Plans are nothing... Planning is everything.
Our software consulting and development process functions as a hybrid between agile development and the Project Management Institute's best practices.
We begin projects with a Foundation Phase - we work with you to prioritize and outline requirements and create user-interface mockups. We then develop your system over a series of incremental stages, each one demonstrating new, tested features, finishing with a full release.
Likewise, there's often much left undefined when a software project begins. These details can be simple, such as whether buttons need to be red or blue. It can also be a more complex issue, such as defining the API two systems will use for integration. It's impossible to know everything before beginning the development process to invent a new business solution. You can, however, eliminate as many questions as possible with a thorough up-front discussion.
Our focus at every stage is to reduce uncertainty and drive the project forward with a clear sense of your business objectives. We work to ensure that we know what we don't know.
One important lesson from all of this is that the process Soliant followed was as much a competitive advantage as the system itself. By rolling it out in short, multiple releases, we were able to put the data to work right away and immediately learn what worked and what didn't.
Our first phase, for which we don’t charge, seeks to determine the vision of your project. We will schedule a few conversations, get a sense of your overarching goals, and give you a rough ballpark range for what sort of budget might be required to meet your needs.
We call this part of our software consulting process the “foundation phase,” because there’s so much more that goes on than just jotting down a list of features. During this phase, we come to really understand your business. We often will create a framework for supporting the evolution of the software solution beyond its first iteration, we’ll consult on process improvements in your organization, and we’ll address adoption and rollout plans.
During this third phase, our development process, we build the solution in question. Much of the work is done in the code, but we hold regular status meetings with you to maintain control, visibility, and to ensure we can accommodate changes in plans. You and your team are active members of our development team and have full access to the code, our development servers, and project management tools.
Custom software only works if its users love it. Our software consulting process follows elements of the agile methodology: we often step through foundation-development-deployment phases, in iterative units called “sprints.” This ensures you can see the software coming together, use it, and adjust course as the software evolves.
We leave adequate time and mindshare to roll out new systems. Sometimes a deployment can be easy, but in times when a data migration or server issue arises, it’s always best to have a clear plan. Our team has worked with some of the most exacting IT organizations in the world. We understand that getting a deployment right is critical for a business.
It’s rare that a business solution is ever finished: your business evolves, and it’s important that your software can as well. We can provide ongoing support for projects we’ve deployed (sometimes for years) and continually modify them to suit the needs of your team.