As everyone that has been reading our programming material knows, we are a VERY firm believer in NEVER, EVER, EVER, programming a custom system without performing proper system planning and prototyping first.
Our system planning contract which allows us to plan systems, and help our clients make the right decisions about how they want theirs system to work. This consultation and planning service, is separate from the contract that engages us to perform the work.
As such, I sometimes get asked about what would happen if they took the system plan and prototype we create for them, and shop it around. This is what I usually answer, to the question “If I ask another company to work from the system plan you create, will they make it just like we planned?”
Every company has their own level of experience and preferences.
So another company might, if you ask them to quote on performing the project from the plan, choose to suggest some changes to the plan, or even push to make a different plan for your system, based on
- their preferences and understanding of database structure
- their skill level and experience in coding, that may put limits on their thinking on what is possible, or cause them not to understand why something is planned out in a certain way
- what code they may have per-written that they want to incorporate into the project to save themselves programming time
- the code framework they use
- their personal ideas of how they think they could “improve” the system plan work to prove themselves “better” than whoever wrote the original plan
- their personal ideas of how they think they could “improve” the system plan to up-sell you on new or more expensive ideas
- the programmer’s personal coding style
- and finally, how committed you are to the original decisions you made about how you want the system to work.
If you go out with the finished prototype and documentation, and start second guessing your decisions on how you want the system to work, someone will definitely be happy to show you 20 different ways of doing things and start you thinking all over again, to up-sell you and bill you all over again for a new plan.
But if you go out with the prototype and make it clear that you are looking for someone to create exactly this structure, you will find companies that are able to do the work as written, and willing to give a quote on exactly what is written.