Aug 17th, 2020

End to End Delivery

Part 1: The Ask

  Written by: Craig Vosper, Chief Delivery Officer

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Over the next few weeks, I wanted to share some of the lessons we have learned at Clientek over our long history of software delivery – putting a focus on the last 5 years, as we have transitioned to our full lifecycle project delivery model.

To begin, I would like to outline what our customers ask of us during a project. These client demands have encouraged us to develop a process that highlights the use of agile/scrum delivery techniques, while employing our own modifications based on lessons learned throughout the execution of hundreds of projects.

Let us review these asks to determine what questions a successful delivery model must answer.

The first two things our customers always ask about are cost and the timeline. How much will it cost and when will I get it? Often these questions stem from imagining the entire project from end to end. Software development and waterfall methodology have trained our businesses to ask for everything up front, expecting that they will only get a fraction of those asks in the final product.

The question of when the product will arrive is a function of the typical urgent pressure to deliver tangible results quickly. Our agile delivery approach moves these questions to: when can I get the first item of value and how much will it cost? This question can then be repeated until acceptable value is received. This allows requirements to change and be re-prioritized throughout the project life cycle as the business receives added information from the platform users.

The next thing asked about is quality, which is measured in a handful of ways. First, does it work the way I need? This really translates to: did I get the business value I was after? Next, does the application work well? Does it include defects that cause it to behave in inconsistent ways? Is the performance acceptable for the users of the system? Will the end-user use the application, or will they end up working around it to fulfill their jobs?

To summarize, the primary asks we see on all our projects are as follows:

  1. What is the project timeline?
  2. What will it cost?
  3. How will changes impact said timeline and cost?
  4. Did I receive the expected business value?
  5. Is the solution usable and of high quality?

In my next post we will start with how we capture business value and how we use that to help us provide the answers to timeline and costs!