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    How to write a good brief for a software house?

    3 minutes read

    "Good day, I would like to create a system - a mobile application or a web application that will be a simple offer configurator. How much can it cost and what time can you produce such a system for me?"

    You know you need two things: a system and a budget. You find a software house on Google and approach them with a request for proposal. In today's article, we will answer you why you should have a brief prepared before you start your search to determine the initial budget and feasibility of your idea.

    What is a brief?

    It is a document prepared by the client, which should contain information about the company and the project.

    Well prepared brief should consist of several points:

    • Describing the idea - main goals, users description, initial information about the group of recipients and functions that the application is supposed to perform
    • Short description of the project - why you decided to create this project, what benefits it is expected to bring, and whether it is expected to be a long-term project. In the description you should also include key information such as programming languages, if you have selected specific ones, what is the expected traffic on the site and whether the pricing is to include maintenance (patches, updates).
    • Budget and delivery time - often you are not able to specify a concrete budget, then it is worth to give at least a range in which you want to fit. Another important point are the deadlines you need to meet - time for subcontractor selection, time for testing and publication
    • Partner selection criteria - often already at the stage of companies to present an offer you choose companies according to the criteria you have previously established. It's a good idea to include these in the brief as well, so that the offer can be tailored to you as much as possible.
    • Examples of similar solutions - if your idea is inspired by products that already exist on the market it's worth pointing them out here in the form of their names, or direct links. Direct references can also shorten the time to prepare a preliminary budget. 
    • Contact information - if you already know who on your side of the organization will be responsible for the project and will have the knowledge to answer any questions it is worth indicating it here.

    A well-prepared brief need not be 40 pages of detailed description. For all smaller projects, documentation of up to 5 pages should be quite sufficient. 

    What are the most common mistakes clients make when creating a brief? 

    Many companies do not want to specify a project budget, waiting for the other party to propose. This is not a good approach because once the software house knows the budget it tries to match the client's expectations to the reality of what is to be created, thanks to which it is always able to prepare an adequate proposal for the client. What is also important, it often happens that companies flood vendors with large specifications asking for a quote. In these types of cases, knowing the customer's budget often verifies whether it's worth approaching a quote, or whether we see that the system has no chance of even coming close to budget. 

    Another common mistake is inaccurately preparing key information for a project. A seemingly simple project usually consists of several components - admin panel, client panel or mobile application. At the stage of considering the functionality it is important to think about what is most important and should form the basis of the application. 

    What should you pay attention to when creating a brief for a software house?

    The brief for the software house should be prepared in such a way that the company is able to determine whether it is able to undertake a given project. A well prepared brief will save not only a lot of time but also disappointment. 

    What is important, you can supplement the brief also with a graphic design or mock-ups of the application - these types of elements will allow you to estimate the budget more accurately already at the stage of preliminary budgeting. 

    What's next when you decide to work with your chosen software company? 

    Here are some suggestions that often work well for our company:

    • Workshops on Product Design: https://it-solve.pl/uslugi-programistyczne/product-design/if necessary, which will allow you to plan your product backlog as well as prioritize it appropriately. 
    • Planning the project infrastructure - configuring servers or developer workstations. Assigning necessary accesses.
    • Schedule sprints for the next two weeks that will deliver the first visible pieces of software.  

    A good project is always closely related to good task, budget and risk management. At it-solve software house we know how to deliver value to the customer in the form of software, so don't wait and contact us today!

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