Apps and websites are the best ways to engage with your customers and stakeholders as well as manage your business systems.
However, when starting a new tech project to create or improve their app or website, many businesses either spend too much time crafting detailed requirements for the project or jump straight into months of development without proper planning.
These are problems Botha van der Vyver, Managing Director at award-winning digital solutions provider JustSolve, encounters on a regular basis.
Van Der Vyver said businesses view a few weeks of upfront discovery, research, and planning as a waste of money or an unnecessary delay to completing a project.
This means businesses often enter the system development life cycle (SDLC) with either minimal and/or abstract requirements.
“The inevitable problem with this is that priorities change throughout the lifecycle of a project,” Van der Vyver said.
“We’ve seen projects come to a crashing halt because small assumptions weren’t validated early enough, causing an avoidable loss of time and money for both us and the client.”
Design and Strategy
Fortunately, JustSolve’s Design and Strategy workshops acts as an insurance policy that help mitigate most of the risk, ultimately ensuring projects get delivered on time and within budget.
“Workshopping and iterating as much as possible at the inception of a new initiative gets the entire team to ask the right questions, challenge unvalidated assumptions, and focus the product roadmap,” Van der Vyver said.
These workshops can happen in person or remotely, and include:
- Understanding the long and short-term business and product goals.
- Analysing the competitive landscape.
- Defining the intended user personas of the system.
The workshops pinpoint exactly where the team should focus their effort on in the development phase, which in a new initiative, is called the MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
The process then culminates in rapid prototyping and user testing.
“The prototyping technology we use in the Design and Strategy phase lets us quickly test out assumptions and ideas, and get real feedback from users,” Van der Vyver said.
“This way we find out in the beginning of the project if our assumptions haven’t hit the mark, rather than after months and months of development.”
Because of this approach, it is about five-times cheaper to make iterative changes during the Design and Strategy phase than during the software development phase.
“As the old development joke goes: Weeks of coding can save you hours of planning,” he said.
Get all the design and strategy you need
JustSolve covers every nook and cranny of the Design and Strategy process, with services on offer including:
JustSolve is not just about writing code, they are thought leaders that help your business realise immediate and continuous value.
This article was published in partnership with JustSolve.