Aug 29, 2019

Business Insights

Inception: The Most Important Phase

Written by Jesse LaDousa, Chief Operating Officer

Imagine you are about to build a new house. Would you simply have lumber and nails delivered and begin construction? Or would you first think about and plan for the new house, asking questions such as: how many bedrooms do you need for your family? Is two bathrooms enough? Do you have special requirements to fit you or a family member’s needs such as wheelchair accessibility?

Just as with building a house, no software project can begin without answering a base set of questions. Clientek approaches this using what we call an Inception Sprint. This time boxed set of activities allows us to clearly articulate the business problem to be solved. Just as with the “swing the hammer first” method above, many projects start with solution-first thinking. We need a new CRM. We must implement a Data Lake. This type of solution-first approach doesn’t clearly articulate what problem you’re trying to solve.

The inception sprint helps derive the appropriate objectives, goals and measures that allow us to build a set of solution options for consideration. Only then can we begin putting reference architectures in place, drafting the technical approach and building a release plan.

Inception Sprint Pillars

  • Engagement Objectives

  • Clear, concise, and defined measurements for success. Identify the definition of “Done”.

  • Current State Analysis

  • Detailed definition of the current business processes and technical environments.

  • Solution/Feature Impact Analysis

  • Prioritized, weighted approach to providing the correct business solution(s) roadmap.

  • A comprehensive schedule and budget providing expectations for feature delivery and deployments.

  • Business Case

  • Justification and plan to help obtain funding approval for the project.

We rank all project components by priority which allows our development team to immediately begin the implementation of the highest valued feature(s). All other project components remain in priority order and are placed within the project roadmap. This roadmap helps in providing an expected schedule of product releases.

Spending just a small amount of time up-front answering these questions will ultimately lead to a more successful project.


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