EmpireOne: Lean & green

  1. Get your project estimated
  2. Review progression of the work regularly
  3. Decide when completed enough to used
So when do we get to see something?

I am regularly asked to explain how does EmpireOne deliver projects in a transparent, lean and efficient way, and what does it translate into for clients.

1. Project estimation

Everyone needs a line in the sand

A very first step of any project is an estimate. Hopefully accurate, and definitely ballpark. In order to ensure everyone is on the same page, EmpireOne will discuss your project with you to understand the goals and guidelines, evaluate the technical complexity and also estimate the effort required. This is generally a 0.5 to 2 hours discussion, with larger projects sometimes needing getting together a second time, for the sake of completeness.

Within a few days you will then receive a short project proposal which outlines the project goals, covers the high-level technical break down and also presents an indicative project plan and iterations back to you. The document will also include details of the first iteration of the project, which typically takes 2 to 4 weeks.

Header over to my previous post on agile, iterative, lean development to find out exactly what an iteration means.

Finally we follow up with you over the next week or two to answer any questions you may have and perhaps run you through some of the more detailed sections of the document, to make sure you understand how we can add value to the project. (No proposal if we don’t believe so!)

Lean estimation because..

.. you will be provided with an overall effort estimate, but only the first iteration is broken down into further details. This allows you, your project or your market to change in two weeks with no impact to the first iteration.

Green estimation because..

.. since we believe emails are not only faster, but also greener, we’d rather not waste perfectly good trees. Every little bits count. Hence why we do not colour print on high density paper. We do not add pages of standard fine print, conditions and assumptions to our documents. We do not add a company profile and marketing brochures to the proposal, in a custom-made folder just to impress and get thrown out almost instantly. No!

2. Execution

Time to create great things

Once you have approved the work to commence and we have adjusted our schedule for you, we then begin the iterations. For each iteration, we speak weekly and we meet with you once (in person or via Skype) to review the previous iteration (see Delivery) and help guide and prioritise the upcoming development priorities. By nature of our iterative methodology, you are free to change your mind, adjust your idea or change priorities at will. We are only developing a single iteration at a time.

Lean execution means..

.. we use development frameworks and programming practices which favour efficiency and reusability. Also, for each iteration, we focus the build on what is actually needed, not the 500 other possible bells and whistles.

Green execution means..

.. we use technologies as much as possible to communicate and not print 10 version of a single document. Emails, shared documents, revisions, Skype, Google hangouts, you name it. In the past we have found it wasteful and inefficient to drive 45+ minutes to a 30 minutes meeting and back. People – CO2 in traffic is atrocious. We also turn the lights and monitors off every night. Every bit counts!

3. Delivery

Testing that MVP, capture user feedback, assess ROI

At the end of each iteration, a working product is to be presented back to you for review. Depending on the project, one or a few iterations should be sufficient to release the product (internally or to market), and for you to capture user feedback which should be considered invaluable to how future features are be prioritised and developed.

When appropriate, we will help you with the hosting and maintenance of your software. Although we are just as happy using your current setup or provider.

Lean deliveries since..

.. our overall approach makes our software focus primarily on value. Functionality that is not needed will not be built and delivered just for the “bling” it adds. Likewise, we will help steering the development priorities where business efficiencies can be achieved. Think of it as our code making your business more lean!

Green deliveries since..

.. our code and practices favour efficient processing. Yes running good code is green, as much as extra servers need for extra processing are not! We also favour cloud-based hosting which uses electricity and processing capacity on-demand.

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Written by

Managing Director of EmpireOne Group in Sydney, Sebastien has made a life of understanding both sides of the fence. Born in Canada and educated as a self-started business software engineer, not a single day passes without finding Seb tweaking a process, system or piece of code.