The Discovery phase is a critical part of cloudThing’s delivery approach. Whilst many software developers are unwilling to agree fixed prices for projects due to uncertainty, cloudThing have a trusted approach including a defined methodology, tooling and governance process, for defining both your requirements as well as what we need to do to ensure successful delivery, which sets us apart from other software development companies. This enables us to lock in a fixed price for a fixed scope, providing certainty and reducing your risk. Once we know our Architecture and tooling is right, we know that we have the Governance and capability internally to deliver against this promise.
First, we will understand your business, its goals, and your critical background to ensure we design a solution to facilitate your business tomorrow, as well as today. Initially, our Solution Architect and, if appropriate, our Business Analyst spends time gathering information to define the functional scope and this helps us to map out new or re-engineered business processes. This creates the skeleton for the next phase where we define detailed requirements through writing ‘User Stories’ where functionality is documented in the context of a user, what they want to achieve and why they need to do it. cloudThing's way of doing this is to work backwards from the end goal so that we understand all the features required.
The first exercise is to create a Business Process Map which is used to identify the processes that are currently underway in the client’s organisation. From here, cloudThing can analyse these processes to see if we can reduce the volume of them (be they now redundant, duplicates, loose duplications, or overly complex) and simplify them. Once we have understood the requirements, we can then move on to generating a map of User Personas which helps us to understand who will be using your software and what they are really looking to achieve. For example, a millennial customer is likely to interact with your software in a different way to a field service engineer or a back office administrator. This ensures that the new technology will make them more efficient and in turn, establishes that the technology is accessible, intuitive and is the foundation of the User Design.
Finally, we can create a Solution Architecture and Technical Design that will best deliver the requirements and form the cornerstone of the project moving forward. After considering the requirement, available technology options, business constraints and 3rd part integrations, the Solution Architecture describes the selected components and how they interact so that the everyone has a firm understanding of the project. The Technical Architecture then provides the lower level detail for each component and how it is configured, backed-up and maintained.
Together, these artefacts create a blueprint for a successful delivery which enables cloudThing to accurately cost each element and combine with a delivery plan. The result is a fixed price for a fixed scope with a clear project plan that can be commissioned for implementation.