The FirstLink Process
Once we have agreed to meet an agenda will be created and invitations are sent to team members.
A mutual evaluation process takes place — you will interview us and our team, and we interview you to learn about your projects and expectations.
- We look at the overall project, your goals and time frame for project completion.
- The phases of Requirements gathering give both parties a level of confidence about the care that each party brings to the successful completion of the project.
Crafting a comprehensive requirements document relies on industry standards based on the ANSI/IEEE Guide to Software Requirements STD 830-1984
In establishing the requirement documents we our clients we strive to create a good document with the following characteristics
- Usable during the Operation and Maintenance phases of the project.
A proposal document is developed detailing the context, scope and and limits, and the detail of phases and milestones of the project.
Along with the proposal a standard consulting agreement is provided.
Most projects are proposed as time and material basis. In very limited cases a fix bid proposal can be extended to the client.
A complete project schedule is created and appropriate and proven project management tool are recommended or your existing project management infrastructure is adopted.
Our Cost, for most of the projects are Time and Material:
⁃ Hourly rate for each of the member of the team
⁃ Travel and meeting rate
⁃ Project specific equipment and tool purchase
In some special cases a Fixed Bid project is possible.
⁃ The bid is based on scope and complexity of project.
⁃ All costs included.
We provide a weekly time keeping system of the activities relative to the project for each of the member of the team we are managing. Along with a weekly time sheet for each team member, we produce a weekly report indicating the following main topics
- Achievement during the past week
- Issues encountered and resolution plans
- Plans of activity for the coming week.
(FirstLink Consulting carries full liability insurance and Surety bond for the protection of the client.)
Project Phases Planning
We enter each phase with a written review and acceptance of a set of design documents:
- Hardware Architecture Document
- Software Architecture Document
Depending of the scope and complexity of the project, along with the required time fame for completion, additional experts may be brought on board either for the duration of the project or for specific phases of it. In most cases these are independent consultants with very seasoned expertise in their respective fields.
We keep a very lean core team in order to keep overhead costs low. Only the required support is added.
As part of the prototype development, we create a project specific development environment we assemble all the required software tools in a development platform that we can virtualize at some stage of the project. This allows us to deliver our development environment to the client as an artifact result of our work, so that the client has exactly the tools and procedure used during the development of the project.
It is often during this phase that contacts with production contractors are established and the production schedule is discussed. We assist in this process if the client has not already established those relationships.
After acceptance, the prototype enters the production phase.
In this final phase of the project we deliver to client’s premises all the elements that constitutes the project:
- All documentation
- All Schematics
- All Source Code
- All Prototypes
We also ensure that client’s personnel has been trained to take the project forward, and put any necessary contracts in place for post-delivery consulting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you work only with local businesses?
No, FirstLink Consulting Services works with clients and partners globally. We work remotely as needed and when it results in cost savings for our clients.
How does the Process work?
Details of the process is detailed in the section “Our Process” of this site.
The process, naturally, has to be adapted to the clients constraints.
Those constraints may be budgetary, time to market or a myriad of others impossible to determine without entering in preliminary investigations.
What will be the overall duration of the project?
Establishing a precise timeline is in general the result of a detailed analysis of the requirements and the proposed solutions to fulfill those requirements.
Our commitment to our client is to provide this information as early in the project as possible.
How much will the overall project cost?
The overall cost of a given project is difficult to determine with great precision.
It can however be carefully predicted by a detailed analysis of the complexity of the various phases of the project.
We can in certain cases bound the cost of various phases with a clause of “NOT TO EXCEED” a contractually agreed amount.
In this case when we reach this point in the project budget we will either revisit the estimate or deliver a more basic functionality. All this will be presented and discussed with our clients.
How do we get started?
After reviewing the process in 1-9 above, contact us to set up an initial conversation.