360Works Consulting: Our Development Process
We’ve all heard or lived the horror stories of development projects gone horribly wrong. Solutions that finish over budget or not at all; repeatedly missed deadlines or milestones; delivered projects that are user unfriendly or do not meet the projects goals are all too common. The projects are maddening for clients and lead to lack of trust and confidence in developers. Many times we’ve stepped in to correct these projects, and we’ve noticed a few common trends:
1) Developers who attempt to ‘swallow the problem whole’, creating over-ambitious development plans that wind up being unachievable, over budget, or useless to the client. For medium to large projects, trying to solve all of the project requirements in a single swoop WILL lead to misunderstandings, delays, and cost overruns. Custom development relies on an understanding of the details of a project, and those details can only be given due diligence by narrowing the project scope to a workable size.
2) Client communication is often unsolicited and ignored. By its very nature, software development is a very personal process in which the developer invests much time, pride, and ego. Oftentimes this leads to developers working in a vacuum – wanting to create their product without “distractions” like feedback. The end result is often user-unfriendly, inefficient, and poorly suited to addressing the goals of the project.
At 360Works, our development process is specially suited to avoiding these problems. We realize that by engaging in open, frank discussion with our clients we can create solutions that are much more efficient, user friendly, and better targeted to meeting project goals. We approach each project through a series of discussions with clients, defining not just the project scope (which may be huge), but an immediate point of entry to the project that will produce fast, useful results. By breaking the project into small phases, we are able to devote our energy to thinking through the details of a particular component, ensuring that nothing is “lost” in the requirements.
This approach allows us to leverage FileMaker Pro’s ability to rapidly develop solutions, allowing the client to test and use one feature as others come online. For the client, this means that at each stage of the development process feedback is invited and needs are revisited. For the developer, it leads to a greater confidence in the work, and the flexibility to change course and address new requirements as they arise. We quote each phase of the work as a separate unit so that our clients always have an understanding of costs, deadlines, and deliverables.
By using this method, we build strong and lasting relationships with our clients who often continue working with us for all their FileMaker needs. Find out more about the unique advantages that 360Works can offer your project, meet our developers, or read testimonials and case studies from happy clients.