Articles

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Digital transformation

Improving quality and responsiveness, reducing errors and realistic delivery dates are the main advantages of the Continuous Development model offered by Cuatroochenta. It is a work methodology that allows scaling according to market needs.

With the aim of improving their quality, Cuatroochenta has evolved its way of working overtime and has adopted different work methodologies, adapting to the needs of projects and clients, always seeking excellence.

Throughout this trajectory, we have worked with closed budget contracts, hourly contracts or outsourcing, among others.

Nowadays, the projects led by Cuatroochenta are challenging and innovative, and require continuous updates; therefore, in order to improve their quality and maintain excellence, Cuatroochenta has developed its own work methodology called Continuous Development, which consists of iterative and incremental progress in projects, breaking them down into small iterations composed of a limited set of functionalities, thus allowing the delivery of operational parts in a very short period of time. This provides a high degree of control and monitoring and, in turn, allows flexibility so that projects can evolve or pivot to adapt to the market and the business.

The new Continuous Development work methodology arises to satisfy the new needs that our clients have in their projects.

Key advantages of this work methodology

Improved quality

The Continuous Development methodology is based on carrying out constant iteration stages that increase the final quality of the project by facilitating continuous improvement.

In addition, thanks to this constant interaction between the client and the technology partner, peace of mind is also increased by being able to see constant feedback on the project in real time, with the opportunity to periodically suggest improvements. This results in an improved end product, due to repeated reviews and continuous improvements.

Ability to respond

It allows responses to changes that occur in the project environment as well as the market quickly and efficiently.

Error reduction

This methodology drastically reduces errors and the possibility of costly corrections by continuously validating them.

Realistic delivery dates

By making estimates of delivery dates based on the iterations and not of the project as a whole, the precision of the global estimate is increased, allowing a more realistic final delivery date.

Aims of this work methodology

This work methodology pursues five main objectives:

1. To provide clients with the flexibility to undertake their projects in a synchronised way, based on their own planning and needs.

2. To offer a system that provides control over scope, budget, planning and execution, to reduce the uncertainty that every technological project entails.

3. To improve the response capacity and flexibility of our clients in the face of new technological challenges.

4. To guarantee the continuity of the operation and the client’s industrial property over their projects and the reduction of risks.

5. To enhance the technological know-how of our clients through collaboration and the transmission of knowledge.

How are these projects executed?

At the beginning of the project, our Business Analysis team will carry out a requirements analysis that will define the scope of the project. To undertake the development, the total functionality will be divided into small iterations, which will be further divided into different deliverable betas and tasks that allow the client to test the development carried out gradually, validating the results and minimising concept errors.

The concatenation of various iterations in a continuous and planned workflow will allow the definition of the Work Roadmap that may vary depending on the needs of the project at any particular time, as well as the feedback obtained from users. Once the scope of an iteration has been defined, the functional detail will be sent to the client together with the costs involved. When the customer approves, in whole or in part, the iteration, it will be added to the production planning based on the approved time estimates.

As a result of this planning exercise, a Gantt chart will be created with the start and end dates of the iteration development. In addition, the client will have direct access to the planning and project information system in Jira to monitor the progress and execution of each iteration in real time.

The execution of an iteration consists of three phases:

1) Interface design and user experience

In the first instance, the UX/UI team designs the interface and user experience, delivering interactive mock-ups that will serve to validate with the client that the proposed interface includes the previously defined functional approach.

2) Programming

During the development of the iteration, different intermediate deliveries will be carried out, so that the client can see and test the solution, thus being up to date with progress at all times, and providing feedback at the same time as the development team continues to advance.

3) Quality assurance

Cuatroochenta’s QA system is designed to guarantee quality throughout the development cycle and ensure that software projects comply with the established requirements.

What roles are involved in a Continuous Development project?

Each project is assigned, by default, the following roles oriented to the analysis, management and quality control of the project:

Project Leader

Highest level of responsibility in Cuatroochenta for the monitoring and management of the project. Cuatroochenta selects the Project Leaders paying special attention to the nature of the project and especially to its stakeholders, facilitating understanding and providing the most appropriate specific knowledge.

Technical Manager

In cases where the Project Leader does not have a technical background, a Technical Manager will be assigned for technological control, organisation of the development team, quality supervision and dialogue with the client’s technical team of the client in integration tasks, revision, etc.

Planner

Each project is supported by a Planner, who provides support in planning, reporting and control.

Business Analyst

A consultant specialising in requirements analysis, who will identify technological solutions, and contribute to project design and conceptualisation.

Technical Support

Will respond to any issues, queries and support requests related to the project once it is in production. That person responds to client the requests for proposed information and documents the answers/solutions to create a searchable knowledge base for future users.

These individuals will intervene, to a greater or lesser degree depending on the phase of the project and its characteristics, but in any case they will be assigned to monitor the project from different perspectives. Sometimes different roles can fall to the same person (for example, a Project Leader and Technical Manager).

The power to get it right

At Cuatroochenta we are committed to working hand in hand with our clients on continuous development projects. This is the case for the company Encuentra24, which has been using this work methodology for several years now.

Encuentra24 is the leading provider of classified ads in Central America with more than 5 million users in eight countries, and both web and app formats. Since 2015, it has entrusted Cuatroochenta as a technological partner to provide a service incorporating continuous evolution of app and software development, Big Data strategy, and identification of new solutions to ensure it remains in alignment with its founding motto: “If you publish it, you will sell it!”

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Over the years, the work methodology has been modified, and the numbers speak for themselves. Between 2017 and 2018, annual visits to the website increased by more than 25%, and annual visits to the app increased by 100%.

Thanks to the new Continuous Development methodology, it is possible to iterate in a more agile way so that the final result is of exceptional quality and does not differ from what those responsible for Encuentra24 expect and desire to have. In addition, it provides total oversight and control of the project, of the tasks that are being carried out, and what phase they are in. In this way, it is possible to suggest improvements in real time without having to wait for the project to be fully developed. For this reason, we believe that the flexibility of the Continuous Development work methodology has allowed Encuentra24 to adapt in record time to the changes that have occurred due to Covid-19.

With the new Continuous Development methodology, we intend to go one step further as a technological partner engaged with the new challenges offered by the market, providing the necessary work methodology to increase the chances of project success.