How To Plan A Software Project Using Our Range Of Helpful Techniques

When working with clients on technical projects, it’s important to communicate every stage of what will be taking place. This requires skills in different areas to account for the requirements of a given project and your intentions as the developer, including how to handle the scope of the project.

Your clients may not be technically savvy, and thus are relying on you to understand their needs. Ultimately, this requires being able to communicate your capabilities and knowing how to get the necessary details from the client. In this video, you will learn about the techniques we use to effectively plan and organise a project.

Video Transcript:

Planning a Software Project

In the second part of our morning session is we’re going to look at how non technical folks can plan a software project. By way of background, these are services that we often are paid to deliver and are very happy to deliver. But I think you’ll agree at the end of this session, there are a whole bunch of things in here you could very easily do yourself. A range of these techniques are essentially just systematic ways of thinking through how to plan out a project.

Communicate your information in multiple ways

One of the things that I think is really important that we’ve discovered is, when you’re planning out software projects, you generally do a much better job if you can use two or three techniques at the one time. So if you can use something that is pictures and if you can use something that is words (and I’m going to show you a range of techniques today) oftentimes they challenge each other; they live well in tension.

We’ve certainly had scenarios where I recall, when I started our business, I used to write nothing but really long written proposals. They’d be forty or fifty pages. Ultimately people were buying, not because of what was in the presentation, in fact they got bored by about page 10. They were buying because they liked me. We’d created some relationship.

What would happen however, is that the project would go through and we would end up having an argument about the third paragraph on page 29 and it would be a really bad argument. So we moved away from purely using words to using pictures. What we discovered was when people were given pictures, the feedback volume was 5 to 10 times higher.

They would take the red pen out and they’d say, oh, you’ve missed that and that’s a great idea and the feedback became so much richer. So if we can look at these problems from multiple aspects, you’ll get a lot greater clarity between you and the people doing your development. Let me say, a lot of things get ugly because the communication isn’t good. So this session is about trying to give you techniques to help with the communication process.

7 techniques

There are 7 techniques. Three of these are going to be system focused techniques. They are techniques that talk about what the system does. We’re going to look at a thing called IPO, we’re going to look at business logic and data models. And three of them are going to be customer focused. So we’re going to look at actor analysis, user journey and user story. They try to take the perspective of our users and what our users are looking to get. Then we will combine it and talk about wire frames and how to use those.

An example

Before we do, we need to think about curry. Curry is important in our business, we have curry every Friday. It just so happens that computer geeks like curry. So we have a curry ordering system. We have software that we have written that orders and manages the curry, it manages the IOUs because people don’t always have the money for the said curry.

It even does clever things. It knows if you haven’t paid your curry debts. So we manage curry very well in our business and in fact one of the nice things about having developers work for you is you’ve got to give them something to do. No client wants to work with a developer on the first day. You need something to work on. It just so happens that curry is really good for that.

You can understand the importance of having multiple systems to assist in communicating your needs and the requirements of your clients. By learning to implement numerous techniques and applying them to different procedures within your projects, you will find that all aspects of the process improve a great deal.

We’re ready to help you get your project headed in the right direction, whether you need our assistance in development or are looking to put our techniques to work for your own projects. We look forward to hearing from you, so don’t hesitate to contact us right away.

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