You and/or your company are interested in using software to dramatically improve sales and efficiency, but don’t know where to begin? What steps can you take to ensure the project’s worth it for your customers (and bottom line)?
Keep reading and learn a bit about how we guarantee the digital assets we build are winners every time.
First and foremost, companies with plenty of opportunity for automation/streamlining processes throughout their organizations are ripe for software solutions – modernization! Once your new custom system comes online and gets thoroughly integrated, the differences in sales, efficiency, and employee productivity can be profound.
That said, let’s jump in so you can see how we work it.
- Medium-to-large companies with a minimum of around 30 employees and multiple divisions.
- We’re looking for complexity and systems ripe for streamlining.
- We’re looking for manual processes capable of being automated.
- Management are open to change, and willing to give up some control to “The machine.”
Great, so let’s say we’ve touched base with you a couple times and your company passes muster – you’ve got the resources and plenty of opportunities for software or digital assets to drive more revenue and efficiency.
Now it’s time to sit down and thoroughly map out your business.
The Company Mapping Process
- How each department interacts and intertwines; touch-points.
- What each employee does and what their day-to-day looks like.
- How sales take place, and how your employees communicate or transfer data.
- How your legacy and already integrated systems function.
- How each company process works step-by-step.
It sounds time consuming, but typically we can get this done in as little as an afternoon to a few days for the more complex companies where you’ve got a group of people wearing multiple hats, there’s a serious lack of overall organization, etc.
It doesn’t hurt and often this process itself delivers insight, growth, and powerful perspectives into your business that may be completely hidden right now. It’s common for professionals in your position to be focusing on one, maybe two core issues that software’s likely to solve.
But there may be four, five, six, or seven other issues which haven’t been identified that could be molded into your customized digital solution. Again, the more headaches we can erase, and the more efficiency we can deliver…the better. Right?
Identify Software Specifications
One area where we’re always looking to create digital solutions is in communication. It would shock you, or perhaps not, to learn how many companies still rely on email for nearly all communication.
Email is also their go-to means for data transfer and storage.
When you step back and really look at the email-based web of communication and all the ways in which this impacts the overall company, it’s actually super-interesting! Can it work? Sure. But, can software swoop in and make everything work better? Absolutely.
- A custom Slack-style communication app, or system, designed specifically for your employees and processes.
- A custom cloud-based app that allows live document sharing, screen sharing, and whiteboard presentations for much easier and more effective internal collaboration.
Analytics, administration, instant messaging and webinar-style group discussions, and so on into all the versatile ways we design digital solutions to suit the needs of your company and its goals.
The outcomes? Here’s the basics:
Automation: It boils down to providing an internal, all-in-one communication system that makes it much more effective regardless of device or the type of media.
Increased Productivity: Personally, everyone within the scalable system should see a boost in their personal performance levels, especially in more high-paced or high-volume environments.
Accuracy: One of our primary goals is to get rid of as many manual processes as possible that can be streamlined and automated, speeding up the exchange of information, it’s reliability, and accuracy between users.
Greater Flexibility: As your company network or system grows, the ability to expand and add channels comes baked into the pie!
Compliance: Through centralized rights management, tracking, and administrative control, your software will continuously follow regulatory requirements.
Reduced Overhead: Less administration, less infrastructure, consolidated communications, and more to save time/human resources.
The Software Verification Process
Fundamentally, we begin the actual design process by verifying that we’re in fact building the right software.
We’re going to conduct walkthroughs if necessary, perform additional reviews and inspections, or perhaps gather more feedback and further examine our checklists and standards. We’ll pour over critical documents, requirements and specifications until this is verified.
Whatever it takes because if even the slightest feature isn’t on the mark, or if defects are present in the design, the end product will essentially fall flat.
Static Verification: continuously inspecting code to ensure software meets requirements.
Dynamic Verification: testing/checking how your software solution behaves and is used.
The #1 goal here is to demonstrate software consistency, completeness, and correctness at each stage (and between them) of the development life cycle.
In this way our verification process:
- Decreases the amount defects to be addressed in the later stages of development.
- Improving our/your understanding of the product in very useful and specific ways.
- Reduces the chance of failure to meet revenue and efficiency markers.
Software Validation: The Comparison Stage
At this point we turn around and look back – how does what we built compare to the initial needs or requirements we set out to address? Is it fulfilling its intended use, or being used in other ways we didn’t expect? Is it integrating well and compatible?
Because we work during the verification process hard to define requirements in great detail, this part tends to go rather smoothly once prototypes or test-software is up and running.
- We uncover weaknesses, flaws, bugs, and “fluff” processes/features that can be minimized, reworked, or deleted.
- We provide clear and transparent data, along with project management, to ensure appropriate decisions are made.
- We continuously increase product and system quality, while meeting regulatory requirements and sticking to deadlines/budgets.
Documentation: The Software Validation Plan
Paperwork. It’s a big part of everything we’re talking about here so let’s take a minute to look at the four pillars involved. It’s through these that we succeed and make the validation plan a success. Plus, it’s documented evidence that keeps everyone involved accountable and protected.
Oh, and it tends to save a pretty penny along with a sizeable amount of unnecessary work hours. As your validation team, we make sure everything is followed through to the slightest detail without bogging down our clients or their teams.
1) Overall Project Map
We’ve went over a bit of the experience already, and you get the idea here. Along with mapping out your business and how it functions, we walk you through our process step-by-step so there aren’t any surprises.
2) User-Requirements Document
This document becomes a valuable asset itself, because it provides an extreme amount of employee/user/customer insight. How well do you know them? How detailed are your personas? How deeply do you understand their needs and how they can be addressed via digital assets?
The user-requirements document will change and be updated over time as the verification and validation processes uncover new information and insights no one could’ve anticipated.
3) Functional Specifications Document
With a solid grasp of your company, and the end-users and their needs or pain points, we create another living and evolving functional specifications document the includes:
- Project Objectives
- Intended Product Users
- Product Structure, which includes all integrated components, interfaces, dependencies, etc.
- Product Behavior, or in other words a detailed description of how the components interact.
- Specific Project Milestones
- Deployment Requirements
Protocols – Installation & Testing
Throughout the installation and testing phase we’ll keep track of literally everything, put a microscope on the code, and sufficiently test your system to look for any stray bugs, or user-behavior that signifies something needs to be tweaked or further minimized. Afterwards, we provide detailed reports so the most informed and savvy decisions can be made.
At this point both verification and validation stages have come to a close, testing has ironed out the system, and it’s live.Now the fun really begins, and we’ll stand ready to step in an iterate in relation to real-time user behavior.
If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I could’ve taken this deeper but the goal is simply to give you an idea of how we ensure the projects we’re a part of are successful. The digital solutions we create always deliver increased efficiency, drive sales and brand engagement, and modernize our clients to a certain degree. Why? Because we’re professionals, and this is our art form.