We begin each project with a series of meetings to determine the purpose of the software and the scope of the work.
Time: Typically one week
Deliverable: Project Analysis Report
More in-depth than Analysis, Story Carding goes into detailing each feature of the software in sufficient detail that a developer will be able to work on it.
Time: Two days to a week
Deliverables: Physical story cards, a Pivotal Tracker project populated with the stories to be worked on.
Though a designer is typically engaged for the duration of a project, there are some up-front design deliverables that are best considered to be their own step.
Time: Varies, can be parallel to Story Carding
Deliverables: Style Guide, Specific and Typical Layouts, and, optionally, Branding Materials.
The implementation phase is cyclical in nature. Developers will iterate through the Pivotal Tracker project stories delivering their efforts to the staged software server as they progress through the project.
Time: Depends on the overall scope of the work. Initial staging should occur within a week of this step starting.
Deliverable: The actual software.
If your software needs to integrate with other software systems, like a payment processor, we will "stub" those interactions during the Implementation Step. In, this step, we tie the software into these connections.
Time: Completely dependent on how much your software interacts with other systems.
Finally, when the software is complete, we will complete the deployment of the software, establish protocols for backing up the application and the data and other items necessary so that systems operations people (SysOps) can take over keeping the server and software running.
Time: Varies depending on the scope of the project. Often quite short as we attempt to mimic the ultimate deployment environment with our staged version of the application at the outset of the Implementation Step.
Deliverable: SysOps documentation.
At Enable Labs, we believe in actively engaging our clients in the development process. We even set aside space in the project's development room for the client to have a desk to work along side our developers.
At Enable Labs, our development process involves something we call "Continuous Delivery".
Several steps in the process have a tanglible delivery item that is delivered to the client at the end of the step.
During Implementation, we are continuously deploying new features to a staged version of the software for client review and approval.
At Enable Labs, we strongly advocate pursuing the development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as an initial engagement with us. You will see your best return on investment (ROI) by being quick to market and preserving capital and development cycles for reacting to user feedback.
Many large organizations have had significant long-term success with this strategy, often by becoming something different from what they envisioned. You don't need to look any further than Twitter (initially a micro-blogging site, now a communication platform) or Facebook (initially a college campus tool, now basically everything) to see the value in launching quickly and adapting to user demand.