Phone: (972) 644-9763
Email: info@protolink.com

ProtoLink home page About us Services Our clients Testimonials Our projects Employment Contact us

Keys To Success

Over the years, a few of our customers have asked us a question along the lines of “why is it that the projects we outsource to ProtoLink are consistently successful when our internal teams and other vendors seem to be constantly struggling to deliver on time and within budget?”

The outline below identifies our thoughts as to why we are succeeding where other well-intentioned groups have struggled. The answers owe less to following rigid development processes than to applying common sense and maximizing some inherent small company advantages. The item shown in bold likely represents the single most important key to our success.

  • Hire great people
    • Engineering degree with high GPA from respected school
    • Experience
    • No signs of “job hopping” on resume
    • Architectural expertise
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills
    • Permanent hires only (no contractors)
  • Retain these great people
    • Sane working hours (40) are the norm
    • State-of-the-art tools
      • Hardware
      • Software
    • Limited travel
    • Continually adopt new technologies (this benefits our customers and provides our employees the peace-of-mind of knowing that their skills are current)
    • Prevent boredom through variety of:
      • Tasks performed:
        • Design
        • Implementation
        • Testing
        • Documentation
      • Skills applied:
        • Windows development
        • Web development
        • Database design
      • Industries served:
        • Energy
        • Medical
        • Food
        • Utilities
        • Semiconductors
        • Lumber
        • General Manufacturing
        • Telecommunications
    • Surround them with other great people
      • This gives them other strong minds with whom to bounce ideas off of
      • This prevents them from having to carry the weight of underperforming peers
    • Comfortable work environment (individual offices with windows)
    • Excellent benefits
  • High employee retention, coupled with project affinity, results in developers writing code with the assumption that they will be the ones asked to maintain or extend that code five years down the road. This yields the following important benefits with regard to software craftsmanship:
    • Thorough source code documentation
    • Designs which anticipate likely future enhancements
    • Thinking through the “exception” cases
    • Thorough testing
  • Miscellaneous
    • We have very few internal meetings to disrupt the developers' focused efforts
    • Our flat org chart eliminates potential ego issues
    • While our developers share basic core skills, they also bring complementary strengths which allow us to address a wide range of software development challenges
    • Our exposure to different vertical industries allows us to apply concepts learned from one industry to another industry
    • We attempt to generalize problems and solutions as much as possible
    • We allow our employees to “play to their strengths”
    • We are able to focus on new development, because we do not spend all of our time fixing bugs on past deliverables
  • Pricing, Bidding and Scheduling
    • Three pricing models
      • Fixed-price (only if a job is well-defined)
      • Time and Materials (T&M)
      • Hybrid
        • T&M discovery and scope definition phase
        • Fixed-price development phase
    • Bidding
      • Project decomposed into individual tasks
      • Lead designer presents tasks to peers
      • Each individual provides their own estimate for each task
      • Discrepancies are reconciled until a consensus is reached for each task
      • Contingency applied on fixed-price bids
      • Results of previous, similar projects are also taken into account
    • Scheduling
      • Schedules assume 40 hour work weeks and leave room for vacations and holidays
      • Schedules also leave room to provide support for previous customers

 
Copyright © 1992-2014 ProtoLink® All rights reserved.