Mon Dec 05 2022
A Case For Test Cases
Testing is part of our human survival and evolution, it's at the heart of discovery and innovation.
It's an important question as, admittedly, it's one of the foundations of negotiating. The problem is - we have been conditioned to understand this in terms of physical commodities and spatially instituted designs.
This is one of the most difficult parts of the work that we do. In short, we need to harmonize industry approved quality standards with an appetite to pay. Perhaps, and most likely, there are economic disciplines that address what we're reaching for - but for fun let's make up some buzz words for it:
...I give up. Having said that, having a framework to understand what a customer is paying for, and having a model to appraise with accuracy seems to be the way forward with dissolving contractual pain points.
🤔 So what does Acorn do?
We start off with a per hour service line agreement to get the ball rolling. We use this time to measure out the final deliverables, and start making inroads with your organization. For the keeners reading this, we use Harvest to track our time by line item.
note: we plan to have a zoom-in feature on images in a later iteration so you'll have to do it for yourself... for now.
Think about a bridge engineer for a second. What is their job? Yes, they need to build a bridge at the end of the day. At the same time, you can't just ask a bunch of contractors to show up, start digging, potentially blow stuff up, and then put a bunch of metal in the ground and in a waterway.
In the case of the bridge maker, they would need to ensure things like
The list never ends. One of the biggest 🚩🚩🚩 we see is people confidently throwing around numbers off the top of their head to quote on initiatives they don't fully understand. It works for sales in the short term but...
Digital Consulting helps us to bridge the gap between discovery and fulfillment
Maybe the time isn't right to start building. Maybe it's important to do exhaustive requirements gathering before bringing in the contractors and the big guns. In film, preproduction is essential to understanding everything from shooting, actors, to post production requirements. It's quite similar in software production, too.
In software discovery, we establish several key factors:
This is where user stories come in handy. Having user stories be developed in conjunction with the provision of multidisciplinary subject matter expertise is where the magic happens. If a client, for example, can assist in providing an organizational objective, a user story is made to support this:
As a shoe salesman, I need to sell shoes at my retail store while listing them on the internet to maximize revenue.
With something as simple as this, software teams have quite a lot of detail to play around with.
We track foundational element discovery in our time tracking software so we can easily report on the time, cost commitment, and status of an initiative
It is very hard to be thorough with a cursory glance on a complex initiative. By doing our homework first, we can build better contracts ensure project scopes stay on the rails.
Generally speaking there are a few things we search for in our discovery process to inform our fulfillment estimates:
Again, each initiative tends to be unique, so it's challenging to be prescriptive until we've collected all of the information.
So, our discovery had us forecast major project milestones.
Operational Note: everyone uses these systems differently with their own combos of flare, pizazz, and gusto.
Since we have figured out what the heck is going on from a client:vendor lens, we can establish the pillars of project success. These get logged and reported as epics in our project management tools.
We then have to envision what the constituent blocks of a given milestone would look like. If we reference our custom SEO Modal module, the SEO Module would be the epic, and the steps required to build it are broken down into stories to support this. In our case, we would have broken it down into:
There are a lot more little knick-knacks and doo-dads that go into a story, but in general we write stories in jira to support the completion of a higher level project milestone.
We inventory all the component parts of a milestone into stories. Stories, then, house a number of other small pieces that support the completion of the story. A lot of times a thing, broken down in a story, requires participation from a number of different team members or subject matter experts:
All of this needs to be tracked, and fulfilled. To accomplish this, we load up our stories with sub tasks that relate to it.
Without due diligence on the constituent blocks of an initiative, we set ourselves up for failure. Without knowing the specifics of the end product, it's impossible to write accurate estimates. Discovery is a necessary step for us to take so we can inform the entire set of project stakeholders on how we plan to get the job done. Finally, discovery is a great exercise to start off with if individuals - or parties - have no prior work experience togher.
Time is money, and accuracy is everything.
Let's put our heads together and get something awesome done. Let's plan it all out in discovery, and provide ourselves detailed instructions to get the job done.
Need more information? Take a look at our services pages and explore how Acorn can extend your vision and online capabilities. On each services page there's a service specific form to connect with us so we can provide tailored solutions for your needs.