Mitigate your risks with a proven process.
Large scale software projects carry risk. This is natural in a highly complex environment. However, if left unchecked these risks can blow the projects budget and severely impact the quality of the ﬁnal product. Beneﬁt from a tried and tested Way of Working that’s been designed to mitigate these risks.
Scale up, increase your revenue and reduce your costs.
With custom software you can scale up knowing you have an application that can scale with you. It opens new avenues for licensing revenue since you own the intellectual property! Grow your business with this new stream of recurring revenue or, alternatively, by saving costs automating those time-consuming tasks.
Web or mobile?
Depending on the vision for your application, you may choose to build either for web or mobile. Both platforms have their advantages, and ultimately it will come down to what your users prefer and what technology you aim to utilise. Product Development empowers you to develop for either platform. We generally recommend building for one platform at a time, but its possible to develop simultaneously if you have the investment to do so. You are in the driver’s seat.
Full prototype and customised UI.
A high-ﬁdelity prototype will be created during scope to visually represent the product. During product development, the designer has greater freedom to develop a customised UI which will match your brand guidelines and your preferences for the look and feel of the resulting application. A bespoke design for your app is essential to meeting the needs of your users.
When is Product Development
best for you?
The Product Development offering will naturally suit those large-scale projects. Size is inﬂuenced by two factors — complexity and the number of features.
We’d recommend Product Development if you ﬁt into one of the categories below:
- You have a deﬁned scope and need the entire scope to launch your product.
- You are building a highly complex application.
- You require both a mobile and a web application.
- There are more than two user groups expected to use the application.
Product Development Process
At A Glance
3 day workshop
+ 2 weeks development
- Web platform only
- AWS set-up
- One integration
- One user group
- Hi-ﬁ designs
- Lite backlog
- Automated test plan
- Three months Product Success consulting
5 day workshop
+ 4 weeks development
- Web or mobile app
- AWS set-up
- Up to two integrations
- Two user groups
- Hi-ﬁ prototype
- Unmoderated user testing
- Manual test plan
- Three months Product Success consulting
4 week scope
+ variable development
Let us tailor a package for youContact us
Read more about Product Development
Apply to Secure Your Spot
We take on a limited number of Product Development engagements every month. Projects are scheduled on a ﬁrst in, best dressed basis. It’s highly recommended to apply as soon as possible, in order to secure your spot.
4 Weeks Scope and Variable Development
For larger projects it’s critical to spend the time upfront creating artefacts that will help the project succeed. Through a detailed scoping process and prioritised backlog, you’ll have all the information you need before starting development.
A 4 week scope gives the entire team an opportunity to deep dive into the problem statement and document a detailed solution. A scope is work completed at the start of the project to ensure that it is set up with every artefact it needs to succeed. Examples of these artefacts include a hi-ﬁ prototype, product backlog, estimations and adequate user testing.
A scope ensures that any technical questions or points of ambiguity can be investigated and mitigated before proceeding into development.
A variable development time means you can vary the length of the project based on budget or features. At the end of the 4 week scope you’ll know what your backlog is and how long development is likely to take. That’s your opportunity to set a timeframe that works best for your project.
Web and/or Mobile App
Engage your users on their preferred platform.
Engage your users on their preferred platform. Create a web app, mobile app or both depending on your roadmap.
A web platform is highly accessible - anyone with access to Chrome or Safari can use a web app. It comprises a front end (what you see) and a backend (the database and everything that happens behind the scenes). Its versatility and accessibility makes it the best platform to test and validate any solution.
A mobile app on the other hand is only accessible on mobile devices. The key advantage is that it can utilise your phone’s native device settings (like your location or microphone) which can lead to a much better user experience.
While our recommendation is to focus on one platform at a time, Product Development gives you the opportunity to meet your users on their preferred platform.
Any Hosting Environment Setup
You have the ﬂexibility to choose where you want your application hosted. We will setup a secure hosting environment on a public or private environment.
Our general recommendation is to choose a public cloud environment like AWS. However if there are factors that require your application to be hosted elsewhere, like on premise, this is also available with Product Development.
After creating your account a specialist DevOps engineer will setup your cloud environment at a time and materials rate. The standard setup is a dual-node which means you will have a backup database instantly kick in if the application or server crashes.
The server is backed nightly meaning your application’s data is safe and will not be lost. Lastly, it is scalable and optimised, so your hosting can grow as your user base does. You’re not paying for processing power when its not needed.
This setup is the outcome of years of effort. If you were to hire a specialist DevOps engineer or third party hosting provider to create your environment it would likely cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Unlimited API integrations
An API (application programming interface) integration is how different systems communicate with each other. Connect your applications to reduce data entry, automate tasks, reduce human error and save costs.
If system A needs to send data to system B then they will do so through an API integration.
There are a number of beneﬁts to using an API. Firstly, it reduces the amount of data entry across your software landscape. Secondly, you can trigger automations in a different system based on actions taken on the product. For example, if you create a job on your new job management app, you may want to prompt an invoice to be created in your payroll system. Lastly, you may want to leverage pre-existing functionality built in another product. This is done through an API.
