Managing Projects

Tandem's Expected Project Lifecycle

Our projects may range in size, complexity, and duration, but we try to follow these lifecycle stage best practices.

A) Potential Client Discovered and Qualified

  • The sales process moves into the Account Manager's hands as soon as we've confirmed a possible project fit.

B) Creation of Initial Project Brief

  • In initial conversations, the Account Manager sketches a preliminary project brief (located in templates/ including...
    • Major stakeholders
    • Initial client goals/pain points
    • Existing technologies and potential technical requirements

C) Discovery Proposal contract generated and signed

  • At this point, the Account Manager hands over the Initial Project Brief to the Project Manager and reviews the project details with them up to that point.
  • The Project Manager will use this to plan and execute the Discovery

D) Discovery Phase (generates a technical architecture plan and an estimate)

  • Initial technical Q&A with all interested stakeholders
  • Identification of client’s pain points:
    • Stakeholder Interviews
    • Back and forth of creative ideas and possible technical solutions
    • Creation of User Personas
    • Internal shakedown of personas (flow diagramming, journey mapping)
    • Interface brainstorming with client (interactive sketching, UI prototyping)
    • Presentation of User Personas to client for feedback and acceptance

E) Project Plan/Estimation → Revision of Project Brief (generates a project schedule, developer resource plan, and infrastructure|hosting plan)

  • Once the Project Brief has been revised, it is handed back to the Account Manager
  • The Account Manager leads crafting of the proposal and the full contract.

F) Full Project Contract Signing

G) Project Kickoff (with all Tandem development team members and Account Manager, Client’s Product Owner, and any other vested client stakeholders)

  • Setting Sprint Cadence (weekly/semi-monthly/etc)
  • Scheduling daily internal standups, end-of-sprint client demo, and internal sprint retrospective
  • Verification of agreed-upon milestones (checkpoints) along with Product Owner
  • Creating ZenHub Project, Kanban board, and backlog of epics and issues
  • Setting up Client communication (including clients on Slack/Github, being transparent but not overloading the client with unnecessary information)
  • Post-meeting follow-up with Product Owner for ZenHub training

H) Sprint Planning

  • Estimating a sufficient number of issues in the backlog
  • Creating and filling up a (typical two-week) sprint (Dev Team + Product Owner)
  • Sprint kickoff

I) Day-to-Day Development

  • Morning Standups
  • Afternoon Check-in(s) via Slack
  • Issue management (start a ticket, work it till it’s ready, create pull request, await QA, make sure Technical Lead is aware and that the PR does not go stale)

J) Internal Sprint Retrospectives

  • Happen every two weeks, immediately after a client show-and-tell demo
  • Should occur before a new sprint planning session

K) Transition into long-term support (begins approx halfway through a project)

  • Creating estimate
  • Resource allocation in light of all other active projects
  • Contract negotiation and execution

L) Project Retrospective

  • Internal, with all Tandem dev team members who worked on the project
  • External, with Client’s Product Owner, and possibly other interested stakeholders

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