Any significant project needs a plan. Without a plan, we simply plan to fail. Mapping the project is one of the first steps we do before we proceed into development.
Mapping the project
Big projects contain many unknowns, and reducing those unknowns to a minimum is where the project mapping comes. This phase specifies the work in sufficient detail allowing any stakeholder or developer to know the scope. It removes ambiguity, makes sure everything is fleshed out, and dramatically reduces the chance of mistakes. And, most importantly - it makes sure the client and the developer are on the same page.
The project map is a mandatory component for big projects, and our professional experience recommends creating one for anything larger than a month of work. The time invested returns in folds.
The result is a set of documents which allows us to work without ambiguity - specifications, stories, mood boards, sketches, wireframes, roadmaps and so on.
Based on the type of project and the type of environment, we apply one of two approaches - a solid or a fluid one.
When a project is clear in its direction, have defined business needs and set goals, there is little need for constant analysis and adaptation. The work can go in full speed with as little stops as possible. For this type of projects, we suggest working in two monthly cycles.
We advise using the solid approach in relatively clear cases, where the risks due to unknown environmental factors are small.
When is it beneficial to use the solid approach:
Rebuilding an existing project in a new, modern technology. It works well but has become outdated. For example, a proven website which requires being fully compatible with mobile devices.
Internal projects which need an upgrade to follow the evolved intercompany procedures. For example, a CRM system that should reflect the new way the business closes sales.
Building an app based on a proven business model or conclusive research. For example, creating a corporate website to represent the new business services of a company.
For some projects having a solid, long-term project map does not make business sense. The environment changes quickly and requires rapid adaptation. For this types of projects, we suggest working in biweekly cycles; measuring the effect after each, and then navigating on the data on how to proceed next.
You, the client, are in charge of when to proceed and which way to steer the wheel.
We advise using the fluid approach when the risks due to unknown environmental factors are high. In this case, we divide the project map in iterations and continually update it after each one.
When is it beneficial to use the dynamic approach:
You don’t know the return on investment on a project or a feature, so this way you limit the risk of overcommitting. For example launching an app for the first time.
A project in constant change based on measured user feedback. For example, a website which builds features that most valuable users need.
The project is complex and requires a novel use of technology - it involves significant research. For example, making an app that communicates with a new piece of hardware.
How we do it
Research the case
To provide an effective solution, we must first conduct a research and gather the necessary information. Then we analyze that data and create a business case. Skipping this initial step is dangerous. If we base the solutions on unproven assumptions, we risk solving the wrong problem.
There are many ways to reach a destination. Based on the business case, we discuss various solutions depending on budgets, deadlines, technologies and other constraints. Then, if we have to refine further, we prototype and make the necessary tests to pick the most suitable one.
Commit to a solution
This step answers all questions necessary to create a detailed map of the solution. It removes ambiguity and makes sure both parties are on the same page. If necessary, we conduct more tests to make sure we are on the right track.
Under the scrutiny of our Chief technical director, the engineering team develops the solution, based on all parameters set in the previous steps. A quick communication between the involved parties clears any questions arisen in the course of development. Also includes testing and fixing discrepancies.
Measure the effect
All the work we have done until now has been to achieve a better outcome for your business. Measuring its effect is crucial for knowing if we did the job right, and if necessary, do a course correction.
The described process reveals our preferred style of working. We are keen on getting the job done, and for that, we need to work with you - the client - to find the best solution, rather than delivering something with a lesser chance of success.
However, we understand businesses have specific needs and come from different stages in their life. We are open to fit in any existing style of work and to offer a particular set of services for a client.
Wonder if we can help? Contact us!