How We Work
1 - Initial Enquiry
You can get in touch with us either through this website on the Contact Details page, request a call back on the right hand side of this page, or give us a call on 0800 012 4495.
At this stage you may be looking to just get a rough estimate, or alternatively you can book in a meeting with one of our consultants in order to receive a full proposal with fixed-price quotation - either is completely no obligation. If you do want an estimate, in most cases we'll first email over to you our System Requirements Form to get a clearer picture of all you requirements (click on the link if you'd like to download this). Once we receive this back we will then send through an estimate outlining possible solutions and approximate costs and timescales. Should the estimate be agreeable, we would then look to arrange a meeting.
2 - Meeting
The next stage is to meet face to face with one of our consultants. Typically this meeting will last around 2 hours, and we'll come to you. Before the meeting we'll send an agenda of topics to give you time to discuss with colleagues what your requirements are, and to get together examples of print outs, reports etc. required. The meeting will be with a consultant, not simply a sales person, so they will be able to answer any questions you may have of a technical nature.
This meeting will give you the opportunity to:
- Ask for advice on the best way to solve the current issues based on our extensive experience.
- Ask any questions you have about Hero Solutions.
- See some demonstrations of previous systems we have developed - not only to judge if we are up to the job, but also it may give you ideas of how you'd want your system to look and behave.
The meeting is also very important for us to:
- Learn more about your organisation and the current issues you are facing that the system should address.
- Find out the exact requirements for the system, and what IT infrastructure is in place to support it.
- Get all the information we need in order that we can give an accurate quotation and timescale for development.
3 - Detailed Proposal
Following on from the meeting we'll put together a detailed document outlining our suggestions for how best to match you brief, a fixed-price quotation and an outline of timescales for the key phases. As well as development cost, we'll also include possible costs for hardware/software and ongoing support, so you are completely aware of the overall cost involved.
The proposal will be a fairly substantial document (usually around 15-20 pages, although it has an executive summary for people with less time to read right through it!) which will include a detailed breakdown of all the different elements of the system (data, security, user interface, reports etc.).
For larger systems, if required, we can also put together a prototype where you can actually click between the main screens. If at this stage you require us to come in and give a presentation of our proposal then we would be happy to do so.
1 - Project Specification
After a meeting to go through the "nitty-gritty" of the system, Hero will put together a detailed functional specification. This is probably the most important part of the project, and a stage that will involve much of your time as well as ours.
The document will detail all the required features and how these will fit together. Typically this will go through two or three drafts until the final specification is signed off by you. The document is vitally important, as it ensures any misunderstandings are caught at an early stage. The document is used by our development team as "the bible" in terms of what they should be building, and is also your guarantee that everything you have asked for will be in the system. It also forms part of the technical documentation which is important for the ongoing maintenance and support of the application.
One the specification is signed off we will then agree a project plan for the different stages and releases so both parties are clear of key dates and what their time commitments will be. Development can then begin.
2 - ALPHA Versions
During the development process you will receive various ALPHA releases (the number of releases would depend on the size of the project) so you can see progress, and also conduct some early testing. Although ALPHA versions won't be fully bug tested at that stage, it allows you to test the functionality to ensure everything is coming together as you require.
As well as ALPHA releases we will also keep you informed of progress via status reports from your Project Manager through our Solution Management Portal, which can also be used by you to log any issues you have come across as a result of your testing.
3 - BETA Version
A BETA version will be released near the end of the development process. This release will have all the functionality built in, and be fully tested by Hero. At this stage it is now ready to allow end-users to begin to test it in earnest, run parallel tests with existing systems, and to ensure there are no bugs that have slipped through the net. Again, issues can be logged by you on our portal, and you can track the progress as these are worked on.
4 - Project Completion
After BETA testing a final release will be prepared, and when you are completely satisfied with the system then it can go live. At this point the project will be signed off, and then all the technical documentation and source code will be prepared and made available to you.
5 - Ongoing Support
Project completion is not the end of the process as far as Hero is concerned. We offer a range of support contracts once the project is complete.