What is a masterpiece? Well, primarily, it is the end product. However, it is also something that is being created with an exceptional level of skillfulness and dedication.
So, instead of the end product, let’s put the process of creating a masterpiece in the spotlight for a change. Here is what it looks like at Vivify Ideas. Let’s talk about it.
When we talk about our process, we talk about the Product Development Lifecycle. It consists of nine different phases, each as important as the previous one. Delivering innovative products requires you to be analytical and wise, and that is why we put so much emphasis on our PDLC. Without further ado, let’s dive deeper into the world of Vivify Ideas’ project lifecycle.
Product requirement analysis
Before we give shape to the idea, we execute requirement analysis. This phase includes collecting all relevant information from the client. We are talking about the client’s needs, demands, as well as problems, the end product must be able to solve.
Now, good communication with the client is of utmost importance during this phase, therefore data collecting is usually done through online calls or onsite meetings. It is important to note that if this process ends up having shortcomings, so will each phase that follows.
Creating the Product Draft
After we have collected all the necessary information, the process of creating the product draft begins. This part of our software development lifecycle starts with listing out all features and functionalities the product should end up having.
Staying in touch with the client is crucial for this phase as well. When necessary, we organize workshops where our clients have the opportunity to share their vision regarding the product itself. Also, by using online mapping tools, we create a relevant Application map which gets constantly tweaked as the project moves along.
Next, we rely on various sources and questionnaires in order to define User Personas (the end users). This is important because all product features have to meet the target audience’s needs.
Then, we take these User Personas and the initial structure to create wireframes. They are basically drafts which help us and our clients understand better how different elements of the product fit together, as well as to demonstrate their basic functionalities.
When this phase comes to an end, both parties have a clearer vision of what the product will look like.
Estimation & Proposal
At this stage, we set out to make an accurate estimation of how much time and attention this project is going to need, as well as to make a proposal containing the estimated cost and duration of the project. Three steps need to be made in order to get an accurate estimation and a fair proposal:
- Dividing the project into User Stories — User Stories are basically the end user’s perspective on one or more product features. They shed light on what the product’s value to the user is going to be.
- Defining the technology stack — We define what software and programming languages we will need for the project.
- Determining the team size and composition — Depending on the complexity of the project, we decide on the optimal size of the team and its composition.
Finally, with a cumulative estimation in our hands, a proposal is ready to be made.
Moving on to the project preparation phase. At this stage, we assemble the team that is going to be working on the project and we create a board on VivifyScrum. That is our Agile project management tool, used by everyone involved in the project. It enables us, and the client, to keep track of the project’s progress, at all times. Transparency matters to us, and this tool enables us to achieve it.
Also, during this stage, we add Users Stories to the Product Backlog, as well as prioritize them after consulting with the client.
The next phase of our new product development process is the design phase. It includes the creation of mockups based on the previously mentioned wireframes. These mockups allow clients to see what the product will look like, and how it will behave when the coding phase is finished. We present our mockups to the client with the help of InVision app.
After receiving client’s feedback, our UX team carries out an in-debt review, trying to predict any potential user experience problems, as well as to provide solutions to them.
Moving on to code producing. First, the team gets organized in Scrum or Kanban framework before starting to work on User Stories. During this development stage, for the majority of User Stories, Test Case scenarios are being defined. These scenarios are very helpful because they enable developers to test finished User Stories against them.
Also, during this phase, a Code Reviewer makes sure that the produced code is up to par. Finally, the QA team tests all finished User Stories.
Like we have mentioned before, transparency is valuable to us, and that is why a test installation is created at the beginning of each project, to which our clients have full access at any given time. Finished User Stories are deployed to the test installation where they can be accessed and tested.
The QA team does occasional mob testing on this installation (members perform the test on the same device), thus providing invaluable input on how the product can be improved.
The production release stage is the time when a product begins its life on the market. However, before we release the product, the client has to confirm that an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) has been created. That means that the product has just enough features to satisfy its early customers.
Even though this is the final phase of our product development lifecycle, it is undoubtedly the longest. Because after the product gets launched, we have to make sure that it is functioning to the best of its abilities, as well as keep any potential bugs out of the picture.
However, some projects demand occasional upgrades and improvements. If that is the case, then these tasks also become a part of the maintenance phase.