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Fixed-price projects: how can both sides win?

There are conditions when the product can be tested appropriately and bring a profit for clients and contractors.
28 March 2016
QA consulting
The article by a1qa
a1qa

The product quality often suffers on fixed-price projects. We have previously discussed potential challenges that you are likely to face when it comes to fixed-price projects. But still there are cases when both sides are satisfied with the result. This article describes the ways to make both sides benefit from the fixed-price project.

How to make both sides benefit from the project

Nevertheless, there are conditions when the product can be tested appropriately and bring a profit for clients and contractors.

QA has pretty simple conditions of accomplishing tests – testers should solve the tasks they received and not go beyond the budget limits. In its turn, the product they test should be stable without fails, once they did their job.

What do you need to fulfill tasks? The basic thing is discipline and constant budget control, the team smooth growth by the end of the project enough for the last stage.

From the testing team perspective, the project can be started if you have following conditions:

  • The start of the project is approved by all sides.
  • Testing network is adjusted and everyone has authority for access.
  • All data required for testing is ready.
  • The newest version of software is received.

If you have successfully started, you can move to management. To avoid failing on this stage, you have to follow a simple rule: control the budget and make sure everyone is meeting deadlines.

Managing business processes should be synchronized with software testing. If it doesn’t happen, planning responsibilities should be given to the development team. It’s not that easy, but there are some examples of how the development team did good managing.

Control and requirements management should be completed by business analytics, although quite often they can’t get the same pace as development team and fall behind. Requirements should be always updated, while their changes should also be approved by the development team.

Risk control is a science, but many project managers ignore it. There is a risk to have the time for testing cut because of the development stage that takes longer than expected.

Labor costs should be evaluated before any integration is started. If you fragment all work and check all points before each integration stage, you’ll have a better idea whether you have any problems with budget. At the same time, you’ll have testing strategy being updated in action.

What are the conditions of the fixed-price project success from the development point of view?

This model fits the development team if:

  • The release time is the key factor of development.
  • All technical requirements cannot be accomplished by the beginning of development.
  • The project assumes development of a complex application with multiplex functioning.
  • The project is short (less than 1 month).
  • There is a confidence that specifications won’t be changed.
  • It’s easy to manage the budget and cash-flow, when any sum of money could be provided.

As the client supposes, strict deadlines and requirements would stimulate the team to work better. Another reason to finish the contract on time is the fact of signing the contract and an interest in being paid.

Even though the fixed price projects are not considered to be the best idea in comparison with other types of projects, there are always conditions to make both sides win.

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