Developing results-oriented databases for companies
that demand a tangible return on their investment









































































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Mission Statement


Data Strategies Standard Consulting Practices

This document describes our standard client work relationship but clearly does not fit all circumstances. In this instance it serves as a form of introduction to Data Strategies. Therefore, all of the specific items below are open for modification as your project and business rules require.

Working with Data Strategies:

Rates: Data Strategies bills for analysis, design, application development, and related activities on an hours-consumed basis. Work is tracked and billed in increments of the quarter hour. Please contact Data Strategies for questions regarding rates and availability. Once work begins for a client, meetings with the client are considered billable activities. Should you expect an activity to be free, we should establish this prior to expending the time.

Data Strategies normally works on an hours-consumed basis. This means that we provide an estimate of the hours needed to complete the work discussed. The client is kept informed of the actual time consumed on a weekly basis and can use this information to manage and adjust the work authorized.

At the client's request, we may consider working via a fixed bid. When we do prepare a fixed bid, we estimate the work to be done and multiply this time by our rate. Then we multiply this number by our fixed-rate formula in order to cover the time that will be needed to carefully document deliverables, absorb changing specifications, handle scheduled and unscheduled meetings and phone calls, etc.. It will normally cost significantly more for work done under a fixed bid than under an hours consumed basis.

Invoices: Data Strategies normally invoices on a bi-weekly basis. While such frequent invoices may seem an annoyance, they also serve as progress/status reports to help the client manage their project. Software development costs can grow at a frighteningly fast pace and many of our clients have found that weekly invoices provide an additional means of managing costs, monitoring progress, and prioritizing features.

Invoices are due when received. Periodically we provide a detailed log of work performed with invoices. On other occasions we itemize actions performed and the time expended for these actions.

If ever there are any questions about an invoice please notify us promptly so that we can work to resolve them.

Estimates: Estimates represent a good faith effort on our part to quantify the amount of work required to accomplish tasks and their associated sub-tasks. On occasion an estimate we provide will differ from the actual work required. Regardless of the estimate, we invoice only for time expended.

In cases where the work required to complete a task exceeds the estimated time we will make every effort to notify you as soon as we identify this situation. At this point we will normally cease work, and provide a revised estimate for your approval. This affords you an opportunity to approve the work or change the desired features in order to manage the work within the original estimate. In some circumstances we will - in good faith - continue to work pending your approval. These circumstances are most commonly found when the total project work assigned or remaining is less than 40 hours.

Some projects or parts of a project may be open-ended - that is, we are not expected to estimate pieces of work before performing them. This frequently happens when working on an existing project developed by another developer. By carefully reviewing invoices when you receive them, you can better manage costs and prioritize your needs. This will help to ensure that you get the most essential elements of your software accomplished within your overall budget.

Quality: Sometimes a bug is just a feature that has not been developed or considered. At other times, it represents incomplete software - that is, unfinished work. We make every effort to deliver complete and bug free work but the reality is that bugs are a part of custom software. The fact is, if every feature and bug were caught prior to delivery you would have paid for the time invested to reach that level of perfection. For this reason we ask that you do not approach software issues as a "gotcha". We encourage you to share in the quality control/testing phase of any work we deliver since - in many ways - this represents an extension of your usability testing. When problems are found, some will be fixed at our expense while others will require additional development work at your expense. The most important thing is to work closely together and communicate.

Data Strategies provides you with the highest quality standards and conventions. Every effort is made to write generic and reusable processes. This means that once a process is implemented, other sections of your application can re-use them. This saves you dollars since generic processes do not have to be re-coded for each subsystem that needs them. Data Strategies also uses strict naming conventions with all database objects and code. These conventions provide an internal consistency and self-documentation that should (if you later desire enhancements or modifications) reduce the cost.

Ownership: The software Data Strategies provides you is yours. You can modify this software without further obligation to Data Strategies. You may distribute as many copies as you like within your own business. In cases where our work is to be resold, arrangements must be made to that effect, prior to the resale. We make no other assertion of ownership beyond the following:

Your project contains techniques and specific code derived from projects that we have previously completed. By re-using such items, Data Strategies is able to provide you the best technology at the best cost. Data Strategies retains the right to re-use any and all techniques, code, and processes delivered for your project in all current and future Data Strategies development activities with other clients.

Non-disclosure and Non-compete Clauses: We are willing to consider any reasonable non-disclosure or non-compete agreement in order to protect your software investment and competitive position in the marketplace. Should this be a concern of yours we should address this promptly.

On/Off/Site Work: Data Strategies performs software development work at the Data Strategies office or at your location. We are able to work on stand-alone projects or as part of your larger development team. Working at the Data Strategies office normally provides the advantage of working on top line equipment and with Data Strategies resources and tools readily available. This usually yields greater productivity and a reduced cost for your software. We do charge, at a reduced rate, for travel, and we also charge for any additional expenses incurred while working at locations other than our offices.

Data Strategies will make extensive use of electronic communications if available and has accomplished numerous projects around the country and overseas using email, the Internet, and telephone conversations to perform management, analysis, and software distribution activities.

We look forward to the opportunity of working with you and your staff.