We are an Agile shop that leans heavily on collaboration & communication to produce quality products in the ever-evolving startup landscape.
To us Project Partnership is a journey that we set out on together. The end goal is generally known, but the best path to get there is not always so clear. Sometimes we choose the best vehicle for completing the journey, but sometimes it needs changed. Depending on what our partner brings, we either pack less or more resources. Sadly, sometimes there isn't enough gas to get where we want to go, so we choose another great option. But no matter what, we go there together.
In this sense, our process is the navigation system that helps us keep moving in the right direction. Which ultimately means that one process may look very different from another. That said, we generally like to use the same selection of tools.
The "Dinner Table" Meeting
The proverbial place we go to plan out a journey. Everyone should meet at the "Dinner Table" before going on a long journey. Axon understands that many startups come with empty hands to a software project, but others come with all but one piece. That's why we offer a modular selection of all the necessary pieces to take a project from idea to active endpoint in the wild. More than just "the basics", this includes things like focus group exploration, alpha testing teams, production infrastructure and continuous integration and deployment as new features are necessary. At the Dinner Table we talk openly about the different key pieces necessary to complete the journey. Sometimes we present new thoughts and ideas; sometimes we find out that our part in the journey is fairly small. Either way, unless the meeting is at an actual dinner table, this part of the process only costs the time it takes to get a general idea about the journey.
Scanning The "Travel Guide"
Not all projects require a deep dive into the business model & strategies connected with the project. Though we do seek to understand some of this before we embark on the journey. We want to make sure we pack parkas & picks if the purpose of going to the North Pole is to dig in the snow. However, if a partner hasn't quite solidified the plan, we like to dig into a Lean Canvas to make the purpose of the endpoint more concrete. We help our partners through an initial version of this "travel guide" at no cost, and can really help refine it as part of a custom package.
Drawing Up The "Treasure Map"
In short, "the treasure map" is the prototype. It is a general, visual, view of what the journey will look like. It's probably not to scale, and the end product may look a lot different than the initial sketch, but it gives a good idea of how well we understand the way to our final goal. Some partners will come with this already sketched up, and we will collaborate to make sure it is realistic given the resources available.
Writing Down "Turn By Turn Directions"
This is the feature roadmap. A more specific layout of the different pieces involved in the end product, along with their importance & time priority. This can obviously change as the journey progresses, especially when roadblocks and other diversions change the course. On a long journey, never trust turn by turn directions to stay the same. Which is why we have "The GPS".
Checking "The GPS"
Once the journey has started it's important to have a regular bead on your location compared to the initial plan. This is why we use the Agile Methodology. This allows us to do continuous checks on our progress and modify course regularly with our partner "in the room". From daily stand-ups to sprint planning, this GPS allows for the responsiveness necessary on the startup journey. Some customers who only need very atomic work done may not require this structured form of communication, and may opt for a more fluid dialogue through an Issue Board as they integrate our work into the rest of their process.
At the end of the journey some customers already have accommodations while others haven't quite decided where to stay. If it is necessary, we can either provide temporary or extended hosting and CI/CD for the end product, along with the necessary upkeep & improvements. Especially for the non-technical, this can be a huge weight off our partner's shoulders. And if we have architected the whole product, we can work to decrease the amount of continued maintenance & resources necessary to keep it running. This ultimately saves our partners on time, money, and headaches.
The End Goal
We seek to ensure that every part of the journey is effective if not comfortable. The processes we use are part of this. Ultimately, as long as we are operating collaboratively and our partner is satisfied, we will work however is necessary. If you are interested in learning more about our process, either first hand or from the horses mouth, go to our contact page & reach out.