After a meeting to go through the "nitty-gritty" of the system, we will put together a detailed functional specification. This is probably the most important part of the project, and a stage that will involve much of your time as well as ours.
The document will detail all the required features and how these will fit together. Typically this will go through two or three drafts until the final specification is signed off by you. The document is vitally important, as it ensures any misunderstandings are caught at an early stage. The document is used by our development team as "the bible" in terms of what they should be building, and is also your guarantee that everything you have asked for will be in the system. It also forms part of the technical documentation which is important for the ongoing maintenance and support of the application. Once the specification is signed off we will then agree a project plan for the different stages and releases so both parties are clear of key dates and what their time commitments will be. Development can then begin.
During the development process you will receive various ALPHA releases (the number of releases would depend on the size of the project) so you can see progress, and also conduct some early testing. Although ALPHA versions won't be fully bug tested at that stage, it allows you to test the functionality to ensure everything is coming together as you require. As well as ALPHA releases we will also keep you informed of progress via status reports from your Project Manager through our Solution Management Portal, which can also be used by you to log any issues you have come across as a result of your testing.
The BETA version will be released near the end of the development process. This release will have all the functionality built in, and be fully tested by Hero. At this stage it is now ready to allow end-users to begin to test it in earnest, run parallel tests with existing systems, and to ensure there are no bugs that have slipped through the net. Again, issues can be logged by you on our portal, and you can track the progress as these are worked on.
After BETA testing a final release will be prepared, and when you are completely satisfied with the system then it can go live. At this point the project will be signed off, and then all the technical documentation and source code will be prepared and made available to you.
Project completion is not the end of the process as far as we are concerned. We offer a range of support contracts once the project is complete should you wish to take one.