Old School, New School
Traditional project management assumes that the customer knows every single requirement before the project starts and that they will never change. This may be true for rocket design, but doesn’t really apply to internet age projects. Based on this flawed assumption, old school project management has long ago defined a methodology called “Waterfall”, which describes a project with a series of rigid phases: Requirements Phase, Concept Phase, Build Phase, Testing Phase and Implementation. There is no real feedback between the phases. Once you start a phase, there is no way back. Since waterfall it is based on a fundamentally wrong assumption, it almost always fails, and is one of the main reasons why many internet projects don’t go well.
At Ground15, we use a different approach called “Agile”. Agile not only sound much more Internet like, it is much better suited to projects where requirements rather tend to evolve then fall from the sky in a nice package. In essence, we give our analysts a two week’s head start and then turn our developers loose to try to catch them. These two week cycles are called sprints. As the analyst works to keep ahead of the developers, he documents requirements as he goes. The developers release working code at least every two weeks. The customer then tests it as we move on to the next milestone.
At each step of the way, our methodology confirms that development is on track and meets customer requirements. Such iterative development allows for course corrections throughout the project lifecycle. The approach guarantees that the client receives a working system that meets their requirements. The end-result is a solution that meets the customers requirements, delivered at lower cost and with a faster time to launch.
Our customers have access to our online project management system throughout the entire lifecycle of the project. This provides complete transparency into all phases of the project. Customers are able to submit bugs and communicate directly with our developers as coding proceeds. Our system also provides a project wiki in which all requirements, project plans, and comments are maintained.