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How to design milestones for a web development project when outsourcing?

We are creating an interpretation e-commerce platform initially aimed at the Chinese market. We are in the process of interviewing applicants to help us create this but do not have the technical ability ourselves. (We are on the lookout for a CTO but have not found the right person yet).


My question is: What are realistic milestones which we can base payment upon completion of?

If you need more details please let me know.

15 Replies

Alistair Davidson
2
0
Eclicktick Consulting
Unless you have a relatively small project, I think an agile approach would be your best bet. Rather than define the full project up front, you would be better off with a continuous development model run on a scrum basis (e.g. with deliverables every two weeks) The advantage of this approach is that you have frequent review of what has been done and an early opportunity to revise the project. Rather than seek a team that claims to have done web projects, you would probably be better with a team with continuous release experience (i.e. scrum). With scrum you prioritize what is important, agree on its delivery for each two week cycle or sprint. Then in the next sprint, you would move to the next most important set of releases, but only after showing users what was produced in the first sprint. With a web project, what you probably want to avoid is spending all your budget up front before you really know how customers will interact with it. Alistair Davidson Alistair Davidson Eclicktick Consulting 100 N. Whisman Road, Suite 2213 Mountain View, CA 94043 Unified communications number: +[removed to protect privacy] (rings all my phones) Mobile: +[removed to protect privacy] Business: +[removed to protect privacy] or +[removed to protect privacy] Skype: alistairdavidson E-mail: [removed to protect privacy] Blog: alistairdavidson.blogspot.com Twitter: @alistairdavidso Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/alistairdavidsoneclicktick Amazon.com author page: amazon.com/author/alistairdavidson Latest books: Innovation Zeitgeist, Digital Virtues and Memes Contributing Editor, Strategy & Leadership magazine http://www.strategyandleadership.com Certifications: Certified Scrum Master, Scrum Product Owner, Ensighten Certified Professional Manage
Ming Tsui
0
0
Ming Tsui Entrepreneur
HabitatForAll.org
Watch out for scams.
Madra David
0
0
Madra David Entrepreneur
Software Engineer
Hello
You have not specified If you are hiring locally or remotely , the advise I am going to give is mainly applicable if you are hiring remotely.
I am a Freelance Software developer, I do have done a lot of remote consultancy work and I have found that the best way to do this is to set weekly milestones , break things down into small chunks that you can go over at the end of every week, this way you get to watch the Project `grow` and the communication between you and the developer(s) remains constant and onpoint.
Most projects fail because mis-communication between the business end and the developer end .
So break the project down into small chunks that can be implemented weekly , have constant communication so that you are both on the same page this way you will spot any friction ,miscommunication and errors really quickly
Daniel Schmidt
0
0
Daniel Schmidt Entrepreneur
People's Team at DairyNZ
Thanks everyone for the responses. We are looking to hire remotely and bi-weekly or weekly goals sounds like the smarter plan.

Ivan Latysh
1
0
Ivan Latysh Entrepreneur
Director of Technology at Sapient Nitro
I would say, do not start development until you establish technology governance in the company.
You are correct for looking for CTO. He will be responsible for establishing technology roadmap, development, security and QA practices, conducting code reviews, etc.
Daniel Schmidt
0
0
Daniel Schmidt Entrepreneur
People's Team at DairyNZ
Yes, we are working through the process of getting a technical adviser on-board and ideally we will have some input from him next week.
Sam McAfee
0
0
Sam McAfee Advisor
Building Popup Incubators for Corporate Innovation Programs
I would also explicitly avoid structuring compensation based on milestones. It creates a set of conflicting incentives between parties. You want them to produce the milestone as quickly as possible, and they want to get to the milestone by doing as little as possible. It would be much better to arrange a structure where you pay a steady rate for time and materials, much as you would a staff, but that you have regular, agile check-ins on progress as Alistair suggested. I would go weekly, myself. You don't want to set up a situation where you're arguing about whether or not a particular milestone was completed or not, based on some spec. That gets ugly fast. Decouple the compensation question entirely from the specifics of the output, and use some other process (like sprints, etc.) to stay on top of the speed and quality of output.
Marc Rowen
0
0
Marc Rowen Advisor
Founder & CEO at SquadFusion
Agree Agile is usually the way to go if done well. Would just caution if your existing team is not at least somewhat technical, and the product is at all complex, it will be hard to gauge progress well early on.

Agile projects and scrums are not magic bullets. Agile will move things better than traditional methods (IMO), but movement is not always equal to progress.
Leif Elgethun
0
1
Leif Elgethun Advisor
Entrepreneur, Engineer, Change Agent, & Environmental Capitalist
I am on vacation and unable to check email until June 30th. If urgent, please email the company email account corresponding to your query below for the appropriate urgent contact info. Thanks! Intermountain Energy Partners: [removed to protect privacy] Site Based Energy [removed to protect privacy] Retrolux [removed to protect privacy] Leif Elgethun [removed to protect privacy]
Mary Baum
0
0
Mary Baum Advisor
Digital consultant and web developer to the tennis industry. Standard on WordPress and the Genesis Framework.
Your CTO doesn't have to be a him.

The current development lead for all of WordPress is named Helen Hou-Sandi.
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