HTML Development and Delivery Issue

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Umar, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Umar

    Umar Guest

    In Joe's ecommerce shop, we are trying to be minimize project costs and work with vendors to be creative so that we can keep the software developmentscosts reasonable. The costs for web design and development, outsourced to an agency (vendor), has a pretty high $ value.

    In a project the annotations document for a Web project has been developed internally. Only HTML development has been outsourced to the agency.

    When the vendor was initially engaged, it was assumed that the vendor, using the annotations document as reference, would identify the relevant HTML pages that existed in production. However, the vendor relayed that there would considerable effort (labor) to identify these HTML pages and wanted Joe to identify and provide these pages. However, the baseline HTML pages that were provided by Joe to the vendor were somewhat flawed.

    The results have been less than desirable.

    In the microcosm of Joe's eCommerce world, there are multiple projects being executed and the web experience that is being delivered to the customer is constantly evolving. Joe's team just deployed a major release a couple ofweeks ago.

    Joe sees a plethora of HTML issues that need to be resolved by the vendor ASAP.

    There is no source code control for the HTML pages in either Joe's shop or at the vendor.

    Fast forward to where we are now....

    1. Joe asks the vendor to "identify and aggregate the HTML pages from the production environment that will serve as the "new and accurate baseline"".

    2. Joe asks the vendor to incorporate the previously developed HTML snippets (using the old baseline) into the new baseline.

    The vendor reviews the above ask in 1 and 2 and states that the question isnot clear.

    I'd be glad to obtain feedback and figure out:

    * The steps to educate the vendor regarding how to do (1) [intent as statedabove]
    * Similarly (2) [intent as stated above]

    Joe has been going back and forth on this. So right now the feeling is would we need to draw a picture to make this as clear as mud.

    Any insights on how to challenge the vendor's point of view is that this isa major implementation effort.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Umar, Mar 28, 2013
    #1
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  2. Umar

    Mike Duffy Guest

    Umar <> wrote in
    news::

    > The vendor reviews the above ask in 1 and 2 and states
    > that the question is not clear


    I'm in total agreement with the vendor on this point.


    > Any insights on how to challenge the vendor's point of view is that
    > this is a major implementation effort.


    If the specifications you give to the vendor are like the explanantion
    given above, you are indeed facing a challenge.

    If you feel that the vendor is exagerating the effort, try a few other
    vendors. More importantly, get a clear idea yourself of what the web site
    should look like. If the "annotations document" is clear and concise,
    turning it into a web site should be straightforward.

    --
    http://pages.videotron.ca/duffym/index.htm
     
    Mike Duffy, Mar 28, 2013
    #2
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  3. On Thu, 28 Mar 2013 00:45:08 +0000, Mike Duffy wrote:

    > Umar <> wrote in
    > news::
    >
    >> The vendor reviews the above ask in 1 and 2 and states that the
    >> question is not clear

    >
    > I'm in total agreement with the vendor on this point.
    >
    >> Any insights on how to challenge the vendor's point of view is that
    >> this is a major implementation effort.

    >
    > If the specifications you give to the vendor are like the explanantion
    > given above, you are indeed facing a challenge.
    >
    > If you feel that the vendor is exagerating the effort, try a few other
    > vendors. More importantly, get a clear idea yourself of what the web
    > site should look like. If the "annotations document" is clear and
    > concise, turning it into a web site should be straightforward.


    It sounds to me as if Joe may have made the mistake of going to a cheap
    and cheerful offshore web shop that may not have taken the time to fully
    understand and obtain from Joe details of what he wanted to start with.

    Because the web shop has failed to understand Joe's business, and Joe's
    way of doing things, Joe and the web shop have travelled down two broadly
    parallel roads occasionally shouting something to each other and hoping
    that it can be heard by the other party.

    However, the roads were slowly diverging and are now so far apart that
    both Joe and the web shop have to cross some boggy marshes and sandy
    deserts to meet in the middle.

    Good luck with that.

    --
    Denis McMahon,
     
    Denis McMahon, Mar 28, 2013
    #3
  4. Umar

    Mike Duffy Guest

    Denis McMahon <> wrote in
    news:kj1g8t$k50$:

    > ... Joe and the web shop have travelled down
    > two broadly parallel roads occasionally shouting
    > something to each other and hoping that it can be
    > heard by the other party.
    >
    > However, the roads were slowly diverging and
    > are now so far apart that both Joe and the web
    > shop have to cross some boggy marshes and sandy
    > deserts to meet in the middle.



    Excellent analogy! If they are lucky, they will meet in the middle.

    If not, each will dig a few foxholes and start launching mortars.