Integrate with as many systems as you need to create your uniﬁed software landscape.
Unlimited User Groups
A user group is a type of user likely to interact with your application. With unlimited user groups you can connect your different audiences.
Let’s say you built a health monitoring application catered to doctors and nurses. Doctors may use the application for one purpose, and nurses use it for a different reason. This effectively means you have 2 End User Groups — Doctors and Nurses.
An admin user group is how you control the application. If your prices ever change or you need to export data into a CSV format, those actions are generally performed on the admin side of your application.
With Product Development you have the ﬂexibility to create a product for as many user types as you need. We recommend keeping this low to begin with as adding too many user groups creates complexity, meaning additional development time.
Discovery Interviews & User Testing
User testing is the closest you’ll get to being able to read your users mind. With an experienced product designer, you’ll have an expert to extract insights into what your users want.
You can build the best product in the world, at the end of the day if no one uses it, then your product is destined to fail.
Discovery interviews are a way of understanding the user before design begins. By asking preliminary questions that dive into their core problems, the ﬁrst iteration of the prototype will be closer to the ﬁnal solution than if we were to design blindly.
User testing is completed during the 4 week scope using a hi-ﬁ prototype. The key beneﬁt is that you’re getting feedback early and often on the product from people likely to use it. This feedback is incorporated in the next iteration of the products design. You’re mitigating your risks to give your product the best possible chance of achieving product market ﬁt.
User Journey Maps
A user journey map is a visual representation of the customer experience. This means you’re designing a user centric application that guides people through their problem, with your solution.
For example, Glen is a farmer who logs into the app and inputs his harvest. He is then sent a conﬁrmation email to verify the details he input are correct. Glen comes back to the app in 3 days time and ﬁnds an offer has been placed to purchase his harvest. Glen accepts the offer which provides the contact details of the buyer. The purchase is then arranged outside of the application.
Mapping out exactly how different user types will interact with your application can greatly beneﬁt the overall user experience. By visually seeing the ﬂow of a user through the app, you can recognise opportunities to optimise or streamline the experience. User journey maps are created during the 4 week scope to allow for any changes to ﬂow into the design and development of the application.
A high-ﬁdelity (hi-ﬁ) prototype is your ultimate safety net. By creating an asset that shows exactly what your app looks like and how users interact with it, you can remove ambiguity and mitigate risks before starting development.
A prototype is a representation of the product in static form. This entails a product designer mocking up each screen of the application and linking each page based on the navigation.
For example, a dashboard page is designed. By clicking on a graph on that page, it pulls up more speciﬁc data that has been used to create that graph. The application isn’t actually built or functioning, it is a series of screens linked together to give the user a sense of how it will look and feel when built.
There are so many beneﬁts to starting with a hi-ﬁ prototype. It visually shows you and the development team what will be built. Text is great to an extent – sometimes it’s more important to see it. It also allows the team to conduct early-stage user testing. Start your project on the right foot with a hi-ﬁ prototype.
1st Level Priority for Service Desk Support
You won’t be left stranded after the build is done. Support is provided to save the day, with Product Development projects getting ﬁrst level service desk priority.
A service desk is the conventional way for a product to be supported. For example, a bug is discovered on a particular device type, using a certain browser. Through the service desk, the product owner would log the behaviour that led to the bug as well as the device and browser that they were using (or for a mobile app, the version of the application).
This enables the support team to immediately replicate the bug that you discovered. Without that information, there is plenty of back and forth that delays the resolution time. All Product Development projects are prioritised ﬁrst for service desk support, before POC’s and MVP engagements.
A user interface is the way a user interacts with an application or website. With a custom UI you can perfectly match the application to your company’s brand.
For example, you login to Facebook and scroll through the newsfeed. Everything from the layout to the brand colours and design of the newsfeed is part of the user interface.
A custom user interface gives you ﬂexibility. If you have brand guidelines or a style kit, your application can be designed to match that style. With this ﬂexibility, you have the power and control to ensure your application’s user interface meets your needs.
A product backlog tells your development team what will be built. This creates the direction and structure you need to deliver a successful project.
It helps align every stakeholder on what has been built and what is likely to come next. A full product backlog includes a description of the feature to be built, alongside implementation steps, acceptance criteria and scientiﬁc estimations.
Acceptance criteria ensures that the whole team knows what is expected from every requirement. For example, this feature is done when a user can create an account and a record is created in the database.
With a product backlog you gain the gift of visibility. You know what has been built, what will be built and how long it will likely take. If for any reason development must stop, the product backlog can be picked up by another team who understand the state of the product.
Manual and Automated Test Plan
Testing is the ultimate quality control mechanism. With manual and automated testing, there are contingencies and quality checks for every piece of functionality in your app.
Testing comes in two forms, manual test plans and automated testing.
