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Fast Development with cplace — from the first concept to a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in 10 days: Part 1/3

How to set up a Fast Development project for success

This blog post provides insights into a real Rapid Application Development project which was run by collaboration Factory, the creator of cplace, for and with BMW Group. The goal of the cross-functional expert team was to develop an MVP for integrated activity and maturity management in no more than 10 days and. In the face of the Covid-19 situation, this had to be accomplished in a fully digital space.

Introduction

Effective, scalable, and tailored software is a critical competitive factor that can determine whether a company has the power to outperform its competitors — or falls behind. But how can an optimum level of software support be maintained in ever-changing market situations? The answer is: Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Application Development, Fast Development. All these expressions refer to the same goal: to accelerate time-to-value to the extreme by developing the right solution not only quickly but also in high quality and within the desired functional scope. One way to approach this is to develop a so-called Minimum Viable Product, or MVP: A functional product that contains all relevant features and is developed within a very narrow timeframe. The process involves immediate feedback loops and frequent testing to accelerate learning and minimize the inherent risks.

Learn more about speed as one of the critical factors for the cplace success story!

Joining forces to prototype an MVP in only 10 days

cplace is an innovative software platform that enables companies to do exactly that — create new business solutions or extend existing ones at an extremely fast pace. Leveraging its platform know-how, collaboration Factory joined hands with the feature team at BMW Group to explore how cplace could be used to support the development of an MVP solution. While BMW provided the use case and functional requirements for the project, collaboration Factory brought its cplace platform and extensive expertise the to the table.

The project line-up

Combining its cross-functional expertise, the project team set out to demonstrate how an innovative, ready-to-use solution can be created effectively

Throughout the project, our client was directly involved in the development process to ensure an optimum outcome in terms of functionality and customization. Apart from their respective departmental backgrounds, the team members were experts in a variety of disciplines: Product Management, Software Development, Business, Consulting, and UX Design. All these different perspectives ensured that a multitude of aspects — from UX to clean code to cohesive business logic — were accounted for in designing a viable and future-ready product.

“The role of UX in this sprint was fundamental because it helped to obtain a clear understanding of the product’s vision and requirements. The result was great: A fully functional MVP with an informative and visual structure that helps users focus their attention on the data they need. We achieved a functional and aesthetic design in very short time. I really enjoyed this project with BMW.” — Adrian Lopez-Arrieta, UX Lead at collaboration Factory AG

Fast Development with cplace — No-Code, Low-Code, and Pro-Code in action

The cplace platform provides a flexible toolbox of modules, dashboard components, apps and solutions for creating scalable, customer-specific business solutions at exceptional speed. Components can be combined, customized, and expanded. What is more, cplace enables any user group to rapidly develop applications for specific purposes, regardless whether the developers are business experts without programming skills (taking the No-Code approach), problem solvers (working with Low-Code), or experienced software developers (writing Pro-Code).

All three skill levels of the cplace development framework (No-Code, Low-Code, and Pro-Code) were represented in our cross-functional project team.

Learn more about the cplace platform on our website, in our Low-Code Webinar (in German) or on Medium: No-Code and Low-Code Development.

No-Code, Low-Code, and Pro-Code greatly accelerate the development of cplace solutions because users of any kind can contribute at their respective level of programming expertise (or even without any). This allows companies to reduce the IT/Dev bottleneck while including all users and stakeholders in the development process, ensuring fitness for purpose. The large number of available ready-to-use cplace modules reduces time-to-solution because our project team can draw on a large pool of resources. As a result, cplace gives user-developers a head start while substantially reducing time and effort.

Find out more in our No-Code, Low-Code, and Pro-Code development Paper.

Fully virtual collaboration in times of Sars-Cov-2

In the face of the current Corona situation, we ran the project in an entirely virtual setting. The team remained in constant digital contact — one of the success factors in this project, as it turned out. Microsoft Teams provided the flexible platform that was needed to communicate on demand, hold scheduled meetings, get to know each other remotely, understand the use case, and plan the next steps. Over the course of the project, collaboration increasingly happened in autonomous teams, and video calls provided opportunities for presenting and discussing interim results with peers. The programmers in the team used GitHub to collaborate on the code.

You are also working remotely and want to learn more about the best real-life hacks to stay productive and healthy when working from home? Check out this Medium post.

Unleashing the full power of cplace as collaboration platform

cplace not only provided the ingredients for building the MVP solution but also served as a great collaboration and project management space: Alongside the MVP development scenario itself, cplace enabled the project members to collect and share information in wikis, upload files and presentations, and plan tasks on the agile cplace Board.

Another important feature for collaborative development is the cplace Visual Domain Model App, which visualizes the cplace data model and makes it easy to understand and to identify relations and interdependencies between attributes and types at a glance. These capabilities support discussions on how the functional scope can best be mapped to the cplace data model.

cplace is especially useful for any kind of project management method — agile, hybrid, traditional, collaborative. Learn more on our webpage about project management.

Methodologies used in the RAD project

A blend of methodologies was applied in the cplace MVP development process. For example, the Google Ventures Design Sprint provided the basis but was extended from 5 to 10 days. An agile, iterative approach was taken throughout, with autonomous teams working in sprints, immediately followed by testing and feedback loops. Methods from Design Sprint, e.g. ‘How Might We Questions’ or ‘Lightning Demos’, played an important role in stimulating creativity and solution-oriented thinking. Various other methods, such as the Kano Model, contributed to a smooth development process.

You want to learn in detail how the project was managed? Stay tuned and check out our follow-up article discussing the development process, the use of methods and concepts, and more information on efficient collaboration. If you are interested in a Fast Development project yourself, do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Written by Lisa Schreiber, Product Marketing Specialist at collaboration Factory AG.

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collaboration Factory AG

collaboration Factory AG

collaboration Factory AG is the company behind cplace, and helps companies to successfully manage complex business processes.