Forget about fixed price projects. Here’s why: Making software has a notorious reputation. You’ve seen this before: Buggy software, resulting in late delivery, leading to unhappy customers, creating more pressure on all sides, leading to more buggy software… Sounds familiar?
The usual remedy: Define the scope, budget and time, so everyone knows what the customer expects and by when. Miss this date, and you’re in trouble.
Does that fix the problem? Hell no. Why? Working in a fixed model creates a double-sided risk: If the project extends beyond the planned budget or time, the supplier hits the risk. If the project ends early, the client hits the risk, having paid more than they got for value for. Since the supplier will never take a losing project, a buffer is always added. Big buffer. Big, as in overpriced projects, but with the pressure that leads to bugs and all the vicious cycle mentioned above. In the end the client lost twice: Once for the overpriced project. Secondly, because the project is late, everyone is under pressure, leading to cutting corners and hey presto, there goes quality out of the window.
Say hi to no more bugs. Sorry bugs, we work differently. Here’s how we want to break the habit of late surprises of the kind the client doesn’t like: From early on we show the client real outcomes. How early? Two-four weeks is a typical first review. Thereafter, every 1-2 weeks we’ll show you additional increments of progress. No Power-Point presentations, no documented promises – we mean real working software. Not what you wanted to see? We’ll get it right in the next iteration. Changed your mind? No worries, in the next iteration we’ll change it for you. Want to try another way? Let’s experiment it in the next iteration. The beauty is that the iterations are small and if something isn’t the way you wanted it – it’s easy to fix.
Heck, we believe in this model so much, that we’re sure we can deliver quicker than you expect. How sure? So sure that you can stop the project at any time – you get value early, and we take a small reward from the remaining commitment. Typically 20% of what’s left. We didn’t make this model up. You can read more about it here.