Although each client and project is different, the overall process for working with us is generally the same. While we leverage many patterns and shared techniques from our collective experience, we approach each project with an open mind to new ideas.
Ordinary Experts is a distributed company, meaning that there is no central office - we all are based in the US and work remotely. We love to visit our client's offices for meetings and other special events but in general support our clients remotely.
To start, we first want to learn about your team and your project. We do this with an initial introductory conference call between yourself and Dylan Vaughn, the founder and CEO of Ordinary Experts. That meeting can be scheduled here:
In that meeting, Dylan will do a brief overview of the capabilities of Ordinary Experts, then listen and discuss the specific project at hand.
Afterwards, Ordinary Experts will prepare a short (3-5 page) proposal that documents the background and conversations to that point, as well as Ordinary Experts’ development proposal for achieving the goals of the project. This proposal outlines the recommended technical strategy, including specific IaC methodologies and toolsets to be used. The proposal also includes the resources to be staffed on the project (for example, 10 hours per week of a Project Manager, 32 hours per week of a Technical Lead, 32 hours per week of a Software Engineer), the rates for the resources, as well as an estimated project length.
While we do provide high-level estimates for projects, we do not do fixed-bid projects. We bill hourly and invoice monthly. We have two hourly rates, “Standard”, which includes the Software Engineer and Project Manager roles, and “Senior”, which includes the Technical Lead and Project Management Lead roles.
However we do have one “packaged” consulting project - the AWS Well-Architected Review.
AWS Well-Architected Review
This is a great program where Ordinary Experts leads your team through a free 2-4 hour review of your application against AWS’ Well-Architected Framework (a collection of AWS best practices) using the AWS Well-Architected Tool. After that review, we will prepare a list of recommendations to remediate any High Risk issues that were identified. If you then hire Ordinary Experts to help implement those fixes, AWS will give you a $5,000 USD service credit after improvements are made. We scope this project to be priced at $5,000 USD from Ordinary Experts, so after the AWS service credit this program pays for itself!
Paperwork and Kick-off Steps
After discussing the proposal, Ordinary Experts will provide you with our standard Master Service Agreement via SignNow. After executing that document (or we can also work with documents provided by you), we will schedule a kick-off meeting between your team and the Ordinary Experts team that will be working on your project.
We will also set up a project budget, a shared project workspace in JIRA, and a shared Slack channel for team communication.
During a Project
While each project is different, generally the Project Manager will meet with your team every week for a status call. In this call the Project Manager updates your team on progress, any unplanned activities that may have occurred, any roadblocks that the team is currently encountering, and get an update on your priorities. As needed, the Technical Lead for the project will join this call for technical discussions.
Addionally, the Project Manager will also meet with the internal Ordinary Experts project team each week. During this internal meeting, the team will update each other on status and next actions in the JIRA board for the project.
On a day-to-day basis, the Ordinary Experts team will be in contact with your team via email and Slack.
After a Project
After the completion of a project, many clients move into a “maintenance” relationship with Ordinary Experts, where we continue to support certain aspects of their infrastructure on an as needed basis.