Strategy & Planning: from wicked problem to great app
A little vision goes a long way
As Agile practitioners, we don’t believe in thick requirements documents that attempt to define a long horizon; we aim for vision and a tight MVP definition. Starting from a focus on the relevant value stream we progress through discovery of existing processes or conception of new processes for greenfield problems. This functional planning articulates a path forward out of the problem space.
Tech Architecture Planning
In parallel with intense Product investigation, technical planning takes a deep dive into potential technology stacks, architectural patterns and related infrastructure. Technology architecture planning always ties back to Product strategy but also bridges existing technology context and preferences to fully cover data, cloud infrastructure and security strategies.
Core Strategy & Planning elements
Every business problem is different and therefore so are the techniques and tools we bring to bear. However, here are some approaches we often apply to move from problem to implementation plan:
Researching (or defining) the problem space’s value stream, understanding key jobs to be done, business context and priorities always comes first
Starting with existing technology context and infrastructure preferences, a full set of tech stack, architectural patterns and cloud strategy helps inform recommended technical architecture
From wireframes to mockups, interface design and user experience is defined, reviewed and refined to form a vision and plan for eventual development
Combining Product vision, technical architecture, interface design and business priorities, a high level but strategically-sequenced roadmap enables us to arrive at the appropriate MVP and potential follow-on phases
The final strategic plan dives deeper than the roadmap and into user stories, effort sizing, tooling and potential manpower options to arrive at a fully realizable MVP implementation plan
Wireframes help us quickly investigate interface options, flesh out experience approaches and loosely define user interface design concepts prior to investment in high fidelity mockups of the investigated space
Technical Architecture diagrams, from block diagrams to data schema diagrams to cloud infrastructure schematics help visualize the planned technical strategy among stakeholders and to the eventual implementation team
An MVP Implementation Plan & Timeline diagram crystallizes what is often many man-years of application development to both communicate to stakeholders and provide a collaboration vehicle for scope adjustments and priority refinement
Progressing from plan to implementation
Following a thorough Strategy & Planning engagement, a clear MVP development plan that covers vision, backlog, technical architecture and initial user experience can handshake directly into development.
Whether development will be done by MercuryWorks staff or client manpower, the acid test of a planning engagement is the ease of communicating the problems space, vision and plan of attack to the assigned software development team.
The following are key points we address on the path from plan to development:
- Have there been substantial changes to the problems space?
- What one thing, beyond the documented plan, will we do to surprise and delight the client?
- Select or assist the client in staffing a fully-functional Scrum team
Sound like a sane way to approach strategic planning?
Then you want MercuryWorks to plan your next application or key business system. Whether your need centers around web applications, mobile applications or the process automation space, we’ve got you covered.