We assign dedicated project managers to each account, and the individuals we assign are generally among our most seasoned team members, with experience and know-how when it comes to planning, facilitating, and sustaining major software initiatives for enterprise-level customers.
Through their respective degrees and professional certifications -- PMP, Certified Scrum Master, and others -- our project managers have become students of a range of Project Management methodologies, without being slaves to any one. As our projects kick off we will select the most appropriate methodology, based on project scope, customer preferences and the particular dynamics of the situation.
Typical methods would likely include one of the following (or possibly a blend):
In most cases our team "favors working software over comprehensive documentation" but our projects always begin with an appropriate period of "Discovery" scaled to the complexity and size of the project. At the same time we familiarize ourselves with our customer’s business model, challenges, and long-term organizational goals so that all decisions understand the larger context.
As necessary our team helps our clients imagine what is possible. Where vision is clouded, we can bring clarity to describe the potential end state, as well as future iterations.
We work hand-in-hand with the customer to plan as far out as is practical, knowing that transparency and flexibility are core to our approach. We create the task list, set the priorities, determine the first delivery increments, and begin to forge ahead.
Moving forward the "plan, do, review" cycle becomes the pattern, with regular deliveries reviewed and approved by the client before we tackle the next set of functionality. This provides the opportunity to adjust direction, honestly measure progress and reliably predict the final delivery date.
From start to finish, our teams treat each of our projects as valued partnerships, focussed on quality outcomes, not just compliance with original specifications.
Our customers are scattered all around the globe, and we take advantage of all available resources to facilitate effective communication. Face-to-face communication is still a big part of our process, but we also make regular use of phone and video conferencing, real-time project management systems, persistent chat channels and project wikis to keep the communication level high. In the end, our customers report that they often have more visibility into our remote operations than of their own IT team!