There are a lot of different approaches to managing web development projects, and each one usually works well for that type of team and the deliverables they’re trying to manage.
At Monarch Digital we have spent years experimenting and perfecting our methods and believe we have arrived at a style of project management that enables us to deliver excellent and cost-effective results for our clients.
Project Management Style
There are several development methodologies in the industry but they are roughly divided amongst the ‘traditional’ and the ‘agile’ methodologies.
We find that working with our customers in an iterative fashion brings out the best products. But we also recognize that budgets are not unlimited, so we will use a methodology based on the best principles of both Traditional and Agile.
Traditional Project Management
Traditional methodologies tend to define the end product at the beginning of the engagement, have a long development phase, and deliver the finished product at the end. This often leads to discrepancies between user expectations and the finished product as there are little opportunities to review and/or give feedback on the product throughout the development cycle.
Agile Project Management
Agile methodologies tend to work in an iterative fashion, with a series of very short development cycles including specification, development, testing, and the explicit goal of including refinements to the product in the next cycle. This often leads to increased costs as the same feature is being worked on repeatedly during multiple cycles.
Our proposed methodology relies on having a discovery phase aimed at gathering functional requirements, then an architecture phase focused on defining the architecture of the product and making necessary technical choices, followed by short development cycles or sprints focused on completely building a small set of features.
This methodology will allow us closely match your expectations by understanding your goals and constraints first and defining product architecture based on these, incorporating user feedback during each sprint, and delivering a complete, usable product at the end of each Sprint.
Working in Sprints
A sprint is a set period of time during which specific work has to be completed and made ready for deployment. For each sprint we will set a specific group of features that we will build and the time we will have to build them.
We do sprints because it means that parts of a project are built and tested as quickly as possible, This gives you the opportunity to drive iterations of the project and changes of project priorities.
Working in sprints may also identify changes that are considered out of scope. When this happens we can either adjust the next sprint to include these new features or we can add these new features or enhancements to an additional scope.
A sprint encompasses the following phases:
- Plan: Each sprint starts with a plan to make sure all stakeholders know what will be completed in the sprint.
- Build: The developers build the agreed upon functionality.
- Demo: Demos will be provided of the work completed in sprints so that users can participate testing.
- User Acceptance Testing (UAT): Users will participate in testing the system based on agreed upon user stories (standards).
Monarch Digital relies on our customers to work hand in hand with us for successful projects. We view it as a partnership to create amazing websites and so clients are encouraged to actively participate during the various stages of their project. Here are some of our collaboration goals:
- Active participation in all project meetings.
- Coordinate interviews with stakeholders during the discovery phase.
- Timely review of all project deliverables by relevant stakeholders.
- Provide license-free graphical and text assets, guidelines and other elements as needed.
- Participate in user acceptance testing for each sprint: perform in-depth testing of all features of the software, and synthesize comments and feedback in a single document back to our teams.
- Create and execute a robust marketing plan to advertise for the new website and drive end-user adoption through the various user segments.