There are two primary constraints we face on every project: Budget and Timeline.
One of the primary goals of our Research and Discovery phase is the definition of these constraints. It is within these constraints that creativity and innovation occur. Many consumers feel that disclosing a budget means the service provider will get to overcharge, or that they will overpay for services they may have gotten cheaper through competitive bidding. This is actually the furthest thing from what will happen.
Great partnerships are built on trust. Service providers who rush to the bottom on pricing end up hating the project, work through it just to get it off their plates, and rarely look forward to supporting a client they feel has taken advantage of the process. This does not bode well for a long term relationship. Instead, it is in the best interest of the client to disclose the budget up front. Why? Because this allows a company to tailor a workable solution into that budget and compete not on price, but on features.
Sharing a budget still allows for a competitive process, but instead of trying to squeeze in all the services you can at a price that ultimately will alienate your provider, you allow them to be creative. Most providers love the challenge of hitting a target, especially if they know the work is valued and will be rewarded with gratitude, trust, and fair payment. If there must be a competitive process, then let us compete on features.
The other constraint is time. If there is an event driving the launch of a site, or a drop dead date - that needs to be shared early. If there is not a date, you can expect SiteCrafting to want to assign a date. This time constraint will help us to shape the delivery and allow us to stay within the budget that has been identified. Setting a firm deadline will keep our teams focused on a release and will allow us to celebrate the achievement. Projects, no matter how large or small are most successful when a series of deadlines result in the delivery.
Most of our clients have no trouble communicating their timeline. The budget conversation can sometimes be a difficult one to have. It is important that both of these constraints be communicated to a trusted provider who will do everything in their power to design and deliver a solution that both of you will be proud of.
Deep Thoughts, Strategy