The standard project lifecycle

Quotes > Analysis > Development > More Quotes


The first thing that happens when most people have an idea is they write down a short version of what they want and then approach developments companies to invite them to quote. At this point, all anyone knows about the project is that brief summary, but as everyone wants your business they will quote anyway. This is why you’ll often end up working through dozens of quotes, anywhere from £5k to £100k – regardless of what it is you want!


It’s only when you’ve signed on the dotted line that your chosen development partner will begin to look in real detail at the true costs involved. Good partners may offer workshops or detailed analysis at this stage.

However, as you’ve already signed a contract for a specific value, everyone is then working to spending that much money and no more. This usually results in some kind of ‘horse trading’ around which features will make it into YOUR final product – either openly or behind the scenes!


Next, development begins. This is the point where the quality of the research and analysis completed by your development partner really begins to count. Have they fully understand what you wanted? Did they find the secret major issue in the structure they proposed?

In reality, projects that don’t begin with analysis ALWAYS end in overrun or in the removal of features to try and get the remaining work to fit the pre-agreed time and budget. All of this works together to make the entire lifecycle, especially testing and launch, a very stressful process!

More Quotes

Your new app or platform is finally launched and the stressful process is hopefully behind you. Inevitably there were features that didn’t end up being included, be they planned or removed at the last minute.

Many companies at this stage will want to quote again for the remainder of the work – item by item, or all in one go. You’ll probably want to get some comparative quotes – either to check the costing is fair, or because you’ve been ‘burned’ by the first part of your project. And so you’re back in the quoting cycle again…

The LightStart Way

Now let us show you how LightStart runs projects…

Analysis > Quotes > Development > Roadmap


As you can see from our diagram, our process starts with analysis – we are an analysis led agency after all! We believe that your good idea deserves an appropriate period of analysis to clearly define it. We offer analysis processes at a number of different sizes to match the budget you have, the size of your idea, and what you would like to do next.

If you work for a large business, it’s likely that this approach will be familiar. Any idea you have needs to be captured, documented, clearly analysed and fully costed before you can request a budget. This is because running the project this way almost always saves money in the long run.


Now you have your idea clearly documented, you can approach development partners that are a good fit for your requirements. You will now have enough detail to pass onto potential development partners for them to provide the most accurate quote you’re ever likely to receive!

However, we would like to think that we’ll be your BEST FIT for development, as nobody will know your project quite as well as we will at this point. Just saying.


Very quickly, you should be able to move into development. Because of the amount of detail you have captured, there should be minimal surprises during the delivery phase.

LightStart develops projects using an Agile methodology as the feature-based approach to delivery works well with a phased project. It prevents the project from being ‘back-loaded’ with testing and allows everyone to be completely transparent at every stage. All of this means that your development process will lead to a predictable, happy launch! This is the LightStart way.


From the outset, our process captures the heart of what you are wanting to achieve from your idea. This includes all the features you’d like to include – both at day one as part of either a first demo or first version ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP). Together, we constantly group these features into different phases. This is based on what we discover as we define your idea and also on real world constraints such as budgets and timescales.

By the time of your launch, we will have already prioritised the next list of features to be developed. If LightStart is your development partner, we’ll have agreed a suitable retainer and will already know where we are going! This is the LightStart lifecycle.