That is why during the earliest stages of defining the business case for the product, value proposition, and user-centered design, we focus on close cooperation with the client. If you match a proper scope with the best technology stack and flawless software execution, you can maximize your chances of success.
Let us introduce you to the product development framework we use in Order Group, which embraces the methodologies used by the world's most successful tech companies.
Each phase is crucial for building great digital products. However, people tend to underestimate the value of planning and overestimate the development phase. The more you plan and predict in the beginning, the fewer changes and problems you are going to face. Let's go into the details of each Stage
This stage begins with a Briefing Meeting (scoping session). Our team meets with the project's main stakeholders. The agenda is clearly defined; we need to get to know the client's primary business goals, the market environment, the product's target group. Then we sketch the first versions of the project's scope, the technology stack, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) functionalities, timeline, and budget, as well as who will be responsible for the product's support after the deployment.
The UX workshop allows us to come up with the first version of documentation, wireframes, mockups, and prototypes. It's essential to do it before the project's kick-off. We arrange a series of meetings where we:
The discussion is more focused on engineering. Together with a software analyst we discuss the technology stack, testing processes, server infrastructure. Often we come up with ready general development documentation, which can be included in the contract.
The main goal of the Setting the Stage phase is to understand the client's general idea and the needs of the users in a specific market.
The client brings in their vision of the product and unique knowledge of the market they operate in, while we bring to the table product design and software development experience. However, when we start the conversation about the target product, we are probably both wrong, because to understand the user-centered perspective, we need to exchange information and both views. That is why open discussion at the earliest stage of product development is so important. To sum up all the workshops and deliverables from PHASE I:
When developing Your software at Order Group, we use our version of the dominating agile software development approach. Having signed the contract, we get down to software development, which starts with a Kick-off. It's another critical meeting when we sum up the findings of the previous phase.
Building the foundings of each component, creating the graphic elements and views, gathering the data. The Kick-off is our "sprint no. 0" and it includes the UI design process and the back-end analysis.
During this stage, our analyst is setting the development environment and planning the back-end tasks based on the documentation and prototypes created in the first phase. The designers are creating graphics based on the prototypes that were created after the UX workshops.
After signing off the designs, they are handed to the front-end developer and turned into tasks. We work in an iterative software development model, where the process is divided into sprints.
Each sprint begins with a planning stage when all the tasks are planned and assigned to specific team members. During a sprint, we start the analysis and plan the next sprint. If we come up with some new ideas or encounter new challenges, we can adjust our initial plan accordingly.
We run daily status stand-ups that last no longer than 15 minutes. The goal is to control the progress and spot the bottlenecks or task blockers as soon as possible. During a sprint and after it's finished, we run tests to be sure that the delivered modules are fully functional and perform well. A sprint ends with a summary meeting with the client, where we are showcasing the functionality (use cases) that we were working on.
Dividing the product development process into short sprints allows us to update roadmap using the most recent information. It makes the next sprint more efficient and enables the team to adjust the project using the newest findings.
After the project scope is covered, tested, and accepted by the client, we deploy the final version. We hand out the documentation of the project, along with all instructions needed to install and run the product correctly.
Depending on the client & project needs, we set the rules for support and maintenance. We set the error handling rules, issues priorities, time of our reaction, and amount of time of our developers that we should book monthly.
This is an exemplary approach to the project we use when a client wants us to take full responsibility for building a complete product. Often we adapt it to different circumstances, if we are responsible just for graphic or UX design, creating only a single module for an existing application, modifying it, or just performing a single task.
No matter what the project is, careful planning is always useful. A good briefing and scoping session will result in combining the knowledge of both Order Group and the client's teams and define an exceptional digital product. Since the earliest stages throughout the development and deployment process, it's essential to focus on the three crucial elements: