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5 things you should explain to your client before the project’s kick-off

In this article, I would like to focus on the situation when your team is starting a collaboration with a non-technical client. I strongly believe that some things have to be explained as soon as possible so there will be no obstacles on the road to a successful collaboration.

Start with MVP

Situations, where the client has an unlimited amount of time and money to create his project, are pretty rare. Therefore, at the estimation stage, you should ask your client a critical question: “Do you really need all those features?” His answer is usually “Yes”, but your role is to question all the features and make sure if they are crucial or not. Usually, after the open conversation about the features, you should be able to decrease the initial estimation about 30%-50%. It will help you build much-needed trust because the client will notice that you are not trying to rip him off. And if you are able to deliver an exceptional product, your client will come back to you or refer you to his friends.

Automated tests are not a waste of money

Automated tests are not a waste of money, they are actually a necessity in modern web development. The value that tests bring to the table, like the reliability of the project and maintainability, are priceless. Your client should be aware that the additional cost paid at the beginning of the project will reduce the cost of development in the future.

A new team member needs some time to start creating a value

You may encounter the situation that your client will ask you to speed up a project by adding a new person to your team. It might be counterintuitive but initially, it does not happen. You can read more about it on my previous article but the reason is simple: the new developer has to become familiar with the codebase and the project’s domain before he starts to be productive.

Meetings between the client and the dev team are important

Regular stand-ups and plannings greatly improve the speed of development (fewer blockers). They also reduce the possibility of doing the feature in the wrong way (constant feedback). Regular meetings help to keep your team motivated (it is nice to show something new every time). It might be tempting for some clients to communicate with you only through tickets and emails or only “on demand”. Therefore, your duty is to present all the advantages that daily stand-ups and other meetings bring to the product management.

How to report errors

All bugs, mistakes and wrongly implemented features should end up as tickets in your project management software. They should be properly described and contain a link and/or picture which help the dev team to locate and solve the problem. Your client should be explained that all those practices increase the speed of development and decrease the cost. If you like you can read more about this topic you can check out my previous article here.

Summary

There are obviously more things that you should explain to your non-technical client than I covered in this short article. But those 5 topics should give you good foundations and guide you how to start his education. In my opinion, the better your client knows the development process the more successful the collaboration will be. Therefore, you should invest your time and be as descriptive in your explanations as possible.

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