Components to Help Clients “Shape” Their Ideas

May 20, 2020

Jake Anderson

Tony: So, while we do that through the process of discovery — asking questions, getting to know, understand, overlaying our expertise — we also term that that’s the process of shaping, shaping what that thing is. And I would say, in the beginning, it’s almost — it’s an amoeba or it’s totally fragmented and it’s just separate pieces of an unknown puzzle. They don’t — you know, you kind of know what it’s supposed to look like in the end state. And so, it’s through these multiple shapings that we go, “Is that looking like a square? Or is that a circle? Some other sort of Polygon?” And so, what are some of the main components in your mind that helped to shape the thing? And to throw a couple out there, it might be, again, the technology. It might be the way you’re looking to focus your user experience. What if we had to kind of list a couple big things that help shape and get us to the right thing, like what things are we considering?

Jake: You know, for us typically, you’re starting with, almost like an amoeba. There’s a  weird odd shape, there’s all curves, there’s no edges, and you’re trying to figure out, “Okay, how do I get the smallest shapes out of this that we can then build upon, and the individual pieces that we can understand?” Because when we understand it, we’re able to help your understanding and get that understanding into the code in a way that you want it to be. And one of the ways that we do that is through asking a whole bunch of series of questions. And you know like I said, challenging you to really think about your business and the type of things that you’re — that you want to achieve.

Coming in with a goal or a purpose of, “Oh, we want to make this — automate this or make it faster.” Okay. That’s the amoeba, right? Why? “Oh, well we have a lot of people that are working on this, and when they’re working on this they’re not going and doing sales,” for example. Okay, so there’s this opportunity cost here that exists, that maybe we need to start taking care of. And so now, starts to put a little bit more shape into what we have and now we can start thinking, “Okay, what are the roadways and pathways that we can take to maybe go towards that?” And you know, maybe it evolves a little bit more and they say, “Okay, well we’re actually managing everything in a big Google Sheet or an Excel document.”

And now we’re starting to shape things a little bit more too because we’re understanding where they’re coming from and where they’re at and we can say, “What challenges is that bringing?” And a lot of times they’re like, “Well, we get a lot of different versions,” And sometimes data isn’t meant — used in the same way and different — someone might format things this way and someone might format things that way and there is a lot of inconsistencies. And okay, so now we’ve broken down this problem a little bit more and a little bit more to the point to where we feel like we can start developing an idea to — or an app that can solve that problem.

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