In the third episode of our video series 3 Questions in 3 Minutes (or 3Q3M), RoleModel Software’s marketing director, Jamey Meeker, sits down with RoleModel’s Chief Operations Officer Roy Miller to discuss what everyone wants to know before they get custom software. Of course, it doesn’t take long for any conversation around custom software to get very detailed, but before that happens, what are the first things a potential client wants to know?
Join Roy and Jamey as they dig into three questions that everyone looking for custom software wants answered.
A recurring theme throughout the custom software industry is that it is hard to estimate what your software will look like based solely on someone else’s. Roy grants that it may be hard to define exactly what software you’re going to get from the very beginning of the project. But, when you work with RoleModel Software, whatever the final product looks like, it will be high-quality, sustainable software. It will last a very long time and it will grow with your business.
But another and equally valuable aspect of working with RoleModel Software is the collaboration and consulting that is present at every point throughout the process. We study your business, understand your needs for value, and then help you turn that into software that fills those needs. The end result is software that is tailored to you and will meet your current needs, but it is also all yours, which means it will be an investment that continues to pay off over time.
Roy says that the timeline is highly dependant on the scope of your software project, but the steps for how RoleModel approaches each project are roughly the same, allowing a way to predict how long it will take. We typically start with a small initial investment if you aren’t sure exactly where you want to go. We call this the “Explore” phase. It will usually last 1–3 weeks and by the end, you’ll have real working software (however basic) and a good idea of how many 2-week iterations it will take to get you to your MVP (minimum viable product).
When we actually begin the iterations, you have a much clearer picture of the project direction. Throughout the rest of the iterations, you’ll continue to receive additional working software and your feedback will validate our progress at every turn to ensure the software we produce is what you need.
Again, Roy says that the price of the software will depend on your project, but we do make the math a little bit easier. We take the price of your “Explore” phase based on the number of weeks it took and then add the cost of the iterations, which is a flat fee per iteration times the number of iterations.
Another aspect that needs to be considered is the support it takes to keep your software running smoothly once it goes live. Roy says that this number is usually figured as 10–20% of your initial system investment in year 1.
Custom software is an investment, no doubt about it. “We’re not the right fit for everybody”, Roy acknowledges. But, we certainly are happy to talk to you about what software you can get for the budget you have, and if it is a fit, the RoleModel Software team will do what it takes to provide you with transparent, honest expertise as we build your software.
Check out the last episode of 3Q3M where Ken Auer discusses the difference between custom software and software products and stay tuned for more episodes in the coming days!