How we created a valuation app – Case Study

min read
Down arrow button

Blog >

How we created a valuation app – Case Study
Case Study

In the IT industry, any company offering services and developing custom applications faces the challenge of a time-consuming and complicated project pricing process. Until now, our company has lacked a tool that would allow us to efficiently create quotes, analyze the scope of projects and effectively manage the time allocated to each stage of work.

In response to these challenges, we decided to create an innovative tool that will meet our needs and allows us to effectively deal with the complex valuation of any project, gathering all the data in one place. The IT project case study will help you understand and realize the importance of tools that facilitate the daily work of the company.

The Problem

Before starting work on the project, our company faced some challenges. When we received new requests from clients for project quotes, we often wasted time manually calculating costs and analyzing requirements. We could not find a system on the market that met all our requirements and at the same time was simple and intuitive. This made processes less efficient and limited our ability to respond quickly to customer needs.

The lack of an effective project pricing tool at a custom application development company can have serious consequences for the business and client relationships. Here are some of the main consequences of this lack:

  • A waste of time and resources: Without a dedicated tool, the project pricing process becomes time-consuming and inefficient. Employees must spend a significant amount of time manually calculating costs and analyzing requirements, leading to wasted resources.
  • Lack of consistency in valuations: Manual valuations can be prone to errors and differences in interpretation of customer requirements. Without a uniform valuation tool, each employee may make valuations in his or her own way, leading to inconsistency and difficulty in comparing different quotations.
  • Negative impact on customer relations: Longer wait times for pricing and lack of transparency in the pricing process can negatively affect client relationships. Clients may feel frustrated by delays and lack of clarity on the cost and scope of the project.
  • Limited ability to scale: The lack of an effective project pricing tool can limit a company's ability to scale its business. Without the ability to quickly and accurately determine the cost and time required for projects, a company may find it difficult to accept and handle more orders.

As a result, the lack of dedicated project pricing software can lead to delays, errors and loss of potential customers, which has a significant impact on the company's efficiency and competitiveness in the market. Therefore, investing in the right project management and pricing tools is key to automating business processes in custom software companies.

Project pricing tool - the solution

The first step was to understand our clients' needs and our own expectations of the planned pricing software. We conducted an in-depth analysis of our project pricing processes and identified the features we would like to include in our tool.
We then proceeded to design the tool. We decided to develop an online platform, using the .NET 6.0 Framework, ASP.NET Core Blazor and Radzen Blazor Components. During the project, Jira was used to manage the project and the tasks needed to be completed.

One of the main functions of the tool is to create new users. A user is an employee of the company, responsible for project pricing. In our case they are company managers, project managers, product owners. Each user has the ability to create their projects by giving them a name and a timeframe.

Each user, after creating a project, can divide the tasks in it into 4 types:
- Epic
- Story
- Task
- Sub-task

Such a division is due to the use of Jira in most of our projects, when the project comes to fruition, and the client accepts the proposed quote very easily it will be possible to transfer individual shuffles to Jira keeping the same division.

The most common practice with pricing software is that the person in charge of the project, such as the Project Manager, after collecting full functionality specifications from the client, enters the scope of work into the Program. First, he divides the project into Epics, places specific stories under them, and each story has its own tasks to perform. The first Epic is usually the project setup, where all the work related to building the database structure and the full project infrastructure is located. Subsequent stories and tasks are already about the specific project, and their number depends on the size of the work to be priced.

This is followed by a meeting with the team, where specific elements of the project are discussed, additional tasks are added if something is missing, and key issues are determined. Often at the first such meeting with the team, questions are clarified that the client needs to answer so that the valuation is reliable. Once the functionality is clear and discussed we move on to pricing individual storis. Most often we price projects in Story Points, MD (Man day) or hours. Much depends on the scale of the project. Specific valuations are assigned to specific tasks in the program. All estimates added to stories, tasks and subtasks add up in Epic. It is important that stories and tasks have valuations added because it often happens that the client wants to abandon a particular functionality, or postpone it, thus reducing costs. In such a case, it is very easy to find a specific function and exclude it from the quote.

A function that is often used is task transfer. Sometimes it is necessary to move a task under another story, which has been made possible in a simple way. It is also possible to change the type of task, edit and delete. During all actions involving moving and editing tasks, all estimations are immediately recalculated. In addition, we have focused on a simple user interface that will be intuitive for our employees and customers.

Benefits and results

After a few weeks of work, the project pricing tool was ready for use. Almost immediately we noticed that it made our project pricing process much more efficient. We can now respond more quickly to customer inquiries and modifications. Everything is clearly described and priced, which makes it easier for us to return to the project once the quote has been accepted.

The lessons we have learned from this project are huge. First, we understood the importance of investing in the development of internal software that supports our business processes. Second, we learned that collaboration between the IT team and the business department is crucial to the success of internal software implementation. And finally, we learned that even the most complex challenges can be overcome if you work with a team of motivated and capable individuals.

With our new project quoting tool, we are more competitive in the IT market and our company is better equipped to handle a variety of projects. A specific process has been prepared, which we follow from the beginning as soon as a company receives a request for a project quote until the project is completed. Such a process, thanks to the project valuation tool, has allowed us to avoid many mistakes and misunderstandings that existed during previous project valuations, where each one went differently and in an uncontrolled manner. This is another step forward in our path to success, but also an inspiration to continuously improve our processes and tools. For the company, it was a milestone that has given us better control over the project pricing process, as well as improved our collaboration with clients.

About The Author
Izabela Węgrecka

Izabela is a Project Manager and Scrum Master with 6 years of experience in the IT industry. She has experience in leading diverse projects and effectively managing teams. She's a leader with the ability to create cohesive and efficient teams based on Scrum values. Regardless of the project's scale, she's able to establish a dynamic environment where collaboration, innovation, and delivering valuable products take precedence.