Pre-implementation analysis is one of the key ingredients that take a project from merely functional to truly exceptional, and we have years of experience to back this up.
Why have you decided to read about pre-implementation analysis? You’re likely in the process of researching and selecting a software company. You may want to start a new project or level up an existing one. Maybe you’ve had a bad experience in the past, or maybe you’re new to the game and feeling a bit overwhelmed. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Today, we uncover the pre-implementation analysis the way we do it at hero/dot. We asked our contributing author and Head of Project Management, Dominik Łagowki to explain it in detail.
By reading this article, you will learn:
- What is pre-implementation analysis?
- Pre-implementation analysis step by step from the client’s perspective.
- Who is involved in delivering a successful pre-implementation analysis?
- Case studies of successful pre-implementation analysis done the hero/dot way.
- How to get a special, free-of-charge gift for our readers?
So, let’s take a closer look at what pre-implementation analysis is, why it’s important, and how hero/dot can help you get it done right.
Exploring the Critical Role of Pre-implementation Analysis in Successful Software Project Estimation
At our software agency, we understand that many clients come to us with a vision or idea for their IT projects. However, some may struggle to imagine how it will function in reality. That’s where the pre-implementation analysis report comes in.
However, what we do at hero/dot isn’t just about delivering an accurate estimate and proving ourselves to be a reliable partner.
It’s like a precise recipe that will make for successful implementation down the road. In other instances, it might take you out of a knee-deep pitfall that could seriously endanger your company’s budget. The former is exactly what happened to one of our clients! So keep on reading and find it described at the end of this article.
For now, let’s establish what exactly is pre-implementation analysis.
Pre-implementation analysis is a detailed examination of the project scope, functional requirements, resources, potential risks and challenges. It goes beyond the initial Request for Proposal (RFP) and involves an in-depth analysis of the technology stack, user needs, project size and requirements, as well as any constraints or limitations that may impact the project.
Think of it as an expanded functional specification but with a whole lot more detail and consideration. This critical step in the software development life cycle helps ensure your project is set up for success from the very beginning.
What Is Included in a Pre-Implementation Analysis Report?
The pre-implementation analysis promotes collaboration and communication between the project team and the client. By engaging you in the software project estimation process, we can better understand your unique needs. To do that, we organize workshops, where we discuss your challenge in detail.
During pre-implementation analysis, the project team will gather information about the project scope and requirements. They will also assess the business model and technology stack, identify any third-party integrations or dependencies, analyse user needs, and determine the level of effort required for testing and quality assurance.
This comprehensive document spans up to 50+ pages (depending on project size). Inside, you will always find a clear report format detailing the specific improvements necessary to enhance the initial software project estimation.
The pre-implementation analysis report:
- Assess the feasibility of implementing a system within the expected timeline and budget.
- Explore opportunities to reduce costs, or maximise return on investment.
- Identify potential risks and challenges associated with the system.
- Provide effective mitigation strategies.
- Establish the level of customization required to meet organizational needs and procurement processes.
- Evaluate the complexity of data integration with existing systems and databases.
- Ensure the reliability and availability of third-party APIs and services used by the system.
- Determine the level of security and privacy required for sensitive information, and ensure compliance with data protection regulations and laws.
- Accommodate future growth and changes in demand with a scalable system.
- Identify how the system will handle errors or unexpected scenarios, such as data corruption or system failure.
You hold the cards, and we are here to help you detect and analyse all the issues regarding your custom software development project. Hopefully, our insights and tips will help you cook up a winning product!
How Your Software Development Projects Will Benefit?
Reduce the Required Budget through Battle-Tested Saving Opportunities
By offering this report, we aim to provide our clients with a clear understanding of what their project will entail, and what it will take to bring it to fruition. However, there are many paths to reach the same goal, with some being more expensive than others.
If you decide to employ our team for your pre-implementation analysis, we guarantee to reevaluate the cost estimation accuracy. By identifying low-hanging fruits, we offer an approach that can significantly advantage the project budget.
Estimating software projects helps to minimize surprises and unexpected costs down the line. For example, we may propose customizing only the parts of the system that require it or suggest cross-platform frameworks instead of opting for native mobile applications.
Continue Your Software Project with Us or Explore Other Service Providers
Our detailed analysis delivers a comprehensive overview of your project requirements and functional specifications. After receiving the pre-implementation analysis, you have all insights and information you need to jumpstart your software development. As we identify potential issues or hurdles early on, any IT company or software house you employ can plan projects and mitigate risks more efficiently.
