Why rejecting projects due to resourcing challenges is avoidable
Monday, November 6, 2017 by Ales
Even though I have been with AGILEDROP for little over than three months now, I already found myself in a situation when two of our potential clients were on the verge of declining their clients. The reasons for that were different, I'll go into more detail later. The agencies we approached differed in size, one being bigger (more than 50 people) the other smaller (less than 10 people). And the challenges they faced were also different. As you will see we could help both of them, but in the end, only one of the agencies trusted us that we are capable of delivering.
From a simple straightforward issue...
I will share the story of a smaller agency first. We started talking about how to work together and very soon the client came to us with a brief for a project. They should act quickly but they didn't have the necessary skills in-house to develop a Drupal 8 module. But we had. I informed our potential client that we checked the brief and that we are fully capable of delivering the module. An almost frantic exchange of emails stopped when our potential client informed me, that they declined the project. Knowing that we would be totally comfortable to work with them and deliver on time.
The reasons for declining the project were related to time restraint issues. I guess it might not even be the development area that prevented the agency to sign the contract. It might have as well been the project management or something else. Either way, I believe that the agency could and should seize the opportunity and pass the development work on us and through that free up some of the in-house resources. What would be needed is just a little bit of trust that we can deliver.
... to a complex project
Let's move now to the second case. This agency was bigger its clients more known, and also the projects the agency was working on were more complex and large-scaled. We approached the agency and again started to discuss the terms of our possible cooperation. They did disclose us they have some great contracts in the pipeline, just waiting to sign them and start working. And yes, they would definitely need someone to help them out in the development area. Great, we will definitely be the right fit for your needs also. Days, weeks passed by, and there is this strange silence from the potential client. No replies to emails, no replies to phone calls. You know it right away that something is off. Something has happened. After a month we do manage to get a feedback from our potential client.
What happened? As we found out later the client was very close to making a decision to pass on the project. They lacked developers who could be dedicated to working on the project. Shelving it for a couple of months was not an option for the client, so there was no other option than passing on the contract. Yes, our potential client did need a team of developers to be working on the aforementioned project, which was unfortunately unavailable at the time. But it was a big project with a possibility of an up-sell. Lively debate ensued at our client’s office and they did manage to decide to trust us and the team we selected to integrate. They needed a team of two back-end developers and one front-end developer. Which could be provided by us. A team working from the same office with a defined team-lead and project management done from our client's side. Our client made some minor adjustments to be prepared for the onboarding of our three developers. In the end, trusting us, paid off. Not just for them, but also for us. They got a long-time client, and our client got a long-time development partner.
To sum it up
There are different kinds of projects, contracts. There are the "one-timers" and then there are the big contracts with options of up-sell and/or cross-sell. Maintenance, support, migration, upgrades quite often come in the package with big projects and thus could present a significant revenue.
For us, all these projects are the same. We know how to handle them. And you can rely on us to deliver on time and within budget. I have said it before, there are numerous reasons why someone passes on a contract/project, don't let the challenges you feel you have in the development area be the reason for declining or bowing out of the project. There is always someone available in our company who can build a custom module in D8 or someone who has experience working with Drupal Commerce or you actually need a team of developers to work with someone from your team to deliver.
As quite often is the case, the communication, or the lack thereof, could lead to some bad decisions. When you face a resourcing challenge, you have to remember that it is a challenge, not Mt. Everest you should climb in a couple of months. And challenges as such quite often do have a simple and working solution. Get in touch, we dealt with all kinds of challenges in the past and know how to cope with and overcome them.