Process

Learn more about how we work and what to expect with any mobile or web development project

Pre-development Process

Discovery access_time DURATION: 0.5 - 1 h attach_money COST: free

The Discovery call

It usually starts with a simple message, a call or even a conversation at an event. Once we’ve become connected, we’d usually follow up with a short discovery call on Google Meet, Skype or by phone. The main objective is to understand your requirements and answer any questions you have. After the discovery call, we’ll summarise and confirm your objectives.

Are we a good fit?

Following our discovery call, we’ll confirm if we’re able to help. Most of the time this is the case, but we do have select criteria when working on new projects, therefore some projects may not be right for us. If we’re unable to help, we’ll do our best to provide recommendations for where you can find help. If we’re a good fit and you’d like to proceed, we’ll ask you to fill our a project brief on our website and based on this data (and our discovery call) we’ll prepare an initial estimation. In some cases, we may need to setup an extra call or ask further questions by email.

Initial estimation access_time DURATION: 2-4h attach_money no cost

Now, you’d probably like to know how much your project will cost. That is the aim of a scoping session. Although at this stage, we’re able to offer an estimation of resources and cost based on the information you’ve provided to us, this will be delivered as range. This should be enough to confirm we’re within your budget. As we’re Agile, the estimation is flexible based on your needs and is by no means a definite reflection of the final cost, but a good indication of the range.

Scoping session access_time DURATION: 2-4h (session) 4-8hrs (internal) attach_money COST: fixed

The scoping session is of huge value to all parties, enabling you to get a full technical proposal and enabling us to dive deep into the technical and commercial objectives of your project.

The session consists of two phases:

  1. A scoping session which is held via Google Meet, Skype or by call.
  2. An internal scoping workshop between the Ideamotive team.

During the session, you will talk with one of our project managers who will dive deep into your project. During the session, the PM will ask you a lot of questions and request any assets or materials which have been produced which will support your project. Alongside gathering information ready for internal review, the PM will highlight areas of risk and prioritise the elements of your project. You’ll also be able to ask any questions, share similar projects and raise any concerns.

After the call, an internal workshop will be held to estimate each requirement complexity, expected development time and risks. The internal workshop is held between the PM and two technical devs, based on the project requirements.

Within 2 working days, we’ll provide a technical proposal highlighting cost and effort breakdowns and a summary of recommendations, risks & insight from our team. From this stage, you’ll get a good understanding of how we plan to approach your project and what the project will cost based on the scope we’ve identified. Of course, we’re fully agile so you’re able to change scope during development based on your needs.

Following this technical proposal, if you’d like to work with us we’ll finalise a scope of work and send you our master services agreement.

Agreement

Our agreement corresponds strictly to our agile development process. It sets basic rules but still gives a flexibility to change a scope. There are a few points covered that are important for us:

  • your availability
  • time & materials financing model
  • agile approach
  • monthly reports & invoices

All these points make the process clear and transparent. You’ve got an insight into a duration of each task and pay only for the real development time. It’s a zero waste strategy for both parties. We usually sign an agreement through DocuSign to keep the process efficient when we work remotely. After signing the agreement we invite you to the project kick-off meeting (call or in-person).

Deposit?

Following agreement, we’ll ask for a deposit to be paid based on the scope of work. This deposit will be applied to your final invoice.

Development process

Our journey with development starts here and this is where we really shine. We work exclusively the agile way using tools that make our process efficient and transparent.

What does agile means for us? We start with the big picture. At the highest level, we divide a project into milestones. For example, a first milestone is usually the MVP (Minimal Viable Product) in small projects or a consistent and working set of functionalities in larger cases. Each milestone is sliced into weekly iterations that are usually called sprints. The aim of the sprint is to deliver a small, but well defined and tested set of features. This is the level where you decide what features come next and whether to implement it, change or discard. Sprints have a formal structure that require your presence for a weekly planning call and availability for answering questions as required.

Project kick-off meeting access_time DURATION: 6h attach_money COST: time & materials

This is the point where the project actually starts. Depending on a project complexity a project kick-off meeting takes from two to six hours to fulfill the whole agenda. And it has several objectives:

Meet people and roles

It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know the team who will be working on your project and equally, for them to get to know you and your team. We will discuss every role so you’ll be aware who to speak to on various topics and who is responsible for what, but you’re point of contact will always be your Project Manager.

Access to our tools

We use a set of tools to make the development process transparent and ensure seamless communication. At the kick-off meeting, your PM will pass you all necessary information to access and explain how to use each tool.

