At Third Reef, we are proponents of the ability of process to help keep projects on the right course. At a high level, our process is divided into three phases, each of which builds on the last. We aim to be pragmatic in our application of process, with enough structure to aid decision making, team alignment and planning but never so much that it becomes harder to work.
Our first phase is discovery. This takes different shapes for different types of projects, but the goal remains the same: defining, in as concrete and data-driven a manner as possible, what needs to happen to achieve a project’s goal.
For strategy projects, the discovery phase leads to concrete recommendations for addressing identified gaps. For technology implementation engagements, discovery results in an initial backlog of user stories and wireframes ready for designers/developers to begin implementing your project. Based on these deliverables, clients can pursue them on their own, engage a third party, or continue with us for implementation.
Implementation transitions from answering the question of exactly what your users want you to build to figuring out how to achieve that goal in the manner that produces maximum return on investment. To do so, we rely on agile project management. This manner of working is characterized by short, iterative cycles focused on the highest priority remaining tasks. With active client participation in the prioritization process, tasks are completed in the manner that yields business results soonest. Because cycles are short, prioritization can be based not only on the business realities present during discovery, but updated as your market evolves throughout the project lifecycle.
These iterative cycles are called sprints, and follow a pattern of implementing individual tasks in order from your prioritized list, testing the implementation of each, pushing these updates to a non-production environment for acceptance by the client, and re-prioritizing the list of remaining tasks. By pushing a new version of working software at the end of each sprint, clients can touch and feel the results of their efforts and correct any deviation from expectations. Since any deviations are visible to clients soon after implementation, this avoids the risk of building upon faulty foundations.
This methodology is quite flexible, and can be adapted to both strategy and technical projects.
A successful launch is never the end of the story; the shifts in business strategy that made agile methods so helpful during implementation do not cease to influence the viability of your project. Further, the pace of technical change means your investments will require upkeep to maintain their value. Features will come and go.
Our approach to maintenance means tending to your code and continuing to help navigate enhancements or other changes as needed. Beyond monitoring your code's health, we partner with your administrative team, whether in-house or via managed service provider, to transition infrastructural monitoring and management duties. For clients with advanced technical skill, we can also work with your internal team to transition code and feature ownership, whether via direct handoff or in a long term advisory capacity.
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