Ensure your software development is a wise investment.

Project Roadmapping

Out in the ether of the world wide web, on dusty hard disks still spinning in a data centre somewhere, there is a graveyard of dead software projects. Projects that were abandoned and obsoleted. Projects that perhaps never even made it into the world; that never even had a single real user. Projects that teams spent months on, maybe even years, pouring their heart and soul into them (not to mention many thousands of dollars).

Software development is hard. It is fundamentally different from almost every other field.

Software development is more abstract than engineering - rather than having to navigate laws of physics, we're navigating the imperfect and imprecise human mind, trying to make abstract tasks clear, efficient, enjoyable.

But software development is also much more concrete than art - a pretty software tool that doesn't solve a problem efficiently will be never be used.

And technology changes at a break-neck pace. Operating systems are retired, devices evolve, disrupt industries, introduce new opportunities, and everything continually gets faster, cheaper, and better connected. New markets emerge and fade away, every six months.

Plus, even if you speak directly to your target users, 9 times out of 10 they don't know what they really need until they see it. They might think they know what they want, but in reality there are often better, cheaper, more efficient ways to solve that same problem; sometimes those solutions don't even involve software. So blindly following their (often contradictory) requirements is fraught with danger.

With full time developers costing anywhere from $80,000-120,000+ a year plus overheads, investing in software - whether it be for customers or to improve the efficiency of your existing team - leaves little room for mistakes. Two months building in the wrong direction, or worse - unnecessary code that doubles the time to complete all future development - can easily skyrocket into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted.

So starting a new software project can be a daunting prospect. There are so many decisions that need to be made that will affect the entire project. Who is using it? Why? How? How often? What do they actually need? What limitations do they have? What technologies are best suited to solve this? Will they still be a good solution in 6 months? A year? 5 years? Can we deliver it on time? On budget? Will the end result even look similar to what we start with?

It's no surprise then, that the vast majority of software projects fail. They fail to launch, fail to be used, or never see a return on the investment to build them.

But the graveyard of software projects is heavily skewed towards projects that weren't planed properly from the start - projects that had no clear purpose, no understanding of what, exactly, they were solving. Projects that seemed great, but had no idea how or if they could yield any return - returns to users for investing their time, and to the project owner commissioning it.

But what if you could get answers to all those questions as early as possible? Perhaps even before you had to commit a considerable budget starting the project?

What if you could see a concrete plan for your project, estimate its return, and estimate how (and if!) it could actually be delivered in a way that makes it worthwhile for your business?

If you had that, well, your project probably wouldn't end up in the graveyard of failed projects.

It would be delivered with confidence and clarity. It would delight users, because it would solve their problems as efficiently as possible without clutter or confusion. It would be delivered with the knowledge that it is a prudent investment.

Furthermore, having a clear plan for a project would prevent wasting time and money on unnecessary functionality, and would remove the frustration and loss of morale that comes with throwing away your hard work. This would make it easier to keep your team on board, productive, and doing their very best work.

To achieve all this, four things are essential:

  • A vision of what you want to solve.
  • The insight and experience to drill down until you discover the core problem your users need solved.
  • The technical expertise to plan enough of the project to estimate.
  • The experience to identify the things that are impossible to estimate.

Aurora Software's Roadmapping service can set your project on the right track from the beginning, reducing risk and ensuring a return on investment.

We offer access to some of the best and most experienced minds in the industry, with over 100 years of combined experience in the software industry - from mainframe databases, to mobile applications, to distributed web platforms and back. We have cut code, managed the teams that made it happen, and delivered software that people love.

We have launched projects used daily by tens of thousands of users. We have built the back-office software that keeps multi-million dollar businesses running. We have maintained software that lets multi-national corporations keep their doors open across the globe.

As a group, our team would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to have on your staff full time.

But, lucky for you, you might not need that kind of knowledge and experience full time. What you really need is to be able to take advantage of that distilled knowledge and experience and apply it to your project early on to give it the best chance of success.

Our experience and expertise lets us bring clarity to your project to find the solutions that maximise your return.

