In this article, we would like to present the differences between paid and free product workshops. You can often meet the offer of free consultations or workshops. For obvious reasons, they tempt with a low cost (incurred directly), but we would like to point out the pros and cons of both forms of product workshops.
It is worth knowing that both paid and free product workshops can be run in two ways.
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What can product workshops be like?
At LSB DATA, we carry out product workshops in two ways:
1. Quick Product Workshop – they are usually based on already prepared design documentation. Their main purpose is to support the valuation or estimation of the project's labor consumption.
2. Full product workshops – may start with a “clean slate”, but also with existing documentation. This form is often chosen at the beginning of the formation of the project.
We leave the choice to the customer - however, it should be noted that depending on the type of project and the state of knowledge and documentation currently available - the choice of one of the options may not be optimal.
Product workshops are described in more detail on our blog in the article Product workshops - do you need them, when to start?
Quick product workshops - consultations - advantages and disadvantages
In a situation where the client already has at least basic project documentation and wants to get an initial offer for the implementation of a given project, we offer the form of short product workshops.
Before making a decision, it's worth looking at the pros and cons of this approach:
- Time saving
They do not last long, you can quickly achieve the goal of the workshop
- Low costs
Even free consultations involve the client's employees, and thus generate costs. Therefore, quick consultations reduce the cost on the client's side.
- Getting to know the potential contractor
In a short time, you can obtain basic information about a potential contractor, which will allow you to assess the contractor's experience and professionalism.
- Lack of accuracy / superficiality
During the limited time it is difficult to discuss and clarify all the details, so it can be concluded that the goal has been achieved only superficially.
- Risk of missing a critical issue
The saying "the devil is in the details" takes on a direct meaning - one element can overturn the entire architecture of a project.
- No feedback/improvements
In the case of quick workshops, they are mainly used to clarify the valuation. They do not lead to a discussion of solutions or mechanisms provided for in the project..
- Estimated valuation
The valuation based on quick consultations is often burdened with a smaller or larger margin of error. Valuation ranges often have a large discrepancy – sometimes as much as 100%. Which is due to the limited time for workshops and the lack of discussion of all aspects.
Full product workshops - advantages and disadvantages
A popular form of product workshops is their full version. It is implemented already at the beginning of the project.
It should be noted that this form is most often chosen when both parties already know each other from other projects or have been recommended to each other. We always encourage this form of workshops, even with a new contact, thanks to which you can get to know LSB better - our experience and approach to projects.
Familiarize yourself with the following advantages and disadvantages before you decide on the types of workshops.
By spending more hours to meetings and preparing an analysis with project documentation - the quality is at a much higher level
As a result of a full workshop, a complete project description can be created with documentation that allows you to easily move to project implementation.
- Full understanding of the project / a top-down approach
By spending the right number of hours on analyzing the project, both parties will get to know it better, thanks to which it will be easier for both parties to implement the project.
- Accurate pricing
Based on the prepared analysis and documentation, the contractor can prepare an accurate cost estimate and project implementation schedule.
In the case of full workshops, both parties have an impact on the final result of the project, thanks to which it can meet its goals much better.
During the workshop, both parties spend a noticeable number of hours on the project. As a result, specific costs are incurred.
- Lost time
If work on the project is interrupted, both parties may consider the time spent on the project as wasted.
- For the determined
Full product workshops are recommended to strong customers who want to implement the project, and the contractor undertaking full workshops must be sure that he is able to implement this project.
- Waiting time for an offer
The time of preparing the offer is extended, because it is possible to prepare it only after the end of the workshop. However, it is more accurate.
Need a workshop?
Paid or free product workshops? Is it worth paying for them?
We have already discussed what workshops can be like, and now it is worth considering whether it is worth paying for them?
This decision often has to be made by customers in the initial phase of the project. That is why we have prepared an additional list of advantages and disadvantages of both paid and free workshops.
Free product workshops - pros and cons
As a curiosity, we'd like to give you the following example:
The client would like to take advantage of the offer of a given company, decides for free consultations, hoping that he will get an offer of cooperation. After a short conversation, an offer to purchase a ready product (training) is presented, after which the full offer of cooperation is to be presented.
As you can see in this case - free workshops turned out to be of little value, because the same could be purchased directly. However, they did not bring any benefit to the client.
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Paid product workshops - main benefits - pros and cons
We would like to share an example here as well.
The client is considering starting the project - he is at the beginning of the road, he has an idea and a general outline of the application.
During paid full workshops, our analysts work with the client to prepare the project. They can consult with developers in order to verify whether the given functionalities are feasible in the technologies assumed by the Customer. Thanks to experience, they see problematic functionality that can be implemented in a different way - cheaper, often better - thanks to the use of other technologies.
As a result of the changes made during the workshops, the client saves e.g. 100 development man-hours, thanks to which he can use them to implement additional functionalities outside MVP.
Above, we have presented you with the types of workshops, both by type and form of settlement.
Concluding - based on our experience from this type of workshop, we can recommend individual types as optimal for example situations:
Free Quick Workshop: Recommended for quick valuation of the ready project. The end result is an offer, without any changes to the design.
Paid quick workshops: Recommended for a quick quote of a project that requires simple verification and optimization of the project. The final result is a valuation with a simple modification of the project.
Free full workshop: It is possible to implement smaller projects, but in this case there is a limitation and in the absence of implementation, the client cannot use the material created as a result of the workshop. NDA applies. The final result will be a prepared offer.
Paid full workshops: Recommended for both smaller and larger projects already at the initial stage of the project or in the event of the need to introduce changes to the already prepared project. The final effect of the workshop remains fully usable by the client. The final result is a project and a detailed offer for implementation.
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