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Why is methodology important in product development?

Oftentimes documented methods for construction as well as the important link between users and overall processes controlling every business are missing. Rules and best practices are spread by word-of-mouth and interpreted differently by different individuals. This may lead to:

  • Experts are forced to spend a lot of time on support and correction of data instead of development.
  • Expensive and unnecessary revisions.
  • Time consuming introductions for new recruits and consultants.
  • New functionality is introduced slowly.

Well defined work methods help users utilize their work tools more effectively. At PDSVision we therefore recommend all companies to describe and document, at a minimum, the most common operations. This is a process we are more than willing to support. PDSVision has for many years contributed to development of methodology used by some of our most successful customers.

Methodology development with PDSVision

Because of our customers need to use the potential from their investment in the best way possible, PDSVision offers support for developing and documenting methodology and processes related to the tools we offer. In addition to this, we have tools for analyses, templates, general best practices and training experience.

We also know that in the end, methodology has to be as unique as the customer defining it.

What does a methodology project contain?

All of our methodology projects are conducted together with the customer. The customer’s needs direct the content and proportion of the project. The common goal for all projects is to create a more controlled and coherent work flow describing proven and efficient approaches. By continuously developing tools and methods, the foundation for more efficient work and faster integration of new recruits is set.

Our recommendation is that a complete methodology project consists of the parts following below:

Analysis phases

  1. Situation analysis
    Analysis of ”as-is” How do we work today, which shortages do we know of, what are the shortages we do not know of?
  2. Alteration of development environment
    What are our prerequisites to be effective? Are there tools for more effective processes missing? Can we affect the quality through more embedded controls?
  3. Composition of methodology
    Identify and document best practices, guidelines and requirements.
  4. User training
    The art of conveying a message and creating acceptance and participation amongst the users.
  5. Follow-up
    Is there a need to change, add, something? Are we finished or are there more initiatives?

Packaging and presentation is key

An investment in methodology is rather useless if no one in the organization reads or utilizes the provided methods. A key factor here is packaging of the information. To reach success with the defined methodology, the content should be presented using the following conditions:

  • Easily accessible for those who need it (web, intranet)
  • Easy to consume and clear (text, images, videos)
  • Relevant and updated content

Continuous quality controls

When a methodology framework exists and all users are educated, only controls to ensure the methods are followed remains. By building continuous and automatic controls into the systems we help the users and minimize the risk of faults and unnecessary rework.

Conclusion – Methodology for everyone!

Methodology is highly recommended by PDSVision to all of our customers. A simple and modest description of standard procedures can be worth a lot when introducing consultants, new coworkers or rusty users.

Our methodology projects are always started with an analysis to map needs and conditions. A smaller company probably doesn’t have the same prerequisites to implement a complete methodology material covering a major part of the development process, as a larger company. Our methodology projects are of this obvious reason scalable.

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