Every customer, every business challenge, and every project is unique. At the same time, every project follows a similar path and employs similar activities through the life-cycle of the project.
B2B Technologies employs a methodology for projects called the Process for Excellence (P4E). The major phases in the process and the associated deliverables are described below.
This is a general overview and meant as a guideline. Each project will have its own unique needs and the methodology will require adjustments to suit those needs.
At the start of the project we conduct a kickoff meeting with our customer and the project team. We review the goals, deliverables, and time lines. We also establish the lines of communications and responsibilities. Finally we set-up the project internally, creating the SharePoint project portal where we manage and collaborate with the client during the course of the project.
During the Envisioning phase, additional meetings and interviews with the customer begin to elaborate on the solution. It is during this time that we begin to discuss specific functional and technical requirements for the first release and beyond. Results of these discussions are documented in the Project Structure, Vision Scope, and Feature Proposals. If appropriate, a release schedule may identify which requirements will be fulfilled in the first release and which will be put into later releases. We will also revise the estimates for completing the rest of the project at this time.
Planning and Design Phase
The Plan and Design phase lays out a plan to address each and every aspect of the project including not only detailed designs for the solution, but also plans for addressing environmental and operational tasks. We will define how the system will look, how a user will use it and what it will do for the user. Our objective is to visualize the complete system in a variety of ways to ensure we will meet all the requirements. This phase may include significant prototyping, particularly of the user interface. Some of the tasks and deliverables in this phase may include:
• Use cases analysis
• Creative design (look and feel, graphics, color scheme)
• Site/application mapping and navigation
• Project Plan that identifies milestone dates and resource requirements
• User interface design
• Application "blueprint" containing all or some of the following:
• Use case definitions
• Page/window blueprints that show what information is contained on each page/window and where that data comes from (static, database, under content management control)
• Page/window mockups or wire frames that show how each page will look
• Definitions of major business logic
• Design/style guide to ensure consistency throughout the project
• Technical designs which include:
• Technical architecture:
• Component design:
• Database design: An Entity Relationship Diagram, plus definitions of all attributes
The Development phase focuses on programming and unit testing of the entire application. Development tasks are organized around the major milestones identified above. Tasks may include:
• Final artwork and graphics design
• Page, script, web service and component programming
• Content development
• Unit testing
• Fully functional mini-releases that can be used for system testing and user feedback
During this process, refinements are made through regular process updates and milestone reviews. The customer has the opportunity to preview the site/application first-hand in its different stages, allowing consistent feedback and refinement to ensure that the site meets the goals and objectives set forth. The result is a fully functional site/application that has been designed to an agreed-on specification and meets all expectations.
The Stabilizing phase focuses on ensuring that the milestone releases and final release perform as designed and the system is launched with a high level of quality. Some or all of these activities are performed:
Once testing is complete, B2B Technologies will install the system on servers at the customer’s facility or at a third-party hosting company.
We conclude with the Wrap-up activities where we conduct postmortem and close-out meetings, make an archive of all the project assets, and perform a variety of internal administrative functions.
Usually the first release is not the last. Original requirements that did not make the Release 1 cut may still be needed. New requirements discovered during Development and after the Launch may become a high priority. We will work jointly to develop a work plan for development of follow-on releases that meet these requirements.
To recap, every customer, every business challenge and every project is unique. At the same time, every project follows a similar path and employs similar activities throughout the life-cycle of the project. In particular, the bookends of our projects: Initiation Activities and Wrap-up Activities are virtually identical on every project. This is the essence of Program Management and by utilizing a consistent delivery mechanism and sharing reusable artifacts across projects. This enables the B2B Technologies Team to deliver business solutions that are cost-effective, delivered on time, are of the highest quality and leave our customers with a high-level of satisfaction.