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Understanding your business

The starting point for successful business system development is analysis. This needs to be focused, relevant and concise.

We have a range of tools that we use to understand clients' needs (see our toolkit). We select the ones that best match the way you do business. Then we use them to work out exactly what your systems need to do.

Working in isolation and handing over fat reports that go unread is not the way to develop an effective IT system. Our approach is to involve our client in our thinking at every stage so that:

Technicalities can be a barrier, so we make the analysis straightforward, jargon-free and business-oriented. Then we draw up a plan that defines the development process. You can also use it to get competitive quotes.

Meeting your needs

In the development phase, we don't just go away with the plan and reappear months later with a finished product. Instead, we rapidly assemble a prototype that works on your own data to perform a sample of core business functions. This is a real application, so you can gauge the look and feel of the user interface, see how the user will navigate the system, and try out different options before the design becomes fixed.

As we develop the whole system, we make periodic releases to key users and ask for their feedback. This helps them to feel involved, and helps us to refine the end product.

We don't normally offer testing as part of our package. It makes more sense for you to do the testing, since it's you who decides if the system does what you need. But if you'd rather not, we'll hire in an independent tester.

As for training, our usual approach is to train a few people who can then train everyone else. But we're happy to train everybody if you prefer. And we'll produce any documentation that you want, though clients often prefer to do it themselves.

Once the system has gone live, we provide whatever level of support and maintenance you require, on a retained or an ad hoc basis.