The decision to continue working with us after the analysis stage is entirely up to you! Either way, we are committed to providing you with the best possible service at every step of the way.
In fact, the pre-implementation analysis stage is a perfect opportunity to evaluate if the software company can handle the complexity of your challenge. In other instances, it’s also a way to make a sound decision about whether your investment is going to pay off.
The Highway to Project Success
One of the primary benefits of a pre-implementation analysis is that it provides a clear roadmap for the project created by experts who work with development teams on a daily basis. We share years of experience in delivering software engineering projects so that you have all the details needed in the planning stage of the project.
This allows you to get a significant advantage to speed up the project development process and ultimately ensure your project’s success.
At our company, we approach pre-implementation analysis with the same level of professionalism as any other project. We have a dedicated team (project manager, business analyst, tech lead) that ensures the final estimate is delivered on time and stays within budget.
Our team carefully considers all aspects of a project, from feasibility and budget to potential risks and data integration. That’s how we ensure that every detail is accounted for before development even begins.
The Dynamic Trio: Project Manager, Business Analyst, and Tech Lead in Pre-implementation Analysis
Our team of experienced project managers, business analysts, and tech leads work collaboratively to ensure that the pre-implementation analysis meets your specific needs and requirements.
The project manager’s role in the pre-implementation analysis ensures that the project is well-planned, well-executed, and successfully delivered to the client.
Their key responsibilities in overseeing the entire pre-implementation analysis process and establishing clear communication channels with the client and the project team. Project managers are also responsible for delivering a roadmap for the project. The roadmap should be well-documented and communicated to all team members, ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. Moreover, it must thoroughly outline when and how we will need to engage the client.
Business analysis is a must-have in any software project estimation. They moderate all workshops, ensuring that all stakeholders’ needs are accurately captured and translated into detailed descriptions of system functionalities.
A Business Analyst is responsible for gathering and documenting business requirements from stakeholders. It is also important that they have a clear understanding of your project’s requirements and scope. They will analyze your current processes and systems to identify opportunities for improvement and then translate those requirements into functional specifications confirmed with Tech Lead. The role of a Business Analyst also entails assisting in user acceptance testing and providing support during the implementation phase. BPMN, UML and defining user flow must hide no secrets from them.
The Tech Lead plays a vital role in ensuring the success of a project. They provide guidance and oversight on the project, collaborating closely with the Project Manager and Business Analyst to validate technical requirements. Their knowledge of the system’s architecture and potential solutions helps them identify and address risks, issues, or dependencies that arise during the project.
Apart from ensuring the technical aspects of the project align with the customer’s requirements, the Tech Lead also provides valuable input on process improvement. Their expertise and collaboration with the Business Analyst enable them to create a technical solution that meets the customer’s needs while ensuring project success.
By working closely with the project team, the Tech Lead ensures that the project is delivered successfully, meeting customer expectations while staying within budget and schedule constraints.
Behind the Scenes of Pre-implementation Analysis
When embarking on a new pre-implementation analysis, we strive to achieve three primary objectives:
1) Gathering all project requirements.
2) Acting as a technology partner.
3) Offering recommendations and sharing our experiences.
In order to achieve our objectives, it is essential to work closely with our clients. Based on our past experiences,
we have found it necessary to have weekly meetings with them, at least once or twice a week, throughout the month.
The hero/dot team, which always includes business analysts, conducts workshops with the client to:
- gather all details related to the project’s scope,
- refine business models,
- select the best technology stack,
- and choose the most suitable tools for integrations.
Step 1: Brief
First, the Project Manager collects a set of documents regarding the client and the project. After reviewing and analysing this elementary information, the team can plan their analysis accordingly.
Right from the start, we need to understand the perspective of our client, their target user and the market in a very short time period. Business Analysts research potential solutions, the competitors and the market to explore what kind of system we can build around that. They consult it with Teach Lead, and after the kickoff meeting, we confront it with you – the client.
Step 2: Kickoff Meeting & Agenda
At hero/dot, we kick off the pre-implementation analysis by introducing ourselves and establishing the principles of our cooperation. We propose the project team responsible for delivering the analysis and ask for the client’s availability.
Then, we provide an agenda, outlining the specifics of how we will work through each topic during the upcoming workshops.
Step 3: Workshops, Gathering Requirements & Working Documentation
To meet the common goal of providing you with a vision of a system without coding it, we sometimes need to meet halfway. We must find a common ground where we all agree with each other.
