At Gaia Technologies, we have a strong track record in designing IT services and strategies that fully meet the customer’s needs and take into account their existing technology policies and procedures. We achieve this by having a robust discovery stage where we reach a full understanding of where the customer is now in terms of business priorities, business processes and current business problems. We will also discuss their current technical infrastructure and where they see they have a problem or room for improvement.
The Discovery Stage of an Agile project is very important. Gaia believes that good design comes from listening to what people both want and need. Then understanding how they will use the resulting system. Often, when we design, this means starting at the end result and working backwards. We call this process information breakdown. The first question we always ask ourselves is what do we, Gaia, need to build, in order to provide our client’s users with the results that they are looking for when they use the system?
As well as discussing project needs with senior stakeholders we also need to talk with the end users, after all they are the people who use the current system on a day to day basis. User input is vital to ensure a viable system that is quickly understood, appreciated and utilised. We hold a series of workshops where we ask a structured set of questions as part of an information gathering exercise. This is how we produce our User Stories. We may also hold a series of analysis exercises to understand what happens in practice, so that a full picture of existing activities is gained.
This is a definition of how the produce will function, who will use it, what benefits it will bring to the organisation and how it will be used.
To ascertain this information we hold workshops with our client’s end users, asking them questions such as “What do you want to do with this system?” “What do you want it to look like when you use it?” “How will it support you’re your organisation wants to do?” “Show us how you want this to behave?” We call this the Product Vision.
This is, as the name suggests, a high level view of how the products will look all put together, with loose time frames of when they might be released for testing.
Our Product Owner will produce the Product Roadmap, with input from all stakeholders. This identifies the major releases with goals or benefits, and will help to inform the prioritisation of the product backlog on the next major release or product version. The product roadmap also helps will budget planning, and supports portfolio management in coordinating release of related products.
This is is produced towards the end of the design stage and is a plan of when the products will be released into the live environment. As well as connectivity issues, urgency and priorities are also taken into account. Each release will take into account the number of Sprints that will take place during the development stage. It is a working document that may be changes as the design phase progresses. Gaia typically use burndown charts to track progress from sprint to sprint and to measure velocity where scope is relatively fixed, and burnup charts where there is flexibility in scope.
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