At jEyLaBs, our daily routine mainly involves project delivery. We work on projects that apply technology such as K2 to solve serious business problems. This typically involves building apps to remove business process bottlenecks, reduce paper use, provide new ways to conduct business transactions and support executives to make precise business decisions.
Our projects have no choice but to succeed and increasingly the pressure is on us to help our customers succeed fast.
We have employed various techniques to help our K2 project delivery and perfected them over time. We dropped some outdated practices, we tuned many of the traditional software engineering practices to suit our needs and also created some drastically different ways of doing things.
I am very excited to share the following tips with you from our K2 project delivery play book. I am sure these will help your projects succeed.
Tip 1: Consistently apply an Agile approach
Agile is a given. But, of all the organisations employing an agile approach IT project delivery, only a small percentage actually do it right and do it consistently.It is important to pick and choose the best bits that works for you from any methodology you follow. It is very important to focus on applying the chosen aspects consistently until you master it. Applying agile requires discipline.
Many service providers claim that they do Agile. In fact, they only apply it to only a small number of projects. We apply agile for all our projects and it is the only way of doing things here. We use our own version of Agile called DeliverDaily and we do it well.
In our K2 consulting engagements, changes are very common and running short sprints is the best way to empower our clients to effect change. By consistently following this approach with our clients, they also learn to work well with our Agile approach. This helps foster long term business relationships and projects become successful almost all by themselves.
Tip 2: Document with Users
IT Consulting projects tend to be dictated by technical people. Nothing wrong with this as long as the people who will be impacted by the change brought upon by the project ("users") are also get involved all the way through. Typically your IT department is a major stakeholder of any app delivery effort. But, IT is not the end user. It is important to recognise this.
We follow a strict guideline of using our business analysts to work very closely with key business users. Our Analysts sit next to key users and document the good, bad and ugly of app usage and requirements with them. By physically being with the users early on allows us to see what they see.
We use this information to form our user stories and test scenarios. These documents are also signed off by the users and we get their buy-in early on.
Working closely with the users and employing SmartForm mockups to demonstrate the use cases help users make up their minds. Users need to be able to internalise what any app is going to empower them to do. Once you have the users on your side, you have very little odds of failing.
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