Version 7 of the Way of Working is Now Available

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

If you’ve read any of our blogs in the past or had the op­por­tu­nity to nav­i­gate around the web­site then there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the Way of Working. It’s the de­liv­ery process we’ve cre­ated to mit­i­gate soft­ware risks and max­imise the chances of a suc­cess­ful pro­ject.

The only con­stant in life is change.

There are al­ways new and in­ter­est­ing (I think it would be a stretch to call them ex­cit­ing) risks. As a re­sult, the Way of Working can never be ‘finished.’ It can only ever be up­dated and im­proved to cap­ture the most rel­e­vant learn­ings.

We’ve re­cently re­leased Version 7 of the Way of Working. Yes, that’s right, in the past 5 years we’ve re­leased 7 ver­sions.

A quote block that says, "in more general terms, the Way of Working is an agile playbook that uses real-world experience to shape its evolution."

We’ll dive into what’s new in the most re­cent ver­sion of the Way of Working. But first, it’s im­por­tant to es­tab­lish what the Way of Working is and how it’s used within WorkingMouse.

What is The Way of Working?

Ever think to your­self, why do some soft­ware pro­jects go to plan while oth­ers are de­liv­ered over bud­get and 6 months late?

Usually, it comes down to process. In par­tic­u­lar, a process that mit­i­gates risks.

Put sim­ply, that’s what the Way of Working is.

Over the years we’ve built a lot of pro­jects. During each pro­ject, we make plenty of learn­ings.

Every learn­ing is fed back into the Way of Working so that the next pro­ject can ben­e­fit. 7 years and 60 pro­jects later, there have been plenty of learn­ings.

To put it in more gen­eral terms, the Way of Working is an ag­ile play­book that uses real-world ex­pe­ri­ence to shape its evo­lu­tion.

It sep­a­rates the soft­ware life­cy­cle into four key stages:

  • brief,
  • scope,
  • de­vel­op­ment and
  • sup­port.

An illustration showing the overview of the Way of Working stages: brief, scope, development & support

Each stage in­cludes a range of ac­tiv­i­ties and cer­e­monies to en­sure the pro­ject is kept on track and de­liv­er­ing against the suc­cess cri­te­ria.

Even though WorkingMouse is the biggest ad­vo­cate of the Way of Working, it has been cre­ated so that any com­pany can adopt the process. It has been and con­tin­ues to be, used by or­gan­i­sa­tions out­side of WorkingMouse, with each im­ple­men­ta­tion ac­quir­ing its own unique flavour.

What’s New in Version 7?

Version 6.3 of the Way of Working was pub­lished in mid-2019 when the world was a much sim­pler place. Since then, re­mote work­ing has be­come a pri­or­ity for many busi­nesses and WorkingMouse is no ex­cep­tion.

As a busi­ness, we’ve made sig­nif­i­cant strides for­ward, de­liv­er­ing pro­jects on the most re­cent, in­no­v­a­tive tech­nol­ogy stacks in the mar­ket. We’ve also fo­cused en­tirely on ser­vice de­liv­ery, with a greater level of sep­a­ra­tion from our sis­ter-brand Codebots.

This has led to sev­eral changes in the Way of Working. While I won’t ad­dress them all (that’s some­thing you’ll find out when you read the book), I will bring up a few of the high­lights.

Problem-led ap­proach to the Brief stage

Why did it change?

We found that pro­jects were be­ing led into a so­lu­tion-based mind­set too early in the soft­ware life­cy­cle. It did­n’t al­low our prod­uct de­sign­ers to do what they do best; solve prob­lems cre­atively. By shift­ing the fo­cus to a prob­lem state­ment at the Brief stage, it al­lows for more col­lab­o­ra­tion and ul­ti­mately, a bet­ter so­lu­tion.

Segmentation of sup­port

Why did it change?

There are ac­tu­ally sev­eral par­al­lel fo­cuses dur­ing sup­port — be­yond just the main­te­nance of an ap­pli­ca­tion. This is why we broad­ened the sup­port phase to in­clude Enhance and Product Success. All three phases are crit­i­cal dur­ing sup­port and help an ap­pli­ca­tion move closer to­wards prod­uct/​mar­ket fit.

An illustration showing the three focuses of support: maintain, product success and enhance.

Delineation be­tween Brownfields and Greenfields pro­jects

Why did it change?

Not all pro­jects are cre­ated equal. If the start­ing point ac­tu­ally in­cludes an ex­ist­ing ap­pli­ca­tion or sys­tem, then the process needs to re­flect that. Brownfields pro­jects now re­quire a mod­erni­sa­tion plan to im­prove the tran­si­tion process.

Fresh new brand

Why did it change?

Version 6.3 of the Way of Working was branded a lit­tle dif­fer­ently. The process was still in­ter­twined with Codebots at the time and the brand re­flected that. Since the pre­vi­ous ver­sion, the Way of Working has been re­claimed by WorkingMouse, with the brand­ing now re­flect­ing this.

An image of the cover and inside spread of the Way of Working physical book

Where Can You Get Your Hands on it?

The Way of Working is avail­able for pur­chase in e-book for­mat or as a hard copy book — de­liv­ered to you.

Grab the Way of Working e-book.

Grab a phys­i­cal copy of Way of Working.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yianni Stergou

Marketing en­thu­si­ast and FIFA ex­tra­or­di­naire

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