This post is to explain what the typical InfoBeans project engagement life cycle looks like.
We are a turn key software solutions provider and typically when we engage with our customers, the idea is to help the client on each and every aspect possible or sensible. We bring that outside perspective to a client’s business goals and processes and try to create a better process by integrating business with technology. The illustration above will explain what the engagement patterns look like. Click on the image to get a larger view.
Our services start typically with a business need. Something that a business owner and us together identify as critical or value enhancing to a business owner. The business need could be to create a new process because of a new business angle or to refine, improve upon an existing process (typically to remove pain elements in a business process). This might also involve innovating on a completely new angle (read this business case to see how we have helped one client do that).
Moving on, we have the business analysis and technical evaluation phase. These phases typically involve getting a detailed handle on the problem at hand. Coupling that problem with how IT can help solve the challenge is the goal here. The result of this phase is typically a set of recommendations on process and technology that are derived from the constraints of the problem. And yes, one of the major constraints as always is budget. The second being timeline. 🙂
After this phase comes the nitty gritty phase of planning out the solution, creating the timeline and the execution of the solution. We typically follow onshore – offshore hybrid delivery model that results in the maximum efficiency and value to the customer. However flexibility is called for, specially in the earlier stages of the implementation to take care of situations that specifically require either on site or offsite support.
I will skip going into the nitty gritties of the development cycle but would like to mention two important aspects that go on in parallel here. These are often ignored or just taken into the sub conscious.
Knowledge repository and change management.
Building a knowledge repository is something that is overlooked in the daily grind. However, whether we want it or not, we are building up a know how. The resources assigned to the project are gathering knowledge of the project and the business in general everyday they work on the project. At InfoBeans, with help from the client, we are always building up our knowledge repository in a much more formal manner by continuously documenting, tagging and updating our gain in customer business know-how.
Another aspect is change management. There invariably are always going to be changes in the project during the course of the project. Even when we have a solid and bound requirements document, we will always either miss something out from the requirements or things might just change based on a new discovery of the business process. We are continuously trying to manage change by communication, feedback and prioritization of the requirements that are coming in. Flexibility coupled with robustness to not break anything else is a key aspect of change management.
In the next part of this article, we will see the other aspects of this engagement cycle. Till then, if you have any comments and questions, please do write them in.