The first step, when embarking on any problem-solving journey, is to understand the current situation. Before we even begin to dream up complex technical solutions, or design server architecture, or write a single line of code, we need to gain an understanding. There are several things we need to grasp:
Your business. To help us to build the most useful solution for your business, we need to know your business. How does it work? What’s the structure? How big is it? What markets do you move in? It’s only by knowing these, seemingly insignificant, details that we can help you as best we can. We’re then not just IT providers, but part of your team.
The problem. What is it that you want to fix? What process do you need to make smoother? This is the crux of the entire project. We will be building the software to solve this problem, hence we need to understand it inside out.
Your future. There is little point in building software that simply meets your needs right now, it’s rather short-sighted. You’ll be growing, right? Bigger and better things, new horizons. We want to come along for the ride! By understanding where you’re going, we can help to anticipate any challenges you might encounter along the way, and head them off before they become problems. We need to build something that will scale and grow as you do, and for that, we need to look into the future.
Once we understand you, your business, your future and the problem, we need to start to scope out the solution. This is the part where we start to identify practical features, must-haves and nice-to-haves. We’ll all sit down with a big ol’ whiteboard and thrash everything out. We’ll also talk about budget, time restraints etc. We’ll then go away and summarise what we have understood from the session, to make sure we’re on track. We’ll put together a plan, time scales and predictions. Once you're happy we have understood the requirements correctly, the fun can begin.
Designing the solution is arguably the most crucial phase. It’s the part before we write code, but after we understand what we’re doing. We design everything from the “look and feel”, to the business logic, to the server architecture. During this stage, we can often save a lot of time in the future by working out how to place our cogs to build one well-oiled machine. We’ll also need to make sure the interface and processes are relevant to the users; user adoption is key, and users being happy to use whatever is built is essential to that.
Creating. This is the bit that’s all down to us. During this stage you probably won’t hear from us too much. We’ll provide regular updates and provide show-and-tell specimens as they become available. But it’s not too much fun for you guys, I’m afraid. Towards to end, we’ll provide demonstrations and make any changes that you need.
Implementation is the “roll-out” phase. This is where we integrate the new software solution into your business and/or existing IT infrastructure. We'll have gained an idea through previous discussions about what sort of implementation strategy we'll be using. These are the usual options: direct implementation, phased implementation, pilot implementation or parallel implementation. The right method will depend on many factors in your business.
You’ve just bought some new software, waited for it to be built to your specification, you now need to know how to use it, right? Potentially more importantly your staff need to know how to use it. The key to this whole project working is user adoption. We can build the best software on the planet, but if you guys don't use it, it’s practically useless in every way. We need to make sure the users of the software know it well, and enjoy using it. So we need to show them how.
Handing over the “finished” product isn't the end. We’ll be with you from now on to help you and support you however you need it. As the system is implemented, small changes may need to be made as we go, users may have questions on how features work. We’ll be right there to support and maintain the software for you.
Conical Software is a trading name of Illuminate Group Limited.
Company No. 09329753.
Registered office: International House, Brunel Drive, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG24 2EG
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