A manual test plan will ensure that a developer has linked each requirement to a correlating test, improving the quality of your product. A key beneﬁt of the Codebots technology that we use is that it comes with out of the box automated testing. This means that the bots are testing their own code quality to ensure it is functioning as expected. Your team is able to build fast while knowing that automated tests come out of the box.
Don’t be a cowboy. Beneﬁt from an offering that prioritises quality with thorough testing plans.
Software estimations are notoriously risky. Beneﬁt from a tried and tested estimations process that captures risk. You’ll know how long each requirement is likely to take, giving you the power to prioritise.
Because of the complex environment and the fact that no two projects are the same, it can be difﬁcult to know how long a feature will take.
You’ll receive your product backlog with each requirement estimated using a scientiﬁc process that accounts for risk, among many other factors. With your estimations you can better plan out your roadmap and understand the trade-off between time/cost and each feature. If you have a ﬁxed budget this can help you prioritise your backlog to get the most valuable product without going over budget.
Use your roadmap to keep your organisation across future milestones and functionality. This creates clarity and alignment across your stakeholders.
A product roadmap is a visual representation of how your product will evolve over time. This usually includes key milestones and the expected date that those milestones will be reached.
With a scientifically estimated product backlog and a deep understanding of your key goals, we provide a preliminary product roadmap.
This artefact is hugely beneﬁcial when communicating with your internal or external stakeholders about the progress of the application. The artefact clearly shows marketing that features XY are expected in June, while legal knows that feature Z is expected in July. While it may change from time to time depending on priorities, it is a fantastic artefact when it comes to setting expectations.
Three months Product Success consulting
Just because something is built, doesn’t mean it will succeed. A customer success consultant will walk you through activities and platforms that can help you ﬁnd your product market ﬁt.
This is the difference between building a product successfully and building a successful product. In order to effectively measure the success of your application, certain metrics need to be captured and reported on.
With a customer success consultant, you’ll beneﬁt from a domain expert that will help manage and monitor your progress towards your goals. Because your product is unique, so too are the measurements of success. You’ll be stepped through a goal setting activity which will help form the basis for your consults going forward. It’s common for clients to use these reports for their board meetings and/or investor updates.
A scope is more detailed than a workshop. Where a workshop is centred around aligning on the priorities for development, a scope goes into much more depth. Because of the extra time available in scope, it provides the product designer with an opportunity to test different designs with users and incorporate their feedback into the ﬁnal prototype. It also allows the developer to conduct a more detailed investigation into complex technical requirements.
This may be true, you might know exactly what you want to build. But does the development team? Have the users validated those features? Have you designed and documented what it will look like? Have the integrations been investigated and de-risked? There needs to be time spent at the start of a project to allow for this work to be done. If it’s rushed or skipped altogether it poses a major risk when in development. Think about how much harder it is ﬁxing a house with bad foundations vs spending a little more time to get those foundations right.
You will have a scientifically estimated backlog at the end of scope. Based on this you can review your project budget or re-prioritise the backlog. It’s important to note that they are estimations and can vary.
No. Estimations are not ﬁxed and by nature may change as more is discovered. For example, you may decide to add a feature in during development which may in turn increase the complexity of existing requirements.
Yes. It is not mandatory to proceed straight from scope into development.
You will be billed fortnightly in advance on the ﬁrst Wednesday of the engagement with 14 day payment terms.
That depends. There is no cap on time or cost for product development. You’re able to keep developing until your entire backlog is completed (noting the age old saying that time is money).
Yes. You can continue to extend development as needed.
Yes. I don’t think we need to say any more.
Past Product Developments
How might we design structures faster without compromising quality?
The previous Aptus design system was not scalable as a result of its complexity and its limitations due to being built on Microsoft Excel. The process of designing an Aptus building was known only by the business owner. In order for the business to scale, Aptus had to create a scalable solution that could be used by not only other stakeholders within the business but also by external organisations. The solution was built as a responsive web application targeted towards desktop users but mobile responsive for users wanting a quick preliminary design.
How might we create a web application for travellers to Moreton Island with a simple booking experience?
MIA’s business operations, especially those relating to the MICAT (the ferry service), were being managed using outdated and outgrown technologies that were impacting MIA’s ability to operate efﬁciently. The solution was a booking application available on web and mobile. Part of the complexities of the project was the development of dynamic pricing. What this means is that depending on the proximity to a ferry trip and the number of spaces remaining, the price can ﬂuctuate within a deﬁned threshold.
How might we improve engagement between operational teams and residents?
UniLodge properties offer student residents the opportunity to take part in residential events to foster inclusiveness and a sense of community. However very little was captured or centralised. Not only was this inefﬁcient, it denied management the ability to understand how many events were taking place nationally in any period of time. With a large wish list of requirements, a lengthy scope process was required to unpack and understand both the problems to be resolved and the opportunities that were on offer. The solution was a web platform for administrators alongside a mobile application available on iOS and Android for Unilodge residents.
Apply to start Product Development