Group23 | Process
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Process typically describes the action of taking something through an established and usually routine set of procedures to convert it from one form to another. A process involves steps and decisions in the way work is accomplished, and may involve a sequence of events. The process that one follows is as important as the results that are produced by the process. Without understanding the underlying process, it is difficult to know how a certain set of results were achieved, or why they were good or bad. So, if results are viewed as the “destination”, then process can be viewed as the “vehicle” that gets you there (and ideally, you should be able to use the same “vehicle” for many trips…with a few modifications based on the desired destination!) In a nutshell, we’ve done this before, we can do it again, and more importantly-we know why.

Think of this phase as a first date, a chance to get to know each other a bit better before committing fully to the relationship. We promise to be on our best behavior and you’ll let slip that you drive a Porsche. We’ll make small-talk for a while, not revealing too much about ourselves, and if you’re lucky we’ll give you our real phone number at the end of the meal. For most agencies, this is the opportunity to “sell” themselves to the potential client. They prepare graphs and charts that show what they would do for you if hired, and outline how they’ve assisted other clients that compete in your market space. (“We’ve done this before, we can do it again, trust us.”) We prefer to come in and just start working the problem-start the consulting process as it were. Let’s see if we can solve some of the issues that you’re facing-and we’ll each get a chance to see how the other works in these situations. Do we seem like a good fit for each other and do we think we can help? You should know the answers to those questions after we’ve completed the discovery phase.

Everyone (ok, almost everyone) collects some sort of basic requirements as it’s the part of the project where you get to tell us what you think you want. Sometimes you have nothing more than a vague whiff of a notion what you’re trying to accomplish. At other times you’ve devoted considerable energy into working through various scenarios and solutions and (think) you just need someone to push the buttons for you. For the record we’re happy with these scenarios, as well as other potential ones that may lie between or outside of them. We promise to listen carefully, ask questions (intelligent or otherwise), and map out in broad strokes exactly what you’re trying to accomplish.

There is perhaps no more critical part of our process than the design, or as we like to refer to it as the Innovation Phase. This is the distillation of our experiences and one of the most consistent differentiators between ourselves and potential competitors. This is where we take everything we could glean about you and your corporate culture, your goals, your business requirements and craft the basic strategies that will guide us during the remainder of your project. Technologies and tools are in a constant state of flux and we’re never afraid to question conventional wisdom and look for truly innovative solutions to challenge the accepted status quo. (If it were 1996 instead of 2015 we’d refer to this as out of the box thinking. It’s not, and we won’t.) Indeed, there is the sense that behind every complex and seemingly insurmountable collection of disparate goals and problems there exists an elegant, scalable solution waiting to be discovered and refined.

Commonly referred to as the “buckle down and just do the actual work” phase around here, there’s actually more to it than simply loading up our team of underpaid/overworked serfs with Red Bull and turning them loose with a vague notion of the desired results. Our Project Managers utilize established best practices and leading-edge technology to bring your ideas, notions, and requirements together and convert them to functional specs that guide the real miracle workers in their respective tasks. Good feedback is crucial to success, so we have staging environments set up to allow you to monitor progress and provide input to ensure that we’re on track to assist you in realizing your particular vision.

After countless months of almost unyielding toil, the elves in our basement have finally completed their appointed tasks while chained callously to their desks with naught but food and water in sight. Their precious binary data is has been transferred byte by byte onto hand polished solid platinum discs and inserted carefully into silken-lined sleeves of the finest quality. Specially-trained hummingbirds are enlisted to carry their irreplaceable cargo to our climate-controlled server farms located at the base of Mt. Fuji with a view reminiscent of a Hokusai woodblock print. OK, really what we do is push a bunch of buttons to make sure your code + images are pushed to the proper servers. Usually takes a few minutes and then we spend a few hours running QA on the new files. The point is that we have a process and work a plan to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. No hummingbirds actually involved…

That new marketing project has finally been completed and moved into your production environment with great fanfare. The accolades pour in and you are rightfully hailed as a forward-thinking visionary, richly deserving of that corner office with a view of the country club. As you relax in your high-backed leather chair gazing over the manicured fairways below, you suddenly realize that all the past successes that brought you to this point will be forgotten unless you can deliver again. Sooner rather than later. However, you were wise enough to prepare for the next phase. The Retainer phase ensures that the various digital initiatives we created with you will continue to be effective over time. Results are tracked, analyzed, strategized and modified to keep them working at peak efficiency into the future-assuring you that the corner office will remain in your possession for a good while to come.

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