We recently got the go ahead to start a new Angular and c# project for one of our clients and I wanted to share with you our process on how we shaped the project and got it started.
One of our clients came to us and said they need part of their software to be developed as a mobile first, web-based angular application. This application is in the accounting/finance space and has many large corporate customers using it, but their clients were asking for more of a web-based version (to get at it on the go!) In addition, they wanted to update the user interface.
Here is how we scoped the project.
Step 1: What are the drivers / functionality required?
Before we started anything, I got on a call with the client’s customer facing and product team to discussed the objectives and functionality desired. This is critical as we need to deliver true commercial benefits for the client. Anything we build needs to add true value to their organisation.
This project has strong backing, with multiple requests over a period of time from clients requesting on the go features (that a webapp allows you) and an updated user interface. In conjunction they started seeing competitors creep into their space with these offerings. Clearly good reasons for a project!
Not all projects are as clearly justified. Clients approach us with a new idea for an AI app, to which I generally turn around and say “have you asked any of your clients to pay for this yet?” No one has said yes so far. While the AI features sound cool on paper (and lets be clear, would get fun for us to develop), unless it can generate more profits for the clients, the client would see its of no value and the project gets canned.
A loss for the client and a loss for us!
So its critical, first and foremost that the drivers behind the project are solid before we begin.
Step 2: Scoping / UX Design
This step has two parts that go hand-in-hand. We discuss the functionality required, the presentation desired, and clients budget.
I start by asking the client to describe the 3 main screens they desire. In this case the client wanted a login page and a dashboard page. Normally the list is much longer and we have to narrow the scope.
We then looked at the existing pages in their current system and discussed what they’d like improved. I showed them some of our previous UI/UX work that highlighted similar functionality (All portfolio examples are shared with permission from clients). The client agreed that the work was similar to what they expected so the UX design process started.
In parallel to the conversation above, I was communicating with the client’s lead developer on how he wanted the project structured, where integration would occur, how authentication would work, etc. These requirements, the UX, and the budget were agreed upon.
Let’s get Started!
We add all of the requirements into Jira, a project management software to help manage tasks and it’s time for step 3.
Step 3: Time to Code and Deliver.
Now we hand the designs over to the developers to deliver. Our developers start work and coding starts to be delivered across to the client. While the developers work locally, we usually have at least a dev-hosted environment in Azure Depending on the project, we may also have test environments hosted in the clients cloud or on-premises accounts. As code is delivered, it goes through a peer review process, first by our lead developer, and then by the clients lead developer.
Step 4: Closeout
Once the 2 pages are delivered to the clients satisfaction, we do a retrospective on how it went. We take away our lessons learnt and get the first phase of development approved before heading back to step 2, to scope and design further pages.
This process allows for quick turnarounds, and no budgets to be wasted. With signed off screen designs and small scoped sprints, the feedback loop quickly fixes any issues that may occur.
I hope this gave some insight into how we scope and deliver a new project at Flying Donkey. We are happy to discuss project drives and required functionality during our free consultation. The process provides minimal scoping before entering an agreement. If you have a project you’re considering or have any questions feel free to reach out to me. We’re happy to bring your project to life.