To do so, we continuously gather requirements from the client and offer our expertise throughout the process. We list out our questions, never hesitating to ask thought-provoking ones, and fully immerse ourselves in the market. However, not by workshops alone does a person live.
Then, we use this information to create working documentation within 2-3 days. By sending the working documentation to the client, we ensure that we have a clear understanding of their requirements each step of the way. With each one, the scope is more and more detailed.
Moreover, as most pre-implementation analysis projects are conducted in a fixed-price collaboration model, we transparently communicate our progress.
Step 4: Team Collaboration
Each team member has a specific responsibility in the pre-implementation analysis process. The role of a Business Analyst is vital in ensuring the success of a project. They are the bridge between the customer and the technical team. The analyst’s job is to gather and understand the customer’s requirements and then communicate with the Tech Lead to ensure that these requirements can be met.
Once the requirements are verified technically, the Business Analyst will lay out the whole look of the system, including the processes involved. They will then collaborate with the Project Manager to coordinate and ensure that everything runs smoothly.
From these estimations, the team creates a roadmap that outlines the number of required developers and the technology needed, based on the client’s requirements. Finally, we are able to provide the exact dates for the delivery of each module based on the overall project estimate.
Step 5: Final Report
We follow the agenda and continue to work with the client until the final document is completed to their satisfaction. Afterwards, our stakeholder signs the pre-implementation analysis to confirm we have successfully delivered a job well done.
We are confident that our analysis will provide you with the information and insights you need to make informed decisions about your project, regardless of whether you choose to work with us afterwards or not.
The Story of a Suspiciously Hefty Cost Estimate
So let’s say you want a rather complex integration with a high level of customization. Or maybe you overpay the maintenance and growth costs of your existing IT infrastructure. What if somebody told you what you want to accomplish can be done a whole lot cheaper? In this case, you meet your business goal and save money in the meantime. We can make this dream scenario a reality.
A while back, we collaborated with a company that was spending some 8 million PLN a year on a reservation system and website service. Seeking optimization, they had an audit done by another software house. While the audit report was rather well-written and informative, the quote for the necessary system upgrades came in at an astronomical 20 million PLN. For a simple booking system! We knew there had to be a better way.
Our team stepped in and suggested a different approach.
We re-analyzed the situation and identified what level of customisation was truly necessary for our client. With our help, we guaranteed that the valuation would be much lower than the initial quote. The key to our success? Pre-implementation analysis. It allowed us to truly understand our client’s requirements and tailor our solutions not only to fit their specific needs but also to the project budget.
Just as we pointed out in our previous blog post on software project estimation, it’s completely okay to take advantage of ready-made solutions. Even when developing custom software, as long as it doesn’t negatively impact the overall quality! Instead, customizing all parts of the system may be a sign that something fishy is at play.
The Story of a Project Doomed from the Start
Imagine this: you have an idea that you think is great, and you want to bring it to life. You’ve got some money to invest, and you’re ready to go. You hire a team of experts to help you, but they tell you that your idea isn’t worth it. They explain to you that you’ll lose money on the investment, and they even show you the numbers. That’s exactly what happened with one of our clients.
In this real-life scenario, the company was ready to embark on its next software project challenge. We understood the urgency and even designed a simple dashboard to give shape to their idea. However, something didn’t feel quite right.
We proposed to conduct a pre-implementation analysis and soon found out that the monthly profit of their investment would have been smaller than some teenagers’ pocket money.
In the end, our client didn’t go through with the project that could be financially beneficial to our company. But we gained something much more valuable: trust and integrity. The pre-implementation analysis has cost our client around 10% of their initial project budget but saved hundreds of thousands.
Of course, hardly any project is doomed from the start. We are here to propose alternative solutions, combining technological and business perspectives for a reliable outcome. After all, the goal is to bring your project to life in the best possible way!
However, in this instance, we provided honest and dependable guidance. And that’s the kind of partner you want on your side.
We empathize with the challenges that arise when attempting to conceptualize and actualize a software idea. However, fret not, for we are here to aid in coding your vision!
Also, we promised you a special, free-of-charge gift. Here it comes!
Our pre-implementation analysis report is a comprehensive document that provides a detailed outline of all functionalities. We trust it to prove itself as a critical element of your software project and attach great importance to its completion to guarantee a successful outcome.
Stay tuned with our “From Zero to Hero” series and uncover our special project management methodology – SPARK. Spoiler alert! Pre-implementation analysis plays an important role in the process!
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