will always have variance. If you’re on a Time and Materials contract, as discussed in the topic how much should I pay, then you’re likely already experienced with this and know it is to be expected, perhaps even desirable.
If you have a fixed price contract with us to deliver a project then we allow limited variance in the scope of work, at our discretion. If you want an extra column in a grid, then we’ll almost certainly add it, or we’ll change the wording of some text in an email, or the logo on a main screen. But if you have a fixed price contract, then you’ve opted for a fixed scope of work, and there are limits to how much we can change until we start documenting further change requests as requirements for the next stage of work. We always want the best for our clients and aren’t unreasonable in this, we just need to be clear that there are limits to how much extra we can reasonably be expected to do beyond the documented scope. There can still be misunderstandings. We’ll work with you to smooth these out, and focus on delivering the quality product you need.
Some of our competitors charge for meetings to gather requirements, or charge a fee to provide a quote. Dapper Apps provides these services without charge. We’ll sit with you and hear your idea, and meet with you again as many times as necessary (within reason) to scope out your project and document what we need to deliver.