Our experience has taught us that some formality with our customers is required, to set clear expectations as to the value they are getting from us. For simple projects we may fast-track through our methodology, however we would still require some formality.
1. Initial Call
When our customers contact us for the first time, we normally set up a 30-minute call to learn about the customer and the work involved. In this call, we would also learn some background and the context as to why this work is needed. We would ask not disclosing any confidential information on this call.
2. Statement of Work
Once we have a high-level understanding of the work, we will draft a Statement of Work (SoW). It will detail the nature of work discussed, and approximate fees needed for the goal. We will also draft our Master Services Agreement (MSA), which outlines terms, such as confidentiality and responsibilities of both parties.
3. Understanding Your Requirements
One of the major part of our SoW is dedicated in understanding your detailed requirements. We will document our understanding of your challenges on a central, secure, private information sharing site of your choice, or one we provide. Depending on the complexity of work, this effort may take few days, sometimes weeks. We may travel to your office during this time, to facilitate this discussion. With enough requirements documented, our Project Manager (PM) will create a high-level project plan with target timelines, as well as to understand whom to go for details. The PM will also organize daily check-ins with everyone involved, to track our progress and update our timeline.
With the initial requirements, our technical team will work with the customer lead to flesh out all the low-level details. The summary of findings will be documented, and customers will sign off on the correctness of our understanding. That said, we still do not expect all hidden details have surfaced; rarely we know everything when our implementation begins. Our goal is to have captured the 90% of true requirements by now.
At this time, our team will produce a detailed project plan, which includes assignment of our resources. We then present this plan to the entire team, to provide a bird's-eye-view, and to discuss any assumptions and concerns. Based on the feedback, this project plan may be revised over the next few days, followed by the customer sign-off to continue.
5. Implementation, Testing and Feedback
The implementation begins with a kick-off meeting with everyone involved on both sides. Team members are introduced to each other, and the Project Manager will schedule daily check-ins. Based on the project plan, the implementation leads will provide a prioritized list of Tasks to be completed, along with their dependencies, and approximate effort needed. This list is referred as the Backlog, to which the implementation will be completed.
The work is performed in Sprints of 1 or 2 week cadence, and a Demo is provided to the customer at the end of each sprint to show the work in progress. These Demo sessions are the opportunity for customers to fine-tune how we are building things, and their feedback may result in additional tasks.
6. User Acceptance Test and Customer Sign-Off
As we complete each Sprint, Customers are strongly encouraged to verify the implementation functionality, to ensure that we met our goals. We will provide a separate UAT environment for customer testing, which contains a specific Build of our software. If defects are found, they are formally logged, fixed and tested, before they are presented again to the customer.
If everything is satisfactory, the customer signs-off on the build and we will schedule its deployment to the Production. Once deployed, our work is considered to be completed.
7. Production Support
If required, our team can also provide post-Launch support to our customers. We can monitor the performance of your sites, as well as address fix additional defects as they are identified. We can also provide in-depth analysis of your site traffic, which can be used to further enhance your customer acquisition and user experience.