CU*Answers has been in the custom software services business for a long time and have completed a wide variety of client project requests. Developing custom software is not a commodity… instead, the overall success to any project is based upon the upfront planning processes and detail that go into developing a project.
As a reminder, the work we do for you is subject to the terms and conditions of the Master Services Agreement and/or the Master API Agreement between your organization and CU*Answers. CU*Answers may provide additional terms and conditions based on the services your need.
2. Your Special Project/ Authorization Request is presented to the Project Team:
The Custom Project Team initially reviews new custom project requests at its regular weekly meeting. This team consists of various representatives from Programming, Management Services, and other areas involved in our Custom Programming factory. The purpose of this review is to help verify whether or not there are other existing solutions that would meet the credit union’s needs without requiring custom work. Per this initial CU*Answers overview, follow-up specification session(s) to ask further questions and seek additional details is often required.
4. Client Approves Research/ Design Fee:
By signing and returning the Special Project Authorization/ Request form:
- Research projects are assigned/ performed on a first come, first serve basis as based upon receiving the signed Special Project Request/ Authorization form (Research quote).
- After being submitted, any modifications made to the Project request will require an updated Project Authorization/Request form to be submitted, which will re-start the process from Step 1.
- Approved Research/Design fees will be invoiced immediately for applicable payment. Vendor initiated R&D projects will require payment to be received by CU*Answers prior to any research work commencing.
6. Client Approves Custom Programming Quote:
- Custom Programming projects are scheduled by the Programming team. Considerations include receiving the signed Special Project Request/Authorization form (Project Quote), and all other required 3rd party paperwork (e.g. NDA’s)
- Upon approving a Special Project Request, Client is responsible for payment of any work performed, whether the project is completed or canceled.
- For any Project Quotes over $25,000, we require no less than a 50% down payment at the time of signing, with the remainder invoiced once the Project is implemented. On certain Projects, depending on the circumstances of the client or the Project requirements, we may require a larger down payment or we may modify the Project payment terms.
- Vendor initiated Project Bids normally require 100% payment to be invoiced and received by CU*Answers prior to any project development work commencing.
8. Working with a 3rd Party Vendor:
If your project involves interactions with a 3rd-party vendor, the timing for both the development as well as subsequent testing phases will largely be dependent on vendor timelines and resource availability. Some projects will also entail additional certification and miscellaneous fees from the vendor, independent of CU*Answers Project related fees.
10. Quality Control/ Testing:
Once a Project Development quote is signed, and a project completion date is determined, CU*Answers will determine the appropriate QC/validation process.
- For projects involving changes to our core CU*BASE system, including tools such as It’s Me 247 online/ mobile web banking, CU*Talk audio response, or related software products that interface with these, the CU*Answers Quality Control department assigns a QC Tester to test the changes against project specifications, in accordance with the CU*BASE Software Testing and Quality Control Procedures. Any defects found are returned to the assigned programmer for changes until the tester signs off with their testing report and submits the project to the VP of Quality Control. During this stage, additional Project Review sessions may also be scheduled, as needed.
- Any delay caused by a client/ vendor having outstanding tasks to complete will impact the project completion timeline.
For projects not requiring changes to our core CU*BASE system:
- Data/File Verification – In most cases, CU*Answers will assign a resource validate the file data/ format is correct, and then pass the data/file(s) off to the vendor or client for final verification and signoff.
- Expert Verification/Validation – In some cases, custom projects are best QCed by using subject level experts, and not the CU*A QC department. This would be the case in situations where the project is not part of CU*Answers core software tools, and specific knowledge of the process may exist within other departments at CU*Answers. In this case, the process used to QC projects will be monitored and verified by the VP of Quality Control at CU*Answers.
This phase includes installing, configuring, and activating the new tools as well as other potential factors to be coordinated with your credit union, including time for CU staff training and/or notification of members if appropriate. Depending on the project, it may be coordinated as part of a normal CU*BASE release for all clients, or implementation will be coordinated with your teams specifically for use by your credit union.
- Once implemented to our Production system(s), you will receive a project implementation email, where any remaining development will need to be completed within 30 days of the implementation date.
- All final Project invoicing will be completed during this time.
- We will retain records of your project for historical tracking purposes.