In general, we can divide them into several categories:

subdirectory_arrow_rightTracking project progress and costs
It is a heart our project management toolset. To track the progress of development, task assignment and worklog, commenting and reviewing issues we use JIRA - an opinionated and powerful software with a friendly interface (Kanban boards like in Trello). It allows us to share with you a progress of development in a real time. What’s more, you get access to timesheet reports. Our developers create worklogs on a daily basis. You can check how long took the completion of each task. So if you’d like you can check your spendings every day.
subdirectory_arrow_rightLive preview of work
While the project is not ready for production yet, you can still take a look at it and walk through already developed features. To achieve that, we create for you a staging server secured by password, so only the authorized people could access it. When the JIRA task is moved to the certain column it means it’s deployed to the staging and ready for manual testing.
subdirectory_arrow_rightCode repository
We share with you a code repository of your application. You benefit from this in several ways. It could be especially important for the CTOs. They can perform external code reviews to monitor a quality of the app. What’s more, they can keep track of the progress at the lowest level. It builds trust between both parties and proves our proficiency.
subdirectory_arrow_rightCommunication
While you are always welcome in our office, it’s usually not possible to meet in-person. In fact, all of our clients communicate with us almost entirely remotely. The main communicator of choice within our company is Slack. It allows to divide conversations into different topics and keep track only of the relevant discussions. Although, to talk with the client or share the screen we take advantage of a Google Meet - successor of a Hangouts.

Plan the big picture

The main objective of a kick-off meeting is to plan the work in short term, as well as setting up long term goals and milestones for the project. At first, we discuss with you the business perspective - what are your priorities to run the product, what can wait until the post-release phase, what is a business model for your product and how do you want to overcome the competition. This is the one part of an equation. The second is our expertise in winning technical challenges. We will work out the big picture plan, key areas of focus for sprints and milestones according to those two factors - business and technical. When we’ll finally share a common vision of the whole process, we dive into details like long term people planning and setting up the calendars.

Sprints access_time DURATION: 1 week attach_money COST: time & materials

A sprint is just an iteration over the features of your product. From our experience, the optimal length of the sprint is one week. It let us keep the agility of the project on a high level. During the sprint, programmers/designers are working together to deliver a well-defined set of features. To initiate sprint and create its scope of work, a PM organizes weekly planning meeting, usually at fixed date and time. At the meeting, we work together with you to define what should be delivered next, are there any changes in milestone scope. We also describe risks and new opportunities. It helps us to anticipate a business environment changes and make quick and agile adjustments on the technical side.Sprint ends with a summary meeting when we describe and present new features. We usually join sprint planning and summary in just one meeting to lessen the organizational effort. Internally we also organize retrospection sessions where we talk about the development efficiency and possibilities to improve it. We continuously learning and become better at each iteration.

day-to-day work

Daily sprint routine starts with an internal stand-up meeting that takes no more than ten minutes. Each developer involved in the project answers three simple questions:

  • What they did last day?
  • What they’ll be doing today?
  • Are there any visible obstacles on the way?

Thanks to this meeting, the whole team knows the pace of work and potential blockers. PM or devs (depending on the topic and issue level) can then organize a quick session with you to clarify things.

During the day, developers write a quality code and tests. Every piece of code, before moving to the main repo, is reviewed by another developer to eliminate potential typos and check our code quality standards. In more sophisticated programming problems, a developer can always count on the expertise of the team. If such case occurs, we gather in front of a whiteboard and search for an optimal solution.

The day ends with checking if all the developers logged their work to JIRA. We also encourage our devs to push changes to the repo on a daily basis, but it’s not obligatory.

Release access_time Average project length: 3 months

When we approach the MVP, it’s time start preparations for the first public release. The main role in the process plays a checklist, created for each product individually. The checklist consists of all the steps necessary to launch - from setting up a production server, through buying an SSL cert, to selecting the most appropriate hour to release. This approach keeps us from making mistakes or missing something. On the day of release, the checklist is implemented point-by-point and double-checked. Finally, we’ve got and a bullet-proof process to successfully deliver your product to production.

Growth access_time DURATION: ∞ attach_money COST: time & materials

Almost every successful product needs further development. It doesn’t end on the MVP, it actually starts there. We can provide you with a scalable team of developers working within our process, dedicated for growing your product. We always work very close to our clients, diving deep into their business model and processes. Thus we understand your actual needs and scaling pace and we’re able to propose adequate solutions, optimizing costs and success likelihood.

Our heroes are awaiting your signal

We’d love to help you, to setup a no obligation strategy session fill form below.