Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 / by Excel Expert
Hiring a software consulting firm can be one of the smartest investments a company can make. You’ll not only get the benefit of expertise and knowledge, but you’ll be able to work with the company to develop solutions to fit your needs. Working with an IT consulting firm like eSoftware can be rewarding.
Most software developers follow the same process, which begins with gathering requirements. It doesn’t matter if you know exactly what you want, or have a nebulous idea. A good consulting firm will guide you through the process from start to finish, and should provide you with a roadmap of how to get there.
Prior to meeting with your software consulting firm, you should have a pretty clear understanding of your business problem. Is there a process you’d like automated? Do you need a handle on your content? Drowning under version control?
More than likely, what you thought you wanted isn’t what you really needed—or what might have seemed simple is actually a complex code. When working with a product like SharePoint or Excel, which has its own quirks and rules, sometimes it takes a little extra effort to make the “simple” things possible. Your job as the client is to weigh the requirement with the priorities. If it’s absolutely necessary for the button to blink green, or the font to be Sans Serif, that may come with additional costs of development.
Generally speaking, there may be a few different ways to solve your problem. There could be a simple solution that gives you 80% of your requirements. There could be a complex solution that is coded from scratch with 100% of what you’re looking for. Or maybe the solution is a training problem, where users need to be educated on which button to click where.
While your development team should test their solution thoroughly, it’s also a good idea for you, the client, to take your best shot at it. Your users won’t have the benefit of knowing what will and won’t work, so take note of any place in the solution that may need some user interface improvements.
Many software deployments fail because the clients don’t take time for training. The investment either doesn’t get used by the staff at all, or it doesn’t meet the initial requirements because users don’t understand the full functionality. Therefore, it’s imperative that clients spent a portion of their investment on training their staff.
When working with a technology consulting firm, clients can expect to have lots of meetings and have discussions about the color of buttons. But when the client-developer partnership works, it can result in increased profits, happier workers, and a more efficient business.
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