How we estimate the cost of an IT project
How we estimate the cost of an IT project
In Poland people often jokingly ask: ‘how much does it cost and why it is so expensive?’ In this era of ready-made platforms, creating systems from scratch seems redundant. However, you have to ask yourself two questions:
1. Are you sure that websites created using ready-made platforms are a good choice?
2. Do you think that cheap always means good?
In this post, we will explore all the issues related to the cost estimation of an IT project from the perspective of a Business Executive as well as Frequently Asked Questions..
It all starts with ...
Actually…. with what? Does a project start with a quote, an idea, a specification? In fact, everything starts with a conversation. It could be a phone call or an e-mail exchange, in which we try to extract the most important information related to a given project. In an ideal world, we receive a full specification from the customer, with described functionalities, selected technology, target audience and an unlimited budget. To make it even more ideal, the client has a server on which we can freely operate. Honestly - it is a bit like snow at Christmas in Poland nowadays - everyone knows we should have it but we hardly ever see it.
What we need for it
As seen above - the ideal situation when we know everything about the needs of a client - happens very rarely. Therefore, we usually do not operate with the exact cost estimation of a project, but within the price range. This allows us to maintain flexibility in the budget, because we cannot predict everything while working on a project. It often happens that the client, seeing the first outlines of his project, decides to change something or to go in a different direction.
Below, I present the minimum amount of information that we need to estimate cost:
- what is the project budget?
- when should the project be ready?
- what exactly do you need (website, system, mobile application)?
- do you have a project specification?
- do you need workshops that will help shape your vision?
- will your design be unique or do you prefer to use a ready-made design?
- do you want to choose a ready-made product or a dedicated project?
- do you have the right server?
- do you have a programmer / a team of programmers for support?
Who we engage in cost estimation
In the process of the cost estimation of a project, we involve people who, in our opinion and in accordance with our experience, will be necessary not only for the cost estimation of the project, but will also be involved in its implementation. Therefore, if your project requires, for example, a design, we will certainly involve a UX designer, a graphic designer and a front-end developer in the valuation. If the project requires us to work with a back-end programmer, then of course the project will be estimated by the back-end developer. At WebMakers, we work in such a way that the people who evaluate the project, are involved with working with the client later on.
Why we are inquisitive
Our clients sometimes may have the impression that we are like police investigators and instead of starting work, we constantly ask for details. Of course, we do it for a very specific reason: - we want to take care of your psychological comfort, especially when it comes to such sensitive issues as the budget and deadline. Therefore, if you are a client whose vision is not fully specified, expect that we will ask for details so that we can estimate the cost and plan the schedule as precisely as possible. There is a significant problem on the market with underestimating these two issues, so we try to prepare the cost estimation in such a way that it contains as much accurate data as possible. It often happens that cost estimation received from different companies differ significantly, so it is worth consulting on what the given contractor included.. The differences in the cost often result from the fact that each of them assumed something completely different.
What comes next
When we collect all the required information from you and receive quotes from individual developers, then we can pre-determine how much time and money your project will require. Remember that such an estimation is preliminary and cannot be treated as the final amount - a lot can happen in the project, but we adhere to the principle that communication is paramount, so we always inform the client about the progress of the project.