Whether you are starting an app from scratch, not happy with your current developers, or looking for the next version of your app, our process for getting to know you remains the same.
Introduction Call (15-30 min)
Our Process begins with a phone call. This is just an introduction, so we can meet you, you can meet part of the team, and we can find out a little more about your project. During this call, we cover 5 things:
- Your Elevator Pitch: What’s your idea? What do you want your app to do?
- Design: What do want your site to look like? Although we personally aren’t designers, we are experts at implementing any .psd’s you give us. Need a designer? Just ask. We have working relationships with quite a few that we’d love to recommend.
- Market: What’s your market potential? Who are your target Users/Customers? What research have you done into the industry?
- Budget: Oh, the dreaded question, how much do you want to spend? Are you self-funded, have investors, or are you borrowing money from a loan shark?
- Timeframe: When do you want to start development? How soon do you want your app deployed?
At the conclusion of this call, we’ll schedule a Story Workshop.
Story Workshop (90 min to 2hrs)
This is where your app gets planned. During this workshop, we’ll find out 3 things:
- Why do you want to make this app?
- What are you hoping to achieve?
- What are your goals?
These are things we keep in mind during development, and we’ll use them to keep you on track as we continually add more features to your app.
- Who will be using your app?
- Will you have Users, Customers, Admins, Production Staffers, Buyers, Merchants, or all of the above and more?
This is where we’ll spend the bulk of our meeting.
You describe the features you want, and we’ll turn them into stories, or more accurately “User Stories.” These User Stories are an easy way for you to communicate, on a high level, what you want your users to be able to do. We’ll get into their specifics during our Monday Planning meetings, and don’t worry if you can’t think of everything, you can always add more later. We’ll track all of these stories in our Project Management tool.
User Stories have the following pattern: As a ROLE I should be able to ______________ .
So you tell us Who should do What. For example:
As a User I should be able to login to my account.
As a Merchant I should be able to receive credit card transactions.
That’s it. We’ll do this all the features you want in your app. Pretty simple, huh? Yeah, well, we try to make this as easy and as painless for our clients as possible. You come up with the ideas, and leave the hard stuff up to us.
Oh, and if you’re local, we’d love to have you in to our offices for the Story Workshop. If not, no big deal. We’ll Skype you and screen share, so you can follow along that way. After we’re done, we’ll estimate the complexity, timeframe, and cost of your app.
Some would say, “this is where the magic happens.” Not us. Yes, this part might “take place behind the scenes,” but we’re very transparent with our process. We gather up the entire team, lock ourselves in a room, and discuss all of the User Stories you created.
So, how do we do it?
We go through each story one by one and review them as a team. We estimate their complexity, and if we don’t all agree, then we’ll re-discuss the story, and estimate again. We base our estimates on complexity, not on the amount of time. Yes, complexity does have a strong correlation to time, but anyone who can precisely tell you how much time each feature will take is just flat out lying to you.
This doesn’t mean we won’t give you time based estimates. On the contrary, we provide far more accurate estimates because of this process. Sounds a little weird at first, but we’ll be able to give you your app’s total complexity, how much we can get done each week, and how many weeks it will take us to complete your app. Cost is based on these weekly iterations. Read more about our weekly iterations.
- We will never lowball or underbid a project just to get business.
- We have principles and integrity, and delivering an accurate estimate is something we will not budge on, even if that means losing a project.
- We are upfront and detailed. You’ll be able to see our estimates for each story, and will even be able to remove extraneous or nice-to-have-but-not-necessary features.
- We do not “pad” or inflate our estimates to waste your budget. We develop the simplest possible solution that will meet all of your requirements.
Our estimation process does take time, but that’s only because we are so thorough in our estimates. You will receive your estimates within 36 hours of the Story Workshop.