Two Crucial Steps in Early Stage Application Builds

Have you ever noticed a process that was inefficient within your organization and thought “If I just had this tool, we could save a lot of time and energy!”
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Over the past two decades we’ve helped many of our clients bring their ideas to life and we’ve identified two crucial initiatives that can help you gain the support you need to make your idea a reality and take you one step closer to digital transformation.

When a changemaker has a great idea, they need to have a set of deliverables that they can use to sell their idea to business leadership. They need to clearly show the value the tool can bring: how much time can it save? What is the core functionality? Is it technically feasible? All these things need to be done fairly early on or your idea can die on the vine. As part of our new product methodology, we recommend starting with a technical assessment and a new product prototype. Both of these initiatives can be done at a reasonable cost and usually can be completed in about a month, allowing your idea to gain momentum within the organization.

Technical Assessment

The technical assessment is custom-focused around your idea but as we go through the process, we also try to help modernize infrastructure and outline other areas that may take advantage of the new technology infrastructure being planned. Some of the key steps include:

  • Examining existing technical documentation
  • Examining code, deployment and code management process
  • Examining the security, reliability, scalability and performance of existing applications
  • Conducting stakeholder interviews
  • Creating and deliver assessment with current state components
  • Documenting results and recommendations for the future state infrastructure
  • Prioritizing functionality and define of MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
  • Creating budget and timeline for execution
In parallel with the Technical Assessment, our UX team will also be present at all stakeholder meetings. They will determine what functionality is of the highest priority within the organization. They will also document all secondary functionality to be captured for future phases.

The UX team will compile all the information from the stakeholder meetings and then begin creating wireframes to iterate on with the new product team. The goal of the clickable wireframes, in a tool like Figma, is not to be comprehensive and show every aspect of the application, but to quickly illustrate the most important functionality to communicate the idea with business leadership. Some of the key steps include:

  • Conducting stakeholder interviews
  • Mapping user journeys
  • Design brainstorming
  • Creating brand mood board
  • Creating application wireframes
  • Developing MVP Prototype
  • Collaboration and Iteration with stakeholders
  • Documenting developer spec

What do you Accomplish Through this Process?

Going through the technical assessment helps refine your idea into sizable chunks that can be executed in phases. It allows the product team to only focus on the most important aspects of the application that will create business value quickly. It also ensures that the idea is technically feasible. If the business leadership likes your idea, the next question is usually how much does this cost? or how fast can we create this? With a technical assessment you will have answers to all those critical questions.

Having a new product prototype allows stakeholders to clearly communicate their idea to business teams and leadership generating support for their idea. In our experience, people always get the idea quicker when it is visualized and they can clearly see how it can add value to the business and interact with it themselves. Our clients also find value in the prototype because they can do early on user-testing and validate their idea much more quickly than usual before it moves into the costlier development stages.

Another benefit to this process is that internal and external teams work together and build trust over the short engagement. This allows the product owners to determine who should be involved and what their responsibilities will be if the project moves forward into a build phase.

You can clearly show your idea and its business value to all stakeholders
Once you have all these things in place, you’re unstoppable. You can clearly show your idea and its business value to all stakeholders. You can clearly communicate the technology being proposed to internal IT teams. You have a high-level timeline for a product build along with budgetary planning for those phases. All of those pieces come together to show a clear and well thought out plan that can help your business stand out from your competitors.

We hope that you have found this information helpful and hope it will be valuable when you’re thinking about new applications that can help your organization be more efficient. Feel free to reach out to our team of UX and Architecture experts to discuss how we can help you bring your idea to life.

Ready to get started or have questions?

We’d love to talk about how we can work together or help you to brainstorm your next project and see how we might help.

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