3 Keys to BPM Software Success Using Agile Methodologies

By Jason Foster, BPM Delivery Director on May. 16, 2017 View Comments

For most application workflow projects, the Agile development methodologies have proven a superior approach over the traditional waterfall method.

But even with a proven delivery method like Agile, insufficient understanding of business processes can derail your project. This is especially true when the project involves a complex workflow component.

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Your Mobile Strategy Needs More Than Just an App

By David Donze, Mobile Expert on May. 10, 2017 View Comments

Is your business focused on mobile? Mobile web browsing has long since surpassed desktop browsing and users are spending, on average, more than three hours per day on their mobile devices, 90% of which is spent in apps. What does this mean for you? Mobile is everywhere, so not having a mobile strategy is no longer an option.

It’s a common mistake to assume that you only need to develop a mobile app, release it to the AppStore, and call it a day. Your mobile strategy may only require a mobile website, or it may rely heavily on a suite of mobile apps, or it may fall somewhere in between. But it needs to be heavily integrated into your overall web and marketing strategies and afforded a high level of investment and commitment similar to your web strategy.

Successfully generating mobile ROI requires a solid plan and a lot of work beyond developing an app. Instead of thinking in terms of an “app,” think in terms of a “mobile experience" that will keep users engaged and coming back for more.

Here are six key considerations you'll want to focus on as you develop a mobile strategy:

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5 Ways to Better Manage Project Communications

By Nicole Helfrich, Delivery Director, Project & Program Management on Apr. 25, 2017 View Comments

Throughout my project management career, one of the areas I consistently strive for excellence in is communications. I feel it is critical to the success of any project—big or small—so I wanted to share five ways that I effectively manage communications for my projects.

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5 Steps to Your First User Test

By Craig Phillips, UX Designer on Apr. 19, 2017 View Comments

The barrier to entry into user testing has never been lower. Forget size and budget. Companies who interact with users on a regular basis will swim, while others sink. Despite the ease of entry, many still neglect testing and rely on internal opinions to guide product decisions.

Though investing in a user researcher is ideal, this hurdle shouldn't stop you. Look on your team for a strategic thinker and good listener to get started. When you witness the insights and aha moments that come from a test, the value will be clear as day.

These 5 steps are a simple introduction to user testing for non-researchers. It's a flexible process to follow, avoiding the complexities in favor of action. With clear goals, and a sincere desire to gather honest feedback, you're already well on your way. Jump in and get started. You may never look back.

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Why BPM Consultants are Pros at Organizational Change Management

By Celerity on Apr. 11, 2017 View Comments

Change is hard. Have you ever heard the following objections to innovation from your organization? “My department is unique.” “That sounds great in theory, but it wouldn't work in our environment.” “An outsider doesn’t understand the way we operate.”

Business Process Management (BPM) consultants hear these objections at the beginning of virtually every project we undertake. It’s true that we’re not experts in every field; but we are experts in process improvement and efficiency. We understand that every business is different and that most organizations are, at best, minimally resistant to change.   

By partnering closely with your team’s stakeholders, listening to their needs and understanding their positions, consultants prove that fresh tools and strategies can be implemented in harmony with existing structures and cultures to produce incredible results.   
Here are five reasons why organizations should make external BPM consultants an integral part of a continuous improvement culture:  

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Hitting It Out of the Park with Your MVP Launch

By J. Lawson & K. Long - Digital Experience Team on Apr. 3, 2017 View Comments

No, that’s not your Most Valuable Player—it’s your Minimum Viable Product!  

For die-hard baseball fans, Opening Day is full of limitless possibilities. The air sings with hope and excitement. The whole season lies ahead, culminating perhaps with a trip to the Series! (Oh, and don’t forget about the hot dogs.)

That same feeling of excitement ignites in product executives the moment their digital product goes live. They are the biggest fans—and most rabid competitors—of all. But how can you bat 1,000 in such a competitive space? How can you ensure that your minimum viable product (MVP) or minimum marketable product (MMP) will last the season?

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Mobile App Development Cost: The Top 6 Budget Factors

By Jay Kissman on Mar. 30, 2017 View Comments

Recent studies show that 86% of consumers' mobile time is spent on mobile apps. To keep up with this growing trend, 90% of U.S. enterprises are increasing their investments in mobile app development.

But what slows people down from actually executing an efficient mobile app development process, is not knowing how to plan and budget for them.

Many of our clients struggle with getting their arms around scope and cost for mobile app projects, because each app is unique and dependent on several key business decisions. Our work developing apps for small-, medium