SharePoint & Microsoft Resources

How Projects Can Become Products.

By Craig Keenan, Operations Manager

How Projects Can Become Products.

When I look at projects coming through our development portfolio my first thought on these are; can these be products? Can we build these in a way in which they can be reused, repackaged? Can this be extended on? Can this have a roadmap put in place in order to take it forwards and grow into something more valuable than initially expected and apply continuous improvement?

With these thoughts in mind, perhaps we could look to build more generically, fulfilling different use cases where possible. From here, we can then think of the bigger picture and architect the solution in a way in which it can then be managed and maintained as a Product.

Organisations love this type of thinking, the move from a world of Build and Burn to a world of Build and Keep on revisiting and Re-Using – this is a much better return on investment, strategy and an increased opportunity for business growth.

HOW DO I DO IT….EXAMPLE:

How we built a Catalogue Library Product

An assignment came through our demand funnel for a project relating to creating a database which held all sorts of information and documentation types. The requirement was to build a database of items with engaging functionality in filtration and search enabling users to find the information in one place and then view it in an article- based view.
As we went through our discovery phase it quickly became apparent that the solution we were going to put in place was going to be a Digital Catalogue based database to surface information and bring a feel of interaction whilst finding your information. I immediately could see the reuse in this type of solution for many different use cases not just tailored to the project in question. So, one of the keys is not to over engineer a solution that constrains the functionality to just one particular use case and make it adaptable.

Don’t just think about what is in front of you at that moment in time on a project… Think BIGGER and BOLDER, think 27 steps ahead, put yourself in the client’s shoes and think; would you like a project delivered and then walk away after 3 months? Or would you like a product delivered and stay working together, reusing and enhancing further what we started with and continue to see the gains and improvements.

Where we are today is from the simple concept of a Database Library we now have live 3 different libraries all using the one product. This is reusable, and the growth potentially is endless. The roadmap of enhancements to the Product are managed by a change board and what one person wants, everybody can get the advantage of having the same, for a fraction of the price. This can be packaged and reapplied through multiple organisations and clients at speed.

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