Normally for a project that is either being scoped as custom or requires integration, a website development company needs to invest some time into making sure the project and work required is well understood before proceeding to offer a formal quote. We have learned through our experience that bypassing this step is detrimental to the success of the project. We’re looking at this from the client’s perspective and from our own. It helps us to know exactly what we’re committing to and the client also will have a clearer picture of what we’re building so there are no surprises.
Other companies may provide a ballpark figure or estimate based on past integrations they have done but the risk factor in that type of an estimate is very large, and usually results in a strained client/vendor relationship because of additional charges that come up when assumptions are proven incorrect. We prefer to quote based on requirements, not assumptions, and we take the necessary steps to ensure that all possible requirements are documented clearly and understood – this method has proven to work each and every time.
Typically, there are a number of questions especially with the integration part being related to the eCommerce and how that will relate to one another especially with the information being dynamic and transactions dependent upon this information. Some samples of questions related to integration are:
- What is the nature of the data?
- In what format can the data be provided?
- Ensure data maps directly to destination or platform?
- Within the data set, which items are updated and why?
- Is the data constant, or are there additions and deletions?
- How should destination handle additions and deletions?
- How should destination handle exceptions?
- What monitoring or notification needs to be in place?
There are a number of other questions that we usually encounter when diving into this a little further. For us at the preliminary stage of scoping, the analysis may reveal that more things to consider or that the work is straightforward. One thing guaranteed is that there will definitely be a more accurate proposal.