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Work Plan - Estimate

Hourly development according to
the Work Plan - Estimate

WPE (Work Plan - Estimate) - once we have a completed and approved PRD, you receive a Work Plan - Estimate with an accuracy of +/-20% for total hours and 3-5 days for deadline. Work Plan - Estimate will contain a detailed breakdown of the project as a whole into the 1-4 hour tasks.

Why is WPE not just an estimate?

We do not provide WPE without complete detailed PRD (including full technical documentation and High-Fidelity Wireframes or Mockups). If you do not have a PRD yet we recommend the Discovery Phase as the best way to start the project.

In case you already have a completed PRD then let’s dive deeper and bring up an analogy. When you set out to build a house any property development company will only provide an estimate based on a general plan with a list of all construction activities, man hours, transportation costs, fuel costs and of course material costs. Any experienced foreman who worked at least 5-7 years will not calculate required materials without a design project for the room and general plan. And when you have a detailed room design modern software such as Sketchup will estimate the material costs automatically, so in this case you can and should expect a detailed estimate from your foreman. We drew this analogy to compare a more abstract field of web development to something more grounded such as property development.

So why when it comes to contacting a web development agency or freelancer you commonly receive some weird aggregate numbers without any justification and no breakdown? Why do estimates received from different sources have such a huge variance? And why does no one give a solid deadline and even then the promises are not kept?

The answer to all these questions is that the contractors do not study your project thoroughly. They don't know the project better than you, so they make a “shot in the dark” assessment without any guarantees, although they often require an advance payment (up to 50% in advance). Which is why they cannot provide you with a detailed work plan and a detailed estimate for each feature on each page up to every button, broken down by type of work (designer, frontend and backend developer, QA specialist, project manager). This short sighted approach is born out of a lack of consideration of what will happen to your project after development and how to implement it. Usually additional costs such as configuring a prod server and other costs down the line are not taken into consideration. As a result, instead of WPE, you just get very rough numbers based on wrong assumptions and a promise of a deadline, so you have to believe in Santa Claus or magic so you can cross your fingers and wait that everything that was promised will come true, but usually it is the opposite. Clients often come to us with a half-baked project, which is often very hard to salvage, so the best approach is to unfortunately throw it into the trash along with your money and time and start it all over again.

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WPE that you will receive

First, let us tell you how we compile the Work Plan - Estimate. Once we complete the Discovery Phase, we have an approved PRD. Usually the Project Manager / Lead Developer (next PM) of the project is the same person who actually led the project during the development of PRD. In this case, our PM knows the project like the back of their hand. We gather a team of our guys who will participate in the project (for complex projects CTO and CEO directly supervise this process) and provide them access to the PRD. Then guys study PRD and return to the PM with questions. This makes it possible to consider the project carefully and from different angles. There are times when, after a meeting with the team, the PM returns to the client with a proposal to improve or optimize the PRD, or with those moments that were missed during the preparation of the PRD.

When working on the PRD our PM sometimes involves developers right away so they can have a deep understanding of all the key information and potential pitfalls. Getting back to the topic of the Discovery Phase at every stage, PM knows exactly how a particular block will be developed and integrated into the project. The guys perfectly understand the critical path, the main business logic, sales funnels and background processes of the project. This makes it possible to have a deep understanding of key important points at the time of the start of work on WPE:

  • How to properly divide a project into blocks for subsequent integration
  • How to properly distribute efforts so that the entire team has an even workload on the project
  • What, when and how to deploy to dev1, dev2, stage and prod servers
  • What types of testing are necessary to integrate each new module (e2e test, critical path test, functional testing, load testing, smoke test, regression testing, autotests)
  • Calculate the development speed (hours per week) of a project based on available resources, deadline and project budget
  • Detalization of the WPE from 15 minutes to 4 hours per task

The most transparent assessment
and a complete work plan is the WPE

Template of Work Plan - Estimate

WPE is ready, what's next?

WPE is so easy to understand that even a non-IT inclined person can figure out what's what. Especially if you went through the Discovery phase with us and we developed the PRD together with you. And if you have any questions, the PM will be happy to answer them by indicating in the PRD and WF (High-Fidelity Wireframes) what part of the project task corresponds to.

The WPE framework allows you to simply omit out the functionality that you want to move to the project backlog. As easy as in the configuration of German cars - just remove or add what you need. Only in our case it is a Work Plan - Estimate for your custom project (500-15000 hours).

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WPE is given
with a range of +/- 20%

Let's see what this means. Follow our thoughts and you will understand everything. Our mission: To deliver projects on time with required quality. Our goal: Every one-two days our clients get complete functional blocks. Our clients receive the project exactly according to the PRD. To achieve this we only work hourly (we do not work at a fixed price). During the development of WPE, the guys openly and transparently give an assessment with high detail and deep understanding of PRD.

But still there is a degree of variance and we can make some functional blocks faster than expected (for example, we found a more optimal solution) and some blocks may raise additional questions (each such moment will be discussed with the client additionally). So +/- 20% range is given for each individual task, and not for the project as a whole. You will receive a detailed weekly report on the time spent from Redmine (our internal time tracking system).

WPE is a flexible solution

Let's imagine that during development your guys from the digital marketing department decided to change the sales funnel based on the previously launched LP and collecting the feedback of future users. OK, that's not a problem. We will leave everything that is not subject to change in the WPE and will continue the work.

For the functionality that requires changes or additions, we make edits to PRD and revise WPE.

The same applies to adding new features in the project. We also make changes to the technical documentation of the project (as a result the PRD becomes up to date). Then we just make a separate WPE for the new feature. As a bonus, you always have up-to-date technical documentation, which reduces costs, eliminates the risk of dependence on developers and simplifies onboarding and introducing new guys into the project.

Dedicated team

Unlike working according to the WPE, we do not provide an estimate for a project or tasks. We allocate a full time team (40-45 hours for each member of the team). You get weekly reports on the hours spent from the internal redmine time tracking system, but at least a full 40 hours per team member must be used up each week. Otherwise the client pays for the full load regardless. The team is formed for projects with weekly load from 120 to 480 hours.

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Development approach

The work team always consists of at least three people: a developer (frontend, backend or full stack), a Project Manager or a Team Lead (hereinafter PM) and a QA. It is often the case that if a project is very dynamic there are involved two QAs or even more in order to ensure better performance and flexibility.

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