How We Do things. Step 0.
We consider that the most important step in business relations between customer and outsourcing provider is common vision of goals and objectives. Unfortunately development is not a hotel with all-inclusive services but creative and constructive process in which all parts must participate in equal shares. Our mission is to make this process nice and perfect. Our mission is to do things with pleasure.
So, taking into account all said above let’s agree that understanding between all participants of development process is the main thing. Understanding must be bidirectional as we must understand customer to reach his objectives in most perfect way and customer must understand us to be sure that we understand him correctly. Sometimes it’s very hard to reach harmony and understanding as in overwhelming majority cases customer is the business person or company who concentrate on economic processes and don’t want to waste time on technical details. Vise versa developers are technical experts but in most cases they know nothing about economic processes, current business model of customer’s company and customer’s expectations in details.
Oh yes, if we only were a telepathists and had ability to exchange bright ideas directly between our brains… But we’re not. Well, what is the key of success in such relations?
To be sure in each other we need certain informational background. The most important step in any development is technical documentation confirmed by customer.
Our practice shows that numerous of customers don’t want to waste time and money on technical documentation development as there are too many papers which sometimes are not clear for customer. It looks like customer receives boring paper routines instead of ready-to-use product. Do you really believe that it’s not necessary and we can exchange few pages with list of common requirements without details? Do you really believe that we can reach common objectives using some statements as “let the system provides user with such functionality”? The real answer is NO.
Imagine yourself that you wish to build the skyscraper and you have the team of genius engineers and builders who managed by really cool manager. How you will provide your team with information about your future skyscraper? Of course the future building is in your imagination but you have to provide your team with all details. You needn’t discuss everything with each member and it makes your task easily. To discuss the problem with manager is enough. But discussion itself is quite good for sweet dreams tête-à-tête with cup of coffee. Even if you will say to your manager that you want 50 floors building with underground parking, 10 elevators, red carpets on each floor and nice hostess in the hall he will never understand you.
You have to provide your manager with such many details about the project as possible. Programmers in Ultima Creative joking – if developers will build 10 floors house you have to document that you want 10 floors up the ground but not underground. So, the zero step is gathering your requirements about future building. Let’s close the eyes and meditate a little. Do you see your skyscraper? I’m sure. Then take your gold pen and starts write everything that you see. What is the square of foundation? What materials you wish to make walls? What is arrangement of rooms inside? Describe the penthouse with such many details as possible. Do you wish swimming pool on the roof or we need to make the helicopter pad? Or both? And one more million of requirements.
Then, when your description will be ready, let us make it professional on the first step. Return your version to us and we will create exciting story with full list of your wishes based on your first vision. We will also add our ideas. To do it we’ll investigate the market to find best solutions and suggestions. We will also explore your competitors to be sure that you skyscraper will be higher and stronger, more magnificent and better designed.
As the result of first step we’ll have a big document with all requirements of future project. You will agree or disagree with it. You will be able to add more ideas and details or change everything you want during all development cycle as our solutions are flexible and scalable. Yes it’s true. The key of success is architecture design developed with modern technologies. The other key is competent management based on one of the Agile family’s methodology.
Yes we can develop first step documentation as usual document or like user-stories or like something else. The only requirements for documentation must be following: it must be clear for team and customer and both sides must understand it in the same way; it must be standardized within the bounds of the project; it must be flexible for changes; there must be a repository to store the history of releases and each version of document can be restore quick and simple by each member of the development process; each actual version is one and only one; customer confirms current actual version of document.
It doesn’t matter for us which way we will choose – to develop user-stories for project’s iterations and user-cases which satisfy user-stories or create internally consistent document with project description and list of requirements. We will choose the comfortable way for our customer.
Of course project documentation development is not so cheap and quick task but it much more cheaply than redevelopment of released product. E.g. imagine rebuilding of your skyscraper’s foundation on the late stages. Do you really think it would be cheaper than formalize all requirements to future skyscraper on the paper before building starts? Documentation development by Ultima Creative’s experts is not our strict rule, though too preferable. We cooperate with some clients who provide us with clear project documentation developed by technical experts on the client’s side. The main idea of this assay is that project documentation must be. The absence of documentation is the way to nowhere. As for us we’re strongly interesting in success of each project so we can’t choose the way to failure. The lack of technical documentation is the risk which 100% lead project to crash.
You can download the example of technical documentation developed by our company here.