You’ve decided to work with a technology partner on a custom software development, cloud transformation, or data engineering project, but the project is complex and will require a significant investment from your company. How can you feel confident that your partner can deliver a solution that aligns with your vision while matching your budget?

Emergent Software has a workshop process that takes place before any commitment is made by either party. It's designed to build understanding and trust between our team and yours and make sure we're all on the same page. This blog will explain the workshop process and how it sets your project up for success. 

Why is the workshop process important?

Our process is designed to ensure successful engagement between clients like you.

We take the time to learn all about your business, your goals, and your project requirements. You gain a detailed understanding of our proposed solution, the scope and timeline of the project, and the estimated cost — all before you commit to working with us. This will help you plan for the project internally and understand the costs so you can budget for it.

A workshop is more than a pitch from the sales team. You’ll work with our engineers and other experts who have deep experience completing projects like yours.  At the end of the process, you’ll be presented with a tailored proposal that tells you everything you need to know to decide how to move forward.

Before we get started, we’ll find out what you’re looking for to make sure that we’re a good match for your project. Then we jump into the workshop process.

Here are the steps of our workshop process at Emergent Software.

Step 1: The workshop

At the first workshop, we’ll work together to develop a deep understanding of your needs and objectives. That includes discussions about your organization, your industry, and the opportunity you’re looking to capitalize on. If you already have ideas about how to approach the project, we'll talk about it now. We may also help you identify requirements that you may have missed.

These meetings will take place between you and a cross-functional team of Emergent Software employees. Our discussions will cover:

Your organization and the opportunity

First, you introduce us to what makes your organization unique. Then we’ll talk about the opportunity you want to take advantage of. Where are you now and where would you like to be?

In this part of the workshop, you tell us about your pain points, what’s currently working and what’s not, and why the project is important to you.

Key objectives

Now that we understand your organization and your project, we’ll work on creating a list of key objectives. This helps us all understand what a successful project for your organization would look like and enables us to suggest areas of focus along the way. We might need to rework this a few times until we’re aligned on what we’re trying to accomplish.

In later steps, we’ll dig into this list more and prioritize which objectives need to be met for the initial release and which ones we will continue to work on afterwards.

Current and ideal future state

We’ll work with your key stakeholders to gain understanding of key aspects of the project, including:

  • Systems
  • Process flows
  • Audience
  • User Types and Personas
  • Integrations
  • Data
  • Reporting
  • Technology constraints
  • Regulations
  • Hosting
  • Project constraints

To accomplish this, we’ll use a variety of workshopping techniques including:

  • User interviews
  • Contextual interviews
  • Story mapping

Epics and key features

Based on what we learned about the ideal future state, we’ll work together to develop a list of epics (high-level initiatives that can be broken into smaller building blocks). An epic requirement may unveil some key features, but we won’t document every feature of each epic at this point.

Backlog draft

Finally, we’ll discuss and create a high-level draft backlog which prioritizes the epics and key features.

Project size approximation

Emergent Software will provide you with an  approximation of project size in terms of cost and time. This is not a quote or a feature-level estimate, but a ballpark estimation to make sure that we’re all on the same page.

Step 2: Designing the solution

Once we understand your goals and project requirements, we work internally to design a solution for you. This includes preparing the following items:

Solution vision

This document is a visual representation of what the solution will accomplish throughout the platform we’re creating or enhancing.

Technology plan

The technology plan outlines what will be needed to deliver the solution vision.

Backlog for estimation

Based on the solution vision and technology plan, we’ll add to and update the backlog we created in step 1.

Revised budget and timeline

In step 1, we created a project size approximation. Now, we’ll revisit that  approximation to make sure we're still aligned. We’ll use this to inform our delivery planning in the next step.

Step 3: Solution vision presentation

In this step, we meet again to present our solution vision for your project. The goal of this meeting is to make sure that we’re aligned on the proposed plan and on our understanding of the scope of the project and how we intend to collaborate.

Requirements diagram

We’ll look at a visual representation of the project requirements and discuss how we’ll meet each high-priority objective. 

Architecture considerations

The project architect will talk about the factors that they’re considering with their plan, including the key objectives outlined earlier. They may present a high-level visual representation of the planned architecture.

How we work together

Finally, we’ll go through the process for collaborating on your project. This includes discussion of team composition and each party’s role in the process.

Step 4: Getting started

If you decide to work with Emergent Software, we’ll send you a Statement of Work (SOW) to sign and a detailed list of features and epics for your project. Nothing in these documents should be a surprise, since we will have discussed it all thoroughly throughout the workshop process. 

What sets Emergent Software’s workshop process apart?

How you first engage with a potential partner can set the tone for the entire project. Here are a few things that we think set our process apart from other firms’.

Getting to know you

We spend more time learning about your business and your needs than many other consultants do. Our workshop process is based on the idea that we need to thoroughly understand your organization, your industry, and your opportunity in order to deliver the best product.

Time to value

We’re not trying to create the biggest (and most expensive) project we can. Our goal is to deliver value to your business as soon as possible. We’ll work with you to identify the highest priority items to include in our initial release. Then, over the course of a long-term partnership, we can continue to enhance the product and add new features as needed.

Why work with us?

Here’s what you can expect to experience when you choose to work with Emergent Software.

Flexibility throughout the engagement

It’s inevitable that requirements will change or new requirements will be discovered during the process. We’re always flexible willing to adjust. We will work with you throughout the project to ensure that the end product is what you want.

Functional and technical resources

We engage both analysts and technical professionals during the presales process. That means you have access to functional experts who ask all the right questions to learn how your custom system will work with your business processes. You’ll also work with technical experts who understand what’s under the hood and can select the best technologies to leverage.

What’s next?

Ready to dive into the workshop process with Emergent Software? Get in touch to tell us about your project.