Computers are straightforward; they do what we tell them. Sure, there’s a lot of complexity to wade through and plenty of traps and pitfalls for the unwary software developer, but even the most advanced computer is simple compared to a human being. Technology sucks when developers focus on the technology, not on the people who will use it. Heck, many developers are just hanging on by their fingernails, desperately trying to keep the system running, unable to spend time understanding the needs and wants of the people. Those developers constantly tell you that things are impossible, or roll their eyes every time you need a small change. We don’t do that.
We focus on the people. Our entire process is built around constant and effective communication. If we don’t understand the hopes and dreams of the people who will use our technology, how will we ever meet them?
If this system worked perfectly, if it made everything as effortless as possible for your team, if it created amazing results, what would that look like? That’s the question we ask when we start building a system. We imagine the ideal outcome together, and then we figure out how to get there. We focus less on the technology and more on what the people are trying to accomplish. More importantly, we also look at the things that make the system enjoyable rather than just functional.
Imagine that. A system that might actually be fun and productive to use. We start with an initial design in mind, and then evaluate how we might create it. Can we use off-the-shelf software? Can we tweak or update an existing system? Should we build it from scratch?
Our job isn’t to tell you that we can’t do something, but to tell you what we can do given your needs, wants, budget, and timelines.
We don’t bury you in three-inch binders full of arcane technical specs. Instead, we sketch some designs on a whiteboard. Then we show you a non-functioning prototype. Then we show you a minimally functioning version. Then we start connecting things until it all works. Along the way, you can constantly see our progress, try each iteration, provide feedback, and make changes.
In a very real sense your people are designing the system, we’re just making the magic happen.
Many organizations deploy a new system with less communication than they would invest in introducing the new office intern. That’s ridiculous.
From the day we start we constantly communicate with everyone who will be touched by the system. We want everyone to be happy that the system is here. We want people to dance and sing every time we deploy a new version, we want them to name their children after the systems we build. Most of all, we don’t want anyone to be surprised, annoyed, or even frightened that the system has arrived.
And even after we deploy a system, it will continue to grow and evolve as the organization’s needs change. Whether we maintain it or hand it off to an internal team, we position every system to last. We want it to be like a beloved member of your family.