Your Technology Roadmap and the First Steps to Success
If you’ve got a great app idea, start by building a plan for the future so that your technology initiatives come to light
At Clevyr we’ve seen more and more people coming to us with an “app” idea. They’re often individuals or team members who have achieved success in a particular business but struggle with legacy systems, processes, and the software that manages their industry. They see the problem, yes, but they also have the requisite experience to envision a business strategy solution.
So, business leaders and people in this position rush into our offices looking for a vendor/partner/team to write the code that breathes life into their plans. Does that mean these ideas are ready for code? Sometimes yes but usually not.
Prospects and customers are often surprised to hear that. And they are equally surprised to learn that, as a custom software shop, we have entire engagements that do not revolve around code. Instead, we focus our first engagement (and sometimes our second engagement) on discovery and research.
After undergoing some professional development that Clevyr has completed with Sandler Training of Oklahoma, we’ve learned and adopted the following phrase, “Prescription without examination is malpractice.”
In terms of software, code, and product development, we live by the above motto. This quote helps to communicate why researching the problem you’re trying to solve, the people you’re targeting to be users, and the way you’re trying to solve it are all essential parts of our software development process. Analyzing the problem, evaluating paths to solve the problem, and creating a plan for the solution — these are the right places for most projects to start.
Creating a technology roadmap is step one.
A Plan for the Future: What Your Roadmap Should Include
A Technology Review and Roadmap Session forms the foundation for building a great product. Technology roadmaps are an essential planning tool for enterprise and start-up software. The software you use at work should be fast, fun, elegant, and user friendly. At Clevyr, we create just that through the process of a roadmap.
Without fail, every client initially wants to know two things:
- How much will it cost to do X
- How long will it take to do X
In order to answer those questions, our team needs to review:
- Product roadmap
- Business requirements
- User journeys
- Existing technology
- Integration needs
A Starter Session: How Our Team Members Can Help Yours
If the above-described items do not exist, Clevyr offers a service to begin the process of creating your technology roadmap.
During this session, two senior members of the Clevyr team will meet with the key members of our client’s team for up to seven hours. We will work together to identify how to take your vision from idea to reality.
During this starter engagement, Clevyr will:
- Review your business goals
- Discuss how this product fits into those goals
- Learn who will use this product
- Discover how this product will be used
- Determine which third party software products will integrate with your product
- Establish the business requirements needed to begin work
A roadmap session builds a plan framework. We’ll use this time to figure out:
- What's the overall user journey?
- Who are the users?
- What are the essential user flows?
- Why would people use this app? (motivation)
- What other software products do we need to integrate to make this idea work?
- Master list of features?
- What essential features are required for a beta test?
This type of roadmap will provide key information for making better decisions about technology investments. The session will also include time set aside for understanding your business problem/solution, your existing technology, and your goals.
Outlining Your Business Strategy
After the session, Clevyr will research and compile information. We will then spend approximately two weeks preparing a report (typically 12 pages) that outlines the nuances of your product’s development.
The deliverables are:
- The detailed report (10–12 pages) of your technology plan
- A time and effort investment plan for bringing your idea into reality
- An audio recording of the planning session
- A systems map
- A project plan with deliverables broken down into three or four phases
Clients use this plan in various ways:
- Enterprise clients share the details of the plan with other members of their company for budgeting and planning purposes
- Startups incorporate the roadmap into their pitches for capital funding
- All clients use the document to align the disparate stakeholders on their software development project
Look at any great technology solutions that have made their way into our daily lives — the internet, mobile phones, thousands of applications, etc. While not every project and new technology has followed a clean and clear path from the idea stage to actualization, long term technology projects have all required a solid plan.
Business goals start with planning, and it’s essential that your roadmap should include a plan for the future based on defining and achieving a set of short term goals. Essentially, don’t get too ahead of yourself when working on technology projects.
You and your team members are excited, and understandably so. But achieving the later goals of your technology roadmap is possible only with successful short term goals and first steps. We’ll say again, “Prescription without examination is malpractice.”
Do You Have a Plan for Building Your Technology Projects?
Clevyr builds cutting edge, scalable technology software solutions, including artificial intelligence for IT operations, digital twinning, predictive analytics, and cognitive computing — plus much more! Check us out at clevyr.com or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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