Custom Projects – Why we need the details

Custom Projects – Why we need the details

Some customers display frustration over being asked to provide enough details about the custom work that they want done.  This is often due to the fact they are busy, and have other legitimate priorities that may take precedence.  This is sometimes followed by such statements as…

 "Just do what you think is best"

 "Just do this one thing and we’ll worry about the rest of the  details later"

 "Just change it so that it does what everyone else does"

 "Make it work like it did in our old software"

Or main goal in asking questions is to get the details required to do the work as efficiently, effectively, and economically as possible.  Generally, this might include print screens, mock-ups of what you would like to see, drawings, or diagrams, process statements, etc.
CCS prides itself on our over 100 Years of aggregate experience in business. We have worked with a diverse range of businesses and business models. Not two businesses are the same. This means that if you leave the design completely up the support person or programmers interpretation, you may not get what you expect or need. This could lead to a lot of unnecessary frustration later on.  The more specific you are, the better the chances are that you will get what you want in the end.

A good analogy is…

Asking a contractor to build a expensive home on top of a badly designed foundation, in a poor location, using inferior materials, and poor workmanship.  He also has no building plan or materials list before he has the contractor start the work.  The contractor is just asking for trouble with a contract like that. Everyone is likely to end-up being unhappy in the end.  You need a both a good design and a good foundation to build upon.

Some questions that you should be asking yourself and your staff up front are:

  • Is this a change really what we need, or is this an issue that can be resolved by more training?

  • Is there another way or workaround to do what we need without having to make programming changes?

  • If the change is really merited, do we have necessary design specifics about what we need/want done so that it gets done right the first time?

  • Change Orders can always be done, however, do we have a budget that allows for the increased cost of continually changing the target?

  • What is our expectation of the time frame require to make and confirm the changes?

  • What kind of time can we invest in testing the modifications and training our staff on the changes?

  • Are we prepared for the time and cost that may be incurred later when the customizations need to ported to a newer version?

If you have any ideas regarding software design changes that you would like to discuss, please contact the CCS Retail Systems Support Department.

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