Before the initial workshops we look over as much information about your business as possible. What we see differs per project, but it could be anything from spreadsheets to email templates you send out at various stages of a sales life cycle, right through to supplier booking forms, job sheets, time cards or any other items that make up how you run your business day to day.
Getting the right people around the table
We're building something that will be used across your organisation. Talking to the people who will actually interact with the system serves two purposes. Not only do we get ideas straight from the eventual users themselves, but crucially we get buy in from them right at the beginning of the process. You can spend a huge amount on an all singing all dancing system, but if your staff don't want to use it, it's a huge waste of money. By involving stakeholders from each area right from the off, they feel an ownership of the product and feel more included in the company as a whole. Anecdotally we find our clients feel this exercise alone increases morale with their staff as they see the company is doing something for them, something to make their lives easier.
By developing user stories we can understand not only what people want to see in the eventual product, but why they want to see it. As the system develops, designers and developers keep themselves on track by reverting back to these core understandings. Does this feature or design decision help the user achieve the reason why they are using it or does it get in the way of that?
Workshopping current processes
Probably one of the most powerful things we do. We spend time mapping out your existing processes with you. Not only does this allow us to understand how you deliver that element of your business, it exposes areas causing the biggest blockages. Many businesses adapt their processes based on these meetings alone without us even having to design a thing. In many cases it will be the first time these have been put under the microscope, especially if a company has grown quickly as it's hard to find the time to take this sort of holistic overview once you've handed elements of your business over to individual teams.
With the deep dive into your organisation complete, the groundwork is in place for our design team to take the reins. We have years of experience creating artistic solutions to even the most complex of processes. Borrowing from the AGILE manifesto, we value "working software over comprehensive documentation". We want people to see how our findings translate into real functionality. Getting things up and running quickly means users can touch and feel the product as it grows, allowing for more ideas to flow and for you to see how our findings have been translated into real functionality. That's not to say we don't value documentation. We are also experts in scoping out projects in detail, it's just that we work with you to create these and ask for sign off in stages so that we all evolve with it together.
Delivery and Support
We work alongside your business to develop a delivery plan so that the new way of working can be seamlessly integrated. Because of our approach to the build, our systems are highly intuitive and people find them very easy to pick up without instruction, but we also develop training plans to aid this process.