    --
    http://pages.videotron.ca/duffym/index.htm
     
    Mike Duffy, Mar 28, 2013
    #4
  5. On Thu, 28 Mar 2013 20:22:16 +0000, Mike Duffy wrote:

    > Denis McMahon <> wrote in
    > news:kj1g8t$k50$:
    >
    >> ... Joe and the web shop have travelled down two broadly parallel roads
    >> occasionally shouting something to each other and hoping that it can be
    >> heard by the other party.


    >> However, the roads were slowly diverging and are now so far apart that
    >> both Joe and the web shop have to cross some boggy marshes and sandy
    >> deserts to meet in the middle.


    > Excellent analogy! If they are lucky, they will meet in the middle.


    > If not, each will dig a few foxholes and start launching mortars.


    I'm not sure what Joe expected from "the Vendor" in the first place.

    >>> In a project the annotations document for a Web project has been
    >>> developed internally. Only HTML development has been outsourced
    >>> to the agency. When the vendor was initially engaged, it was
    >>> assumed that the vendor, using the annotations document as reference,
    >>> would identify the relevant HTML pages that existed in production."


    That sounds to me as if Joe was expecting "the Vendor" to identify a
    subset of web pages from an existing web site developed by I have no idea
    who based on the contents of Joe's "annotations document".

    So presumably Joe already had some sort of web site, but wanted "the
    Vendor" to do something to the web site based on some document that
    didn't actually say what Joe wanted "the Vendor" to do to the web site,
    but rather contained notes about the web project.

    >>> However, the baseline HTML pages that were provided by Joe to the
    >>> vendor were somewhat flawed. The results have been less than
    >>> desirable.


    Well that's not a great surprise. If Joe doesn't know what he wants in
    the first place, when he wrote the annotations document, then how on
    earth is "the Vendor" meant to determine what Joe wants?

    It sounds as if Joe was unable to "identify the relevant HTML pages that
    existed in production" despite having written the "annotations document",
    and that as a result of Joe's failure, the resulting website is a mess.

    Fairly fundamentally, if Joe, who wrote the annotations document, and
    presumably has an idea of what Joe wants, was unable to identify the
    existing web site pages that would form the baseline of the new web site,
    then "the Vendor" would have had little or no chance of doing so.

    And then:

    >>> Joe asks the vendor to "identify and aggregate the HTML pages from
    >>> the production environment that will serve as the "new and accurate
    >>> baseline"".


    Joe still expects "the Vendor" to carry out a task that Joe, despite
    having written the annotations document, has been unable to do. My
    response to this is that until Joe works out what he wants and manages to
    clearly and succinctly convey that information to "the Vendor", "the
    Vendor" will be unable to deliver what Joe requires.

    >>> Joe asks the vendor to incorporate the previously developed HTML
    >>> snippets (using the old baseline) into the new baseline.


    What old baseline? The web site that existed before Joe brought in "the
    Vendor", or the flawed baseline HTML pages that were provided by Joe to
    "the Vendor"?

    Now Joe asks:

    >>> * The steps to educate the vendor regarding how to do (1) [intent
    >>> as stated above]
    >>> * Similarly (2) [intent as stated above]


    What is actually needed is for "the Vendor" to educate Joe as to how Joe
    should be presenting information to "the Vendor". If Joe is asking for an
    existing web site to be modified, which it sounds like, then Joe needs to
    clearly identify to "the Vendor" who will be doing the work what aspects
    of the web site Joe does and does not want to keep, what Joe wants
    changed, and how Joe wants it changed.

    If Joe has in mind some core set of pages on the web site that he wishes
    to form the foundation of the new web site, either in the information
    they convey, the style and layout of the pages, or some other feature of
    those pages, then Joe needs to accurately convey that information to "the
    Vendor".

    >>> Joe has been going back and forth on this. So right now the feeling
    >>> is would we need to draw a picture to make this as clear as mud.


    Yes, Joe may need to draw pictures, or at the very least, have to clearly
    explain to the vendor in terms that the vendor understands what it is Joe
    wants.

    >>> Any insights on how to challenge the vendor's point of view is that
    >>> this is a major implementation effort.


    Yes. Tell Joe that it is a major implementation effort, and that every
    change that results from a failure on Joe's part to identify what he
    wanted with appropriate clarity and for which he subsequently updates the
    requirement will result in an additional charge to Joe.

    If Joe wants a website designed, then Joe has to specify what he wants.
    If Joe keeps changing the specification, then Joe should expect to pay
    both for the work done in producing the old specification, and the work
    done in making the subsequent changes to meet the modified specification.

    --
    Denis McMahon,
     
    Denis McMahon, Apr 2, 2013
    #5
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