Collaboration and planning drive optimum project outcomes

Charlie Pohl

4 July 2016

We are often approached by companies who are keen to engineer innovative new solutions but are worried about integration with legacy systems.

Clients often tell us ‘we need a mobile app’ or ‘we need to open up our reach’ before going on to explain about extensive investment in legacy back-end systems which they feel have now limited their options.

Our advice is clear – let’s begin by parking the technical question and focus on outcomes. In other words, identify the optimum solution and work backwards from there.

We remain logical and pragmatic – after all we have to design a solution that delivers –but getting everyone on board with the outcome will build both focus and impetus.

We facilitate rapid discovery sessions with your team – often via our RDV framework– which put aside limitations and give clear air for solution design. Our aim is to have a shared understanding between stakeholders of what success will look like.

Only then do we revisit the technical landscape. We use our deep experience of exposing data in a slick and elegant manner, while of course maintaining security, to draw up data requirements.

Our recipe for success can be summarised in one word – collaboration.

Paul Blake & Simon Krambousanos UX

A successful project is one where everyone has a seat at the table so we can bring together three key groups:

  • The product team who will own and steer the product roadmap.
  • The technical team who will bring understanding the systems and current environment, provide business rules of the current system and insight into the legacy system.
  • And, if not included in the teams above, the budget holder(s).

Project definition rests on two key components – a statement of requirements and a statement of work. Often there is confusion around the scope and purpose of these.

A statement of requirements is client initiated and defines the outcomes and objectives, benchmarking what is to be achieved. Our discovery and research adds detail to this document.

A statement of work is our response and details how we will deliver on these requirements. It includes wireframes and functional specification with detailed user stories.

The fidelity and delivery of these artefacts will be driven by the project approach, however both agile and waterfall approaches need crystal clear requirements and methodology.

We are an agile studio where it counts – applying it to the execution of the plan.

ConductHQ eating lunch at table

As the project progresses we lock in a one-to-one relationship between your project manager and ours with a weekly work in progress meeting to manage timelines, risks and issues.

Constant communication ensures delivery within the required timeframe. It is also key that any interdependent work and timelines are shared. We communicate well with other third party suppliers.

Communication does not end with project delivery. A detailed review of lessons learned makes the next engagement even smoother. It is also the ideal opportunity to review new concepts and ideas.

Naturally we’ll pivot the project to incorporate key new findings but those outside of the scope that inevitably surface can be added to the product roadmap.

That’s the high-level process in a nutshell.

next up Orientating projects with a discovery phase

Charlie Pohl