Miles Technologies' Software Development Life Cycle

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Developing customized business software that empowers your business requires thorough analysis, efficient planning, and a team of dedicated experts. Miles Technologies approaches custom software development with a comprehensive and consultative focus, using a proven process of combining your business objectives and solution requirements with an agile development process, topping it off with comprehensive preparation and support (before & after launch). Through our extensive expertise and years of creating and deploying successful software projects, we have developed and honed the process you see outlined below to provide our customers with the best framework for success.

Our developers love the process because we can eliminate potential pitfalls inherent in using traditional module build-outs & have the opportunity to deliver an extra wow factor to meet your needs, while you'll love the process because you'll be involved along the way and be ready to dive in and use the system once it's ready to go!

Even more than just a system that does what you need, you'll have software that's aesthetically and functionally superior due to our software User Experience (UX) & Quality Assurance (QA) audit process. We can also employ a shortened version of this life cycle in the future to add increased functionality and usefulness to your software, making it continue to evolve as a long-term business solution. For more information on getting the most long-term value from your software solution, we invite you to read this guide on "Getting to Version 2.0".

Click on the different stages to learn more about them.
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Discovery and Analysis
ACTIVITIES
  • Clarify current solutions, pain points & areas where the software system can improve the performance of the organization or processes involved.
  • Gather information on the high-level goals, objectives, and needs of the organization as related to the topic areas agreed upon prior to commencing Discovery & Analysis
  • Develop Project Plan for software design, development, and implementation.
WHO'S INVOLVED
  • Miles Technologies: Senior Technology Advisor and Business Analyst
  • Customer: Principal and Key Employees
DELIVERABLES (what you get as a result of this stage)
  • Joint Understanding and Outline of the Needs, Goals & Objectives of the proposed project
  • Project Plan to include cost ranges per module, Project Timeline Chart, Priorities and Recommended order for Module Development within the project
In this stage, Miles Technologies' Business Analysts will partner with you and your key staff to evaluate & document your business goals, objectives, challenges and opportunities in regards to the focus areas for this project. We combine those with your Vision for how you WANT things to run, creating a solution overview for what will be developed for this project. Matching the right solutions to your needs helps ensure we deliver the right solution the first time.. We'll also develop a project plan based on a combination of our years of experience with software project management and your unique project's needs, which will provide you with a fixed cost & timeline for the first module, cost ranges and anticipated demonstration dates for the remaining modules of the system, and an overall project timeline. With a scope of work written from the perspective of your business and people using the system, you'll discover what your system will really help accomplish - not just how it will function.
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Agile Development
ACTIVITIES
  • Identify and document the primary processes and potential complexities per module
  • Create a set of Use Cases outlining how users will need to handle the processes involved
  • Detail functionality by Module based on needs & analysis of potential solutions vs. requirements and budget
  • Identify data migration, customization and integration requirements
  • Mock up key data entry screens, reports, web pages, or other visual content of proposed module
  • Identify necessary packaged software components, hardware, and other outside components which will be required to implement the module
  • Assess current infrastructure & general needs for deploying solution
  • Execution of Development Plan
WHO'S INVOLVED
  • Miles Technologies: Business Analyst, System Architect, Client Coordinator, User Experience Designer, Quality Assurance
  • Customer: Principal, Key Employees, Subject Matter Experts
DELIVERABLES (what you get as a result of this stage)
  • System Business Requirements by Module
  • Fixed Price for Development by Module
  • Updated Project Plan with Cost & Timeline per Module
  • Demo / Review of Prototype by Module built to meet requirements
  • System Training & Implementation Plans (based on completion of all Modules)
  • Fixed Price for remaining Stages (based on completion of all Modules)
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For this stage, we add System Architects, User Experience Engineers, Software Developers, and Quality Assurance Specialists to the Business Analyst who mapped out your project plan in the previous step. Our software engineers both design and build your application in this stage based on the requirements and use cases documented during Discovery & Analysis. Through mockups and test environments, you are able to see your application come to life as the project progresses. Our team architects every aspect of your solution, from the database foundation to process flow to screen layout to integration points to reporting. This all comes together when we demonstrate the solution and how it will help fulfill the vision you laid out for your business.
Software development shouldn't be done in a vacuum; an agile development process ensures your involvement and incorporates your feedback as your system is built through a series of demonstrations and system reviews. We begin designing & building the first module of your system even as we continue honing the requirements and use cases for later modules, allowing us to start quickly and get to a point you can see something functional sooner than later. Being a key component of the development process, you ensure the system will accomplish your goals and that the functionality matches your desired process.
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Training & Configuration
ACTIVITIES
  • Development of Training Program / Materials
  • Onsite and/or remote training session(s) to train employees that will be part of BETA
  • Configuration of Staging system / hosting environment which will be used as Production environment
