Although we offer some flexibility in how this is approached, ultimately we are a professional services company. We expect to be compensated for the effort and time that goes into helping businesses plan and grow their eCommerce websites.
We have three ways to enter into new projects with our clients:
This is the most popular and familiar approach to website development. This process includes gathering requirements at a medium level and then submitting a proposal defining the scope, expectations, schedule and cost of the project. The cost is broken into line items with a blended, fixed, hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours expected for each line item of services and products. The common downside to this approach is that new requirements or additional details to requirements may be discovered during the project because not enough time was spent up front to fully flesh out all details for the project. This requires either a change request and delay in schedule or an agreement that it will be postponed until after launch. Rocket Web prefers not to issue change requests and delay schedules unless it's necessary to the business. This method tends to carry extra risks for both parties and can only be managed if clear requirements and expectations are communicated by the merchant up front. In our experience, this is very difficult for a merchant to do even with prior, in depth knowledge of Magento.
This is the preferred approach by many merchants because there is clarity on both sides from the beginning. This process includes splitting the normal Fixed Bid 1 Phase project into two phases and two separate contracts. Phase 1/Contract 1 only includes Discovery and UX design. A deep discovery process takes place with a follow up UX design that visually reflects the requirements discovered and clarified. Once this phase is complete, Rocket Web can provide a Phase 2 contract with the effort and time to design, build, test and launch the project. This ultimately allows the merchant freedom to go as far as they want to with their time and money but also allows Rocket Web to be more efficient with time and resources when planning Phase 2. This approach reduces risk and results in a lower overall schedule and cost to a merchant than a single phase fixed bid project.
Many merchants that have built sites before know how painful it can be to figure out every detail for a project before development begins. Upfront discovery for merchants not familiar with how Magento works by default is difficult. When the Agile methodology is applied to building a new Magento site, we look first at the bare minimum requirements to get a project built. Within about 2 weeks, we could build a default website, add a logo, load in a ready to go product catalog, set shipping rates and payment methods. Now we have a fully functional yet perhaps boring website. At this point we can work together to plan changes to the site in 2 week increments. After each 2 week block we can review together how the site looks and works and go live when we're happy we have a site that will sell. At any point after the first 2 weeks, the site could technically go live and start selling. With this approach, discovery happens at the same time as development with changes in direction encouraged as we see how Magento defaults work along side merchant desires. This is an iterative approach where a merchant gets to learn how Magento works by default and we are less likely to develop website features that don't result in more sales or increased efficiency. This process can seem scary since there isn't a fixed budget or launch date but when this methodology is embraced, it is proven to have the best ROI.
We offer more details about our Managed Services here: https://rocketweb.com/faq/services/managed-services#what-is-rocket-webs-approach-to-managed-services