Client Engagement Process
This section contains a high-level description of the process used by Hashe for engagements with clients. Hashe Computer Solutions uses this engagement process for a variety of service offerings including:
- Strategic Planning
- Project Planning
- Software Development / Implementation
- Ongoing Support & Maintenance
- Feasibility Study
- RFP Creation
- Due Diligence
- Security Assessment for Applications & Infrastructure
- Offshore Staffing & Outsourcing
It also explains the rationale for how the process is designed and describes how clients are involved in and experience the process.
A Preliminary Estimate is produced very early in the planning process for each engagement. This activity provides Hashe with the opportunity to gain a high-level understanding of the objectives for the engagement. The Preliminary Estimate provides the client with a rough estimate of the cost and schedule for the engagement.
The next step in the engagement process is the creation of a more detailed plan for performing those tasks required to complete the engagement. A detailed Engagement Plan will describe the goals, responsibilities, schedule, and cost for the engagement as well as the work products that Hashe will deliver during the engagement. Hashe will create this document by working with the client to ensure that all parties thoroughly understand and agree upon the objectives of the engagement. The plan will become the contract Supplement for the engagement.
Project Management discipline is critical to the success of each engagement. Hashe will use standard project management methods to ensure that the engagement follows the Engagement Plan and delivers work products to clients as defined in the plan. Hashe’s project management methodology can accommodate the inevitable need for change that occurs with all engagements while minimizing the impact of each change.
The client is actively involved throughout all engagements. Clients provide the information and guidance Hashe needs to be sure that it delivers what the client needs. Clients are also involved to ensure that they are kept current on the status of each engagement as it moves to completion.
Maturing a Prospect/Lead
During this phase, we furnish the requests of the client about Hashe Computer Solutions. To show our maturity level and abilities, generally, we set up our clients with:
- Corporate Profile
- Resumes/Profiles of key resources
Besides this, all queries originated from the client are addressed during this phase.
The Preliminary Estimate contains a high-level overview of the objectives for the engagement as well as rough estimates for the cost of the engagement and the schedule for delivery. This includes a list of the risks, assumptions, and constraints that may apply to the cost and schedule estimates. Preliminary Estimate is based on the client’s input and Hashe’s experience and research. Hashe will work with the client to quickly obtain a high-level understanding of the engagement and produce the Preliminary Estimate based on client input and Hashe’s experience and research. The Preliminary Estimate is a valuable tool for ensuring that the initiative is aligned with the strategic objectives of the company and for setting realistic expectations for the endeavor.
Explore Possibilities, Set Expectations
“The Preliminary Estimate is an excellent tool for the client to explore the possibility of using Hashe for the initiative without making a significant investment or commitment.”
The Preliminary Estimate is an excellent tool for the client to explore the possibility of using Hashe for the initiative without making a significant investment or commitment. The client needs only commit to a brief meeting with Hashe staff to provide the information and guidance Hashe needs to understand the objectives of the engagement. This meeting typically is best conducted in person and typically lasts one or two hours.
Hashe will draw upon its experience with similar initiatives and some rapid research to produce the Preliminary Estimate. The Preliminary Estimate is usually delivered to the client within two business days of the meeting. This process provides quick feedback to the client regarding the project.
The information contained in the Preliminary Estimate can be very valuable in properly setting expectations for all project stakeholders on what the engagement will require. Realistic expectations are critical in obtaining a commitment from executive management as well as all stakeholders within the client’s organization. Commitment to the program from the very beginning is a critical success factor for all IT initiatives. The only way to obtain this commitment is to properly set expectations before any significant efforts begin.
Low Cost, Low Risk, Quick Results
“This in itself is a valuable service that Hashe provides to its clients in that it can help avoid IT initiatives that are destined to fail from the outset.”
The Preliminary Estimate does not commit either the client or Hashe to any further involvement in the engagement. If the client is not interested in moving forward with the engagement, no further activity takes place. In such cases, the Preliminary Estimate may very well save the client a great deal of time and money by identifying the project as one that is not practical or cannot be achieved within the available budget or required time frame. This in itself is a valuable service that Hashe provides to its clients in that it can help avoid IT initiatives that are destined to fail from the outset.
If the client does decide to move forward with the engagement, the Preliminary Estimate provides the basis for the detailed engagement planning exercise that follows as the next step in the process.
The process of creating the estimate is fast and does not require extensive effort on the part of Hashe or the client. In keeping to be a low-cost, quick-results tool for exploring a possible engagement, Hashe can create a Preliminary Estimate without requiring a complex legal agreement between the client and Hashe. The ability to create a Preliminary Estimate without extensive contract negotiations further helps reduce the elapsed time required to complete this task.
“1 Man Day = 8 Man Hours”
Hashe Computer Solutions charge on per hour basis against the estimations. All of our estimations are done in man-days. Man hours contributed by Project Managers, Software Developers, Testers, and Graphics designers and content authors are included in the bill separately. Once these charges are finalized with the client, they are included in the Service Contract.
The payment schedule varies differently from project to project. However, generally, we like our clients to pay 25% of the total payment in advance, 25% of the total payment at the time of deployment on our staging servers and the remaining amount when an application is ready for deployment.
In case of lengthy projects, after payment of an advance, we divide the remaining amount on the number of months and we like our clients to pay that particular amount monthly in advance.
A service contract is signed with the client. This service contract contains clauses protecting the interest of both parties. We have our standard contracts in our documents database that can be tailored to meet the requirements. However, document contents can be provided by the client as well.
Proof of Concept (Pilot Project Development)
“A pilot project serves as an advance or experimental version or sample of an operation”
Under certain circumstances, it is feasible to develop a working proof of concept (a pilot project). This can help to conduct studies on how existing stakeholders will react and can also help in conducting studies and assessing the overall impact when an application is deployed. This can also help us exhibiting our grip on technology and business understanding, hence winning client confidence.