Why Fixed Quotes Don't Work

The SCRUM framework offers our customers significant benefits over traditional "fixed quote" software development processes. Fixed quotes lose their integrity very quickly even when subtle changes to the scope need to occur.

Feature creep may occur on the client's side in light to changes needing to be made in the scope. In order to maintain original delivery timeframes, quality may be sacrificed as corners need to get cut by the developer in order to still meet original deadlines and budget.

The result at the end of a fixed quote development project is realised when the client sees the finished product and it is not close to the expectation, and the whole process leaves both the client and the developer with a bad taste in their mouths. As a result, ongoing development of the product (which is a necessary part of growth) does not continue. Very often either does the relationship.

The only way forward is more funding or for the developer to work for free, and this very often ends in a stalemate and the project (and its momentum) fizzle out.

The Principles behind the Agile Manifesto

  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in development.
  • Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
  • Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
  • Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
  • Build projects around motivated individuals.
  • Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile processes promote sustainable development.
  • The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  • Simplicity - the art of maximizing the amount of work not done - is essential.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

 The SCRUM Framework Derived From Agile

  • The model works as the product evolution can change during the project without breaking the integrity of the delivery
  • Timely delivery in predictable time blocks called sprints
  • Change is managed along the way rather than when it becomes a problem
  • Solutions delivered are source code managed to ensure that each version release is completely predictable
  • Customers sign off after each sprint (which includes a review with the client and the developer) ensuring that every sprint delivers finished and useable code
  • Costs are tightly coupled to the sprints ensuring project budgets do not blow out unexpectedly
  • Using this method, the client and the development team work are on the same team (instead of opposing) as the product item backlog is dynamically evolved throughout the project:
    • adding new items to the product backlog
    • editing existing items in the backlog that have not been commenced in a sprint
    • adding enhancements to items that have been completed in a sprint
    • re-ordering the priority of items in the backlog
    • moving items into different sprints
    • viewing the progress of items in a sprint
    • review of the items and the version release at the conclusion of each sprint
    • documentation occurs on the fly so that each version release is complete at release

The Digcat team use the latest tools to allow our customers to be completely involved at each step of the development, ensuring the true business requirements are hit on time and as expected every time!

Did you know that this approach is used by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Nokia, Citrix, Vodafone and many other major organisations because it is the most successful method of product development to date.

Visit the www.scrumalliance.org website for more information.