When you're doing a web project, the customer often wants to have a fixed price. Tom Lazar now prefers to have
To quote Tom: The key point here – and my lesson to take home – is to communicate this approach to the client from the start. As a developer you not only have to manage ressources and time but – perhaps first and foremost – expectations – i.e. tell the client clearly that the "1.0" will be a "rough diamond" – valuable but not necessarily pretty, yet.
Hm. Those four stages don't sound so great to me, at least compared to what I saw till now at Zest software, where I work. We've practically tried to abolish fixed price contracts as they - in our experience - tend to be a source of frustration. Many clients have wishes that they consider part of the contract when we think they're late additions or change requests. With fixed price contracts, the risk is at the programmer.
Tom's solution has two stages in there, which looks like it takes care of some of the issues.
But a customer doesn't like it when we would present them with a choice between "fixed price is our estimate plus 30% safety margin" and "pay per hour". Our solution is to use extreme programming and, Tom is very right about that, explain it to the customer. Our proposition with it is basically:
It probably depends on your clients. Can they look at early revisions of the website without panicking? Tom warns: *most clients find it hard to provide specific and valuable feedback on beta stages of a site. I found that I’m doing nobody a favor when submitting half-finished inbetween-versions of a product for customer review*. We've been blessed with good customers till now. But the latest projects have all been multi-month projects and in my opinion you can't just code away for 3 months without intermediary feedback. It all depends :-)
My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.
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