Vision and Direction
A project starts with a vision of the goal. Typically this vision is communicated to us through diagrams and pictures, requirements documents, phone calls and sometimes face-to-face meetings. Often a non-disclosure agreement is created early in the process to protect both parties. Our aims at this stage are mainly:
- to capture the requirements in such a way that a full feasibility stage can begin from a solid base
- to guide the client in terms of what is possible and the likely budget requirement
- to make information available to the client about our capabilities and IP library, and how well these match up with the requirements
- to understand the high-level goals of the project, how it fits in with other activites in which the client is engaged, and what the future direction might be after this project
- to ultimately present a proposal for feasibility
Different clients have different approaches for communicating their product vision. Some arrive with a clear and detailed document after months of effort. Others find it impossible to write anything down, and expect us to tease out the full requirements as part of feasibility. Often the requirements need to be discussed at length to understand the trade-offs and motivations behind them. Some requirements have huge cost or complexity implications; while these are dealt with in detail during feasibility it is often helpful to be able to provide some advice at this early stage.
Assuming that a clear vision is obtained and a clear project is outlines, then we normally produce a short proposal, typicaly 8-10 pages long. This details:
- Broad objectives
- Platform requirements in terms of hardware, software, firmware (FPGA), connectors, enclosure, environment and enclosure, etc.
- Project overview listing stages, rough timelines and sometimes budgetary pricing
- A number of sections picking up on particular points of interest to the client at this stage
- A quote for feasibility, typically NZ$6-12k