Doutel Software Services has found over the years that how we conduct our business and how we relate to our clients are as important as, and tantamount to the quality of the product we deliver. To that end, we’ve formulated a list of guiding principles, some of which we’ve set forth below. We hope these give you a sense of what to expect in your dealings with us.

Be Honest With The Customer.

Don’t say you can do it if you can’t. If you see a better way to accomplish the task at hand, say so. If you hit a snag in a project, let the client know. Hiding a problem damages the project and your relationship with the client.

Use every means at your disposal to understand the client’s needs and stated requirements.

Listen carefully and ask questions; the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. It is often the failure to ask this selfsame question which returns to haunt you. Careful analysis and design is the cornerstone of a successful software project. Remember that the client’s needs are not always necessarily stated as requirements. If you spot something the client may have missed, say so; insightfulness is one of the things they pay you for.

If You Commit To It, Deliver It.

Use every shred of applicable knowledge and skill in the execution of the agreed-upon design. If you lack sufficient knowledge, acquire more. If you lack a tool, get it. Every effort should be made during the analysis and design to identify and understand the technologies which will be involved in the solution.

Communicate Effectively And Often.

Never leave the client in the dark; let the client know what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how well or badly it’s going (re-read rule #1). Do this often; their peace of mind, resource allocation and sometimes their reputation depend upon it.

Always Be Aware Of Your Cost To The Client.

The cost of your product may extend far beyond the delivery date. Maintainability is directly impacted by the hour-by-hour coding choices you make in development. Ask yourself, “Is this really the best way to do this?” and “Would you be proud to affix your name to this?” If the answer is “No” in either case, find a better way.