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The Consulting Process for a Technology Project
It’s important to consult a specialist before embarking on any technology project. The following is the process to be followed from start to finish, when you want to build any platform:
Step 1 - Defining features
In the attached excel sheet, list down the features you want in your platform. You will need to do this on 3 levels:
- MVP- On the MVP sheet, list features you want for the ‘most viable product’. As a start-up, it might not be practical to start off with every feature imaginable. Therefore, list the features which at the very least will allow you to achieve the objectives you want.
- Short term-This sheet should contain features you want within a 4-year period.
- Long term- List the features you want to have in the long term.
You should go about this exercise as follows:
Start by writing any feature that comes to mind. Think of this as brainstorming and do not try to limit yourself or to rationalize your decision. Rationalizing at this stage will only create confusion and cause you to miss out on important details.
In the column labelled ‘audience’, define who will be targeted by each feature. For instance, will it be useful for the site admin, site visitors, consumers or media?
In the column labelled important, rate the importance of each feature. This can be any number from 1 to 10. This process is a bit technical. When deciding the importance of the features, take into account competitor positioning and where in the market you want your business to fit.
The ‘technical feasibility’ column will be filled by the consulting agency. They will also sanitize all the information you provide as well as make any additions they deem relevant to your business.
Note: The time it takes to complete the technical evaluation will not be long as there’s no research to be conducted at this stage.
Step 2 - Process definition
This stage is also done by the consultant. It involves mapping the sequence of interaction between business processes and project components. A process document is very specialized as each business has very different and unique processes.
Step 3 - Modeling
The importance of this step is to render structure to the platform. The actual process involves creating a model of what your platform will be like once completed. This will be just a rough sketch, whereby elements are positioned to mimic what they’ll be like in reality.
Once this step is completed, you should get a clear picture of the way forward in terms of costs, programming language to be used and timeframe for the project.