When your competitors are snapping at your heels and building the wrong thing could mean tens of thousands of dollars of developer time thrown away, a clear goal is essential to ensure your next project doesn't wind up in that graveyard of dead software projects.

Aurora Software's Project Roadmapping service helps to put you on the right track from the start.

Aurora Software's fixed price roadmapping packages range from a day to a week of intensive exploration, and give you expert prepared advice on your project without the cost of a full development engagement.

Trailblaze Package

  • A call with our team to explore your vision
  • A day of our experts performing a broad analysis
  • A written report outlining our findings
  • Broad estimates around expected project timing and costs
  • Access to our experts for a one hour call to answer any follow-up questions

Our Trailblaze package is designed for small businesses or startups that are in the early stages of exploring a concept, and want to get an indication on what might be involved to deliver it.

It includes :

  • A full day review by our team, starting with a call (phone or over the Internet, roughly one to two hours) to discuss your vision, sketch out a rough project plan and explore options for it.
  • A written report detailing :
    • A broad analysis of the product, its audience and users.
    • A broad development plan in terms of what to release, when, and how to get a working release out to your users as early as possible.
    • A review of the risks involved in the project, and how they can be mitigated or reduced.
    • A high level technical analysis of the project and proposed solutions.
    • High level estimates around project time and costs.
  • A one hour follow up meeting to discuss any questions about the roadmap.

Roadmap Package

  • A full day of remote workshop sessions to explore your project in detail
  • Two days of our experts performing a detailed analysis
  • A written report outlining our findings
  • High level screen wireframes and mockups
  • Estimates around expected project timing and costs
  • Access to our experts for a one hour call to answer any follow-up questions

Our Roadmap package is designed for mid size projects and businesses. It explores your vision in more depth than our Trailblazer package and allows time to build up high level user interface mockups to guide development - making it easier for developers and project owners to visualize the end result.

It also includes a detailed breakdown of user stories - the actions and processes that users perform within your project, and how they interact. These can then be estimated to give a more complete understanding of the ROI for individual components.

It includes:

  • A full day working with your team via remote screen sharing and video chat to explore your project and understand it thoroughly. Typically this is broken up into 3 or 4 sessions across the day, each dealing with different components of the project.
  • A written report detailing:
    • An analysis of the product, its audience and users.
    • An analysis of the expected benefits of the project within your business.
    • A development plan in terms of what to release, when, and how to get a working release out to your users as soon as possible.
    • A review of the risks involved in the project, and how they can be mitigated or reduced.
    • A high level technical analysis of the project and proposed solutions.
    • High level screen plans (wireframes) and mockups to help visualise the final solution and guide designers and developers during implementation.
    • User stories and workflows that make up the system.
    • Estimates around project time and costs, broken up for each of the major components.
  • A one hour follow up meeting to discuss any questions about the roadmap.

Strategy Package

  • A full day on site with one of our team to thoroughly review your project
  • Three days of our experts performing a detailed analysis
  • A detailed written report outlining our findings
  • An in-depth analysis of the available technology, release schedule, and recommended solution
  • High level screen wireframes and mockups
  • Detailed estimates around expected project timing and costs
  • Another full day on site to present the report and answer any questions

Our Strategy package is designed for large projects, or projects that are critical within a company, such as automating across divisions or major processes.

By sitting down with your key staff, at your offices or ours, we can ensure that all their needs are addressed across organisational boundaries.

Included:

  • A full day onsite, in your offices or our capital city locations, to sit down, thoroughly review your project and discuss the options available.
  • A written report detailing:
    • An analysis of the product, its audience and users.
    • An analysis of the expected benefits of the project within your business.
    • A development plan in terms of what to release, when, and how to get a working release out to your users as soon as possible.
    • A review of the risks involved in the project, and how they can be mitigated or reduced.
    • An in depth technical analysis of the project and proposed solutions.
    • High level screen plans (wireframes) and mockups to help visualise the final solution and guide designers and developers during implementation.
    • User stories and workflows that make up the system.
    • Estimates around project time and costs, broken up for each of the major components.
  • A final day on site to present the report to your board or decision makers, answer any questions and help guide the next stage of development.