iACCREDIT — a Startup’s Journey — no 3
Wow–it's definitely harder than we thought it would be A lot about process and collaboration
We know what our new software needs to do and we will ‘Transform Accreditation’ – security passes for sports events, but how to distill 25 years of operational experience of hundreds of Sporting events around the globe for understanding by some super smart software people?
Suddenly we become immersed in the world of User Profiles and Personas, User Journeys and the like. All jolly slow and frustrating but with gritted teeth we waded into a very document heavy process. I am convinced we would have made faster progress going straight into wireframing, sketching out what needed to be on the screens. Our friends at Helastel were determined to go through their process so that they “fully understood what was necessary”. We couldn't disagree with their experience and expertise but we went ‘Rogue’ anyway, reverted to type and Started drawing. We drew it up ourselves to share with them using Realtimeboard.
A picture is worth a thousand words
As one of the biggest users, as well as purveyors, of accreditation software we reckoned we knew our stuff after speaking with numerous customers – ours and other people’s. We have clients waiting for our ‘Beautiful Accreditation Software’ and whilst building iAccredit is a main focus for us we do have day jobs to keep up with! So endless rewrites and tweaking of ‘Epics’ and Personas was really grinding us down. We wanted a quote and to get on with building it!
Yep have read all the stories and warnings of how this goes wrong if it is all not documented to the nth degree and understanding all round. Yep got it. So just draw it and agree it from the get go!
Write a document to describe an Apple and I will send you a picture of an Apple with some notes, yep that picture really is worth a thousand words!
We were (and still are!) in awe of our clever colleagues that actually build software but I don’t think there is a substitute for just getting it down screen by screen. Wireframing.
So many people had told about us about their super clever processes and it’s all over the web etc. Collaborative wireframes etc. We were sure it was coming but . . .
So we took it into our hands as we just couldn’t think that we’re ever going to get to understanding and agreement and the detail of what we needed rather than discussing the people who would use it. Our inexperience and impatience probably after all these guys really know their stuff. But on this occasion with our team in three different countries and five locations we had to get moving and working on Realtimeboard worked well for us.
Helastel took it in their stride, took a deep breath about their crazy clients and got down to the nitty gritty of translating what we need. They worked with us in a workshop over a few days to go through in fine detail the art of the possible and helped us fine tune and improve all the way. Even more exciting, even better that could be imagined! Clever these software folk and now so immersed in Accreditation they know more than most people working in it. That's a skill right there!
So some more intense work with the team and we were quickly into costing, design and build. More hard yards.
In no way am I knocking the very valuable work of creating Personas and Profiles, indeed I would say usually crucial and thought provoking. It was just less use for us as we are already immersed day to day in that environment, we are a small team so it's intuitive. Our secret sauce is in the experience of how it all needs to work.
All in all a process not to be undertaken lightly but we are so excited about what we are creating.