Figure I-3.3 A simple composite was created to show the Sonic Systems executives approximately what the application would look like.
Now that the primary functionality was planned, Rhonda facilitated the creation of the actual project blueprint to be presented to Sonic Systems. Ernie included his design documents. Victor and Jim reviewed and included the ERD and all of the flowcharts, plus detailed descriptions of what each aspect of the application would do. This included the main aspects as discussed: Portal Log-in, Portal Drawing, Portlet Rendering, Portal Configurator, and Administrator. Where possible, use cases, or what options a user would have at each step (such as the log-in), were explained.
When the blueprint was completed, Project Omega held a meeting with the Sonic Systems team to walk them through it and explain what everything meant. The Sonic team could then take it back to the office to review it for a couple days and report any necessary changes. As it turned out, Sonic did have some changes, but they related to the blueprint's wording and clarity, and didn't affect the application's functionalitywhich led the Project Omega team to heave a collective sigh of relief.
This blueprint called for a fixed cost for the development phase and required payment in full for the planning time used to create the blueprint, as well as a 50-percent deposit on the development cost. The final 50 percent would be due after the development was completed. Project Omega had found that by doing the planning part of a project on a strictly hourly basis, that part stayed on budget even if the client asked for a lot of changes. The development itself could be done as a fixed bid because there would be no surprises or changes during that process.This meant thatas often was the casewhen Sonic came up with new ideas, it was easy to explain that additional hours would be needed to plan and document the new functionality, and the development costs would go up. This included changing the design. Ultimately, clients would only add new features at this point if it were absolutely imperative to the application. In Sonic's case, the application itself was a bit overwhelming in the abstract, but Victor was sure they would have plenty of ideas once they actually saw it. Overall, it was a successful presentation and Sonic signed the revised blueprint and made their payment, allowing development to begin.