When we begin a new client relationship, like most vendors, we ask our clients what their budget is for the software or digital product they have in mind. We rarely get a straight answer as clients have often been burned in the past, assuming that whatever they state their budget to be, that’s what they will be charged regardless of the work.
Believe us, we’ve been there, both on the client and vendor side of the relationship. These experiences were some of the driving forces in starting Augusto with a completely different approach in mind.
The budget answer is still important but perhaps for different reasons. At Augusto, our approach is to take any size budget and deliver the most amount of value possible for that amount. The value proven from that first cycle will earn more budget if necessary to meet the goals of the software or the overarching business goals.
Our mission is to deliver value while building trust.
The successful strategy we use to do this is organizing our timeline and priorities by six-week cycles.
Aligning objectives to the rhythm of business
A six-week cycle is made up of three, two-week sprints. As developers, we love the common two-week sprint format because it hones our team in on specific, nitty-gritty, manageable deliverables. Sprints are where the development work actually happens. However, it’s easy to focus only on these short sprints and lose sight of the long-term goal.
That’s why we connect three sprints, linked by a theme and set of goals. When we start to focus clients’ goals into years, quarters, cycles, and sprints, it becomes much easier to manage expectations and outcomes because they all align to the rhythm of business and provide the granularity of information needed for all levels of an organization.
This concept works brilliantly in software systems because these products we’re working on don’t fit naturally into compartments; rather, they evolve over time.
An agile, collaborative approach to product development
When working with a client on a large project, we like to start thinking in terms of years (or even multiple years). That way we can identify a specific outcome to pursue in one calendar year. Using that goal, we can then build out a smaller set of objectives.
The natural rhythm of business breaks time into quarters, and just two six-week cycles equal a quarter. You can start to see how much easier product management becomes when we’re thinking in clearly-defined and manageable chunks of time. This strategy offers the incredible benefit of delivering high value every six weeks.
We use this system as a guide. A key to this process is its flexibility and scalability as we know each product is variable. We aren’t so ridgid that we can slow down from time to time in between cycles for milestones, demos, discovery and discussing feedback so we ensure alignment with business goals. The idea is to get into a predictable rhythm of producing value.
Building trust through accountability & transparency
The biggest benefit to working in six-week cycles is that we build the right system for our clients - even if it’s not exactly what they predicted at the beginning. But getting to a place where all parties buy in to this method of working takes time.
So, while Augusto often encourages our clients to operate in six-week cycles from the start, we understand that building trust takes time—and we’re willing to let our work speak for itself.
We don’t want you to overspend when you’re not quite sure what you want to build. No one knows the true scope of a project at the beginning, which is why we focus on delivering immediate value—then iterating toward success.
We even let our clients interact directly with our project management platform, so they can see the vision coming to life and change direction as desired.