It depends on the size of the task, but firstly we like to chat to the business sponsors and do some due diligence on the overall requirement. We also like to consult with as many potential end users of the system wherever possible. Some of the best ideas and suggestions often come from the operational side of a business.
The technical team don’t necessarily need to be engaged at this point, the final technology is not relevant to this stage of the process, this is pure information and requirements gathering. They are more than welcome of course but we try and avoid this stage becoming a technical solutioning process.
This stage involves pulling together an outline framework of what the end product will look like. Generally this includes basic menu items and navigation to make sure we have understood the requirements. The presentation is similar to wireframes but more functional.
We disappear for a while and build what you asked for and on larger projects we agree phased delivery as you would expect. If there is an area that’s a bit tricky, you may get a frequent release whilst we work through the mechanics. You may get 2 or 3 options to do the same job if we aren’t quite sure what will work the best for your business process.
There is no point getting to the end for that final ‘reveal’ and the first page doesn’t hit the spot for you. We don’t get offended if you say it’s not going to work either, we loop back and fill in the gaps. It’s a collaborative process and we have to be on the same page and feedback is essential. If we have to start again 3 times then we aren’t doing our job properly.
The product we ultimately present will be functional and wrapped around it is the ability to comment on and enhance the visual specification with supporting documentation.
As an example, you may want the final product in 5 different languages but we wouldn't go to that level. However there are integrated specification notes for you to detail this requirement back to the development team to pick up during the build process.
Your technical teams go off and build it in your current environment. We don’t go away at this point but as with traditional architects we then become consultative as there may be modifications needed, so we look after them. Every implementation plan is bespoke depending on the size of the project and ultimately the resource planning internally.