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Understanding Jump Start Project Activities

Not all timeframes support dedicating an entire day of the project on specific activities. However, many of these which are not specifically cited in shorter Solution Jump Starts will still occur in some abridged form.

Project Kick-off

The start of any Jump Start generally begins with a 1 to 2-hour meeting where we introduce our team members, present the project schedule, and set expectations. There is usually some discussion between our Delivery Coordinator and your Project Sponsor prior to this meeting, in order to schedule specific work dates, and gather other preliminaries.

Technical Foundations

This is the time period where such things as Windows or Office 365 accounts and/or VPN credentials are shared with our team so that we can work on your servers. For solutions which require the installation and configuration of pre-packaged software components, these things also fall into that category.

Discovery and Requirements Gathering

While we may have had some discussion with you about your needs already, this is the point where we will interview your business stakeholders or technical staff in order to gather detailed requirements for the project.

We will also work to establish priorities and make realistic determinations about what's possible to do depending on the timeframe of the project and complexity of your needs. Sometimes not all of the details are fully known or understood. Agreement that we're limited in what we can deliver by what is discussed at this early stage in the project is essential to making the Jump Start framework successful.

Mapping Features to Requirements

Application development projects often require answering the question "how will we do this in SharePoint?" Our architects use field proven techniques to convert business requirements into functional and technical specifications.

Presentation of the Proposed Design

Once the technical folks settle on a design, we'll present the solution to you in layman's terms, so you can understand our activities during the remainder of the project. You'll have an opportunity to ask questions, give feedback on the design, and help develop strategies to handle any potential risks or concerns.

Rapid Implementation

Rapid development methodology is designed to produce results quickly by getting right into the swing of things. At this stage, our developers or other SharePoint specialists will roll their sleeves up and start working on a prototype based on the requirements or design that were completed on previous days. Because the time frame is limited, we know that requirements and design may not be perfect. The goal here is not to implement everything - but rather to sprint forward - implementing as much as we can, using the given priorities as a guide.

Feedback and Iterative Improvement

Nobody understands your business needs better than you, and no solution should be expected to be perfect in a vacuum. For this step in the project, we share what's been developed so far, and give you the opportunity to share insights that may not have been captured in the requirements gathering stage. The remainder of the day is spend making minor changes to the solution in response to your feedback. Time permitting, you may need to meet with the developer a few times during this stage.

Testing and Stabilization

Once essential functionality has been implemented, it is time to shift the focus from building things that are new to taking what exists and making it more reliable. While shorter Jump Starts do include testing, often we have to test-as-we-go. The longer 2-week format allows us to dedicate time specifically to testing and bug fixes.

Refinement

The longer 2-week Jump Start format allows us to make time to truly flesh out the solution. Refinement is the process where we start to implement lower priority goals that were set aside as "time permitting". Since Refinement is done after Testing and Stabilization, it should be restricted to low risk and cosmetic changes only. Think of this step as polishing the product so that it shows well.

Documentation

Once development is complete, we take some time to capture our notes in a readable form and deliver you some written documentation on how our solution works and where all moving pieces are located. Part of this process includes identifying known limitations and features that can be developed in future versions.

Review and Knowledge Sharing

As a final step, we take the last day of any Solution Jump Start to share essential knowledge and present our solution to your team in its final form. This often includes walking your team through how to use the solution to its fullest and providing a question and answer session with your technical staff.