  • Employees working on Configuration of system in preparation for BETA
WHO'S INVOLVED
  • Miles Technologies: Client Coordinator, Software Development Team, Business Analyst
  • Customer: All BETA users
DELIVERABLES (what you get as a result of this stage)
  • Configured system that is ready for BETA Testing
  • Trained Users who are ready to start BETA Testing system
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Although you have been a part of the process throughout the building phase, this is the time when we implement formal training for key personnel who are going to be using the system. Classroom, remote, and web-based options are available, depending on your needs and the amount and locations of users requiring training. We also configure the system, which includes setting up hosting and administrative preferences, and performing any data migration from legacy systems which has been included in the project. We set-up the system and walk you through how to manage the settings on your own. Great custom software allows for a lot of flexibility, as well, so we'll help you configure your module to your specifications. As a result, both system and users will be ready for the next step: BETA & Implementation!
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BETA & Implementation
ACTIVITIES
  • Pre-Implementation BETA Support & Go-Live Activities
  • BETA users will perform testing for usability issues and bugs in preparation for Go-Live
  • Miles Technologies will finalize Installation/Implementation of software solution
  • Guidance on installation of necessary hardware (if applicable)
  • Consultation and Support Team available during initial Implementation
  • Run through typical daily processes with live solution
  • Post-Implementation BETA Support Activities
  • All users will use the live system and report any BETA issues
  • Miles Technologies will continue to provide consultation, enhanced support, minor updates, and more frequent maintenance releases during the BETA Period
WHO'S INVOLVED
  • Miles Technologies: Client Coordinator, Software Development Team, Business Analyst
  • Customer: All BETA Users
DELIVERABLES (what you get as a result of this stage)
  • Live Implemented System (Go-Live)
  • Optimized, Fully Adopted System (Post-BETA)
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At this point, we finalize software functionality and aesthetic design prior to launch. Users can access the Beta version of the system and provide feedback on functionality and process flow, and suggest optimizations. Fully using and testing the system in Beta is important, since this is where bugs, glitches, or other final improvements will be identified. On our end, we'll finalize data hosting and processing, system security, and any third party integration that is necessary for your software. We'll work with your designated system administrator(s) to finalize high-level training and configuration so they are ready to run the new system (although we're always just a phone call away). Then we launch!
As users begin to use the live system, we continue the Beta stage of the project, where we continue to provide consultation and optimization while you are using your software in the real world. Frequent maintenance may be required during the first month or two as we release updated versions of your software with small fixes and enhancements as the system is implemented to all users. Once the new system matures and settles into its full role in your organization (typically 1-2 months after launch), we decide together when we can end the BETA stage and move into Ongoing Support.
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Go Live!
ACTIVITIES
  • The launch of your new solution is the critical point in the project where all the hard work comes together. Miles Technologies works with you to plan and execute before and during the Go Live process to ensure it is a success From coordinating the technical details, to ensuring everyone who will be impacted by the launch are ready to go, to providing support leading up to and following your actual launch, we have you covered!
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Support & Advancement
ACTIVITIES
  • Miles Assurance Plan for Ongoing Support
  • Hosting within scalable MT Data Center environment
  • Helpdesk Support
  • System Maintenance on Existing Functionality
  • Proactive System Monitoring & Optimization
  • Version Release Management
  • System Analysis & Recommendations
  • Customized Support Service Options
  • Advancement of System
  • Strategic Analysis & Consultation Sessions to identify opportunities for updates or expansion of the system to meet evolving Business Needs and produce greater ROI.
  • Future enhancements or versions of the software will follow the cycle starting with Stage 1: Discovery & Analysis
WHO'S INVOLVED
  • Miles Technologies: Software Support Specialists, Client Coordinator, Business Analyst
  • Customer: Tier 1 Helpdesk, All Users
DELIVERABLES (what you get as a result of this stage)
  • Efficiently running production system
  • Valuable consultation on furthering your solutions
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Once you make it past the Beta testing stage, you should be well-versed in what your new software can do for you. Miles Technologies is your partner in ensuring the long-term value of your software - our role doesn't end with software delivery. We consider ongoing support & advancement a full and vital stage of our software project life cycle. The Miles Assurance Plan, which gives you access to our support helpdesk and proactive services teams, will provide the remote and/or onsite support you need to keep your team working and your system running efficiently.
One major benefit of custom software is being able to optimize and advance over time to get the best value from your investment. Our dedicated Client Coordinators provide ongoing analysis and consultation for getting the most from your system. From minor enhancements to major upgrades, we can help take your system to the next level. When you are ready, we will even restart the lifecycle with your Business Analyst to help you dream up and build Version 1.1 or 2.0 and beyond to add even more features and value than the original project!

"Miles strives to be very responsive and yet very efficient in structure and does consistently high quality work. Like any relationship, there has been the occasional bump in the road, but Miles has consistently attempted to analyze the reasons for any issues that have arisen and address them with appropriate personnel and/or process adjustments."

— Greg Witsch
Lyons, Doughty & Veldhuis

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