9 Replies - 14421 Views - Last Post: 27 September 2010 - 03:53 AM

#1 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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How to make a software proposal?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 06:30 AM

Does anyone have a format on how to make a software proposal on paper for someone to approve?

I've received the OK to build a software, but I need to make a document outlining things about what I'm going to build. Frankly, I've never done this and it feels like something everyone should know.

Any guidance?
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Replies To: How to make a software proposal?

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to make a software proposal?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:24 AM

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RentAcoder.com has a long list of requirements that you might be able to pull some ideas out of.
But it does rather depend on the complexity of the project. Something that will take only a few hours would be a lot different than somethint that will take months.

Your client should have provided you with rather specific details about what to build, how it should look and behave. If they didn't, watch out. You may get trapped into doing a lot more than you planned.

If it is a complex package, then you may want to include payment points at certain milestones or phases of the project. Breaking it down to $1,000 for the clerk software, $1,000 for the inventory management and so on is one way to make sure you don't get totally ripped off as well as forcing the client to approve what you are doing in stages along the way.

You may also want/need to design the key UI screens as part of the proposal. In my experience clients will spend a lot of time over how it looks more than how it performs. How it looks will also indicate what features are included. If they come back and ask "What about xyz?" you can also say "It was never included or shown to you. You approved the features as shown to you in screen diagram 24"
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#3 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to make a software proposal?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:46 AM

Software Design Specification
System Requirement Specification
etc...
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#4 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to make a software proposal?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:02 AM

What would that 'etc' be?
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#5 Sethro117  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to make a software proposal?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:18 AM

Try this - http://is.hsc.uth.tm...eGuidelines.pdf
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#6 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to make a software proposal?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 08:44 AM

View Poststapia.gutierrez, on 23 June 2010 - 07:02 AM, said:

What would that 'etc' be?


Make a list of everything you and the client agreed on.
Write it in extreme detail. "I will provide: x, y, z - by the date of _____ for the sum of $______"

If you agreed to a period of time where the client can expect fixes to bugs, for free then include it.
If you agreed to provide jelly doughnuts to the sales staff every Friday until the project is done, then include it.
If you agreed to a data entry screen, a manager override screen and a warehouse audit screen then dummy them up and include them.
If you agreed to 5 stages of completion with 20% payment after each stage was approved, then include it.

If you've already been given the green light to write the program, then you must have already hashed this out and the people here have given you several links.

You asked a very generic question, with no details of the project. Nobody can write your proposal for you. Did you promise to write a pocket calculator or an entire mobile phone SMS system? As you can imagine the details of the contract are determined by the complexity of the project.

Nobody can be great at everything. Just because you are a good coder doesn't make you a software contract lawyer. Given all the trouble you are having here, perhaps you need to higher a professional to do this... at least the first time. Then you will have a contract to use as a template in the future.
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#7 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to make a software proposal?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:52 AM

Software Project Proposals are more than just the scope of the software, however. As was mentioned, support is key. But more than that, you need to provide documentation explaining who is affected and how these users will benefit from your hard work, and why it is worth spending all this money on your software. Basically, you need to answer the following questions:
  • Who is affected by the change of including your software?
  • What exactly does your program do?
  • Where and when will it be implemented?
  • Why should it be implemented/how will it make our lives better/easier?
  • How will you finish this project (ie., human resources needed if this is internal, approval processes, adding/removing/renegotiating, etc.)?

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#8 Sergio Tapia  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to make a software proposal?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 09:59 AM

View PosttlhIn, on 23 June 2010 - 10:44 AM, said:

If you've already been given the green light to write the program, then you must have already hashed this out and the people here have given you several links.


This passive-aggressiveness helps no one. :nono:


Also, thanks macos for the guidelines, I'll start working on it and post it here for some feedback later on.
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#9 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to make a software proposal?

Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:01 PM

Glad I could help! :)
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#10 Adkins  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to make a software proposal?

Posted 27 September 2010 - 03:53 AM

Here are a couple of links that I found that were interesting reads for me. I have never done one of these so I am not sure if this will be helpful or not, but does have some good stuff for consideration.

Software Project Proposal templates
Writing a Business Software Proposal That Wins - 5 Key Points
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