I am working at a custom software development company. The number of incoming custom projects has increased over the last few years.
The first problem is that not all customers are willing to pay us for the development of the requirements specification. Thus, we are losing money due to the estimation of some projects, which we reject. The second problem is that projects are complex and do not have a lot of standard tasks.
Are there any tools helping to estimate a project with sketchy requirements? It would be perfect to have automatic estimation, but speeding up the process for a human would be enough.
I will be glad to hear any tips and ideas on this subject.
P.S. I don’t like the idea of rejecting every other project by default :)
UPD: When I can affect the type of contract - T&M is simplest solution, of course. But this is rare case. Also, sometimes I have to take on "difficult" projects, to ensure that sufficient cash flow for paying bills, as well as for investment projects.
Usually requirements occupy a hundred pages, but are still sketchy and unclear. So I'm looking for ways to accelerate at least a primary estimation of the requirements.