In the web development industry, hourly support models are the accepted practice, when dealing with typical support & maintenance projects. Usually companies opt for certain hours of support per month, and get billed accordingly.
Till sometime back, also offered the hourly support model. This meant that we dealt with client issues as and when they came up, on an ad hoc basis. However, we have come to realize that this model might not be a very efficient one, both for our clients as well as us. Here’s why:
- Since we are dealing with issues on an ad hoc basis, it is difficult to predict the number of hours of support that will be required in any given month. This means we are unable to plan client support hours across various clients and hence unable to serve them to the best of our ability.
- There is no dedicated team working for specific clients. Hence things take longer to get fixed, as teams take time to first understand the problem before getting started on the solution.
- Our resources and team members are also not optimally utilized in this model.
The Continuous Development Model
In order to put this dilemma to rest, and to serve our clients better, we adopted the Continuous Development Model. Now Srjan teams work with our clients for a set number of weeks every month, rather than the entire month.
For example, once the team is deployed, they could work with the client in two-week cycles which includes two week development sprints followed by two weeks of planning.
The development sprints cover new feature buildouts, bug fixes, quality assurance, module upgrades and security patches. Throughout the sprints, teams are in constant communication with the client, with daily review calls and scheduled weekly demos. During the two week planning phase, we look at all the work that needs to be taken up in the next sprint and ensure that there is a rolling backlog for us to work on, every sprint.
The Continuous Deployment Model has three distinct benefits for our clients
- Dedicated Teams: Since all the work for a particular client is done in a set timeframe, we can ensure that the same set of people are working on the project. We are able to assign a dedicated team that has all the skills required for the project, and exclusively works on it, every two weeks. They don’t have to spend time on getting familiar with the project, before attempting to resolve any issues. This is a team that knows the project inside out, and is thus able to provide faster and smarter solutions.
- Flexibility: Not all projects involve the same amount of work. We work with a lot of clients who only require a few bug fixes or one new functionality in the entire month. Most clients usually do not have enough backlog to keep a development team engaged for the entire month. In the continuous development model, clients can get a flexible team that is comprised of only the skill sets that they require in any given sprint. There is also flexibility in terms of the duration of the development sprints. Depending on the amount of work, clients can agree upon a one- or a two-week sprint duration.
- Budget: Our teams work with the client for the entire duration of the project, and are ready to provide assistance at crucial instances, even outside their allotted sprints. However, the cost acquired by our client is only for the one or two week sprints per month, throughout the project. This cost is significantly lower than deploying a team for the entire period.
The efficacy of the model also depends upon the kind of industry that the client operates in, and the exact requirements of the project. We still work with a few of our clients on the hourly support model, since that is the way that works best for them.
Besides continuous deployment & development, also works with enterprises along the distributed agile development model.
Srijan strives to optimally serve our clients. And that is why we make sure that we first understand the requirements of every client project, and then agree upon the kind of development model that suits them best. If you feel that the Continuous Development model is something that would suit your business needs, just drop us a line below, and we will be glad to have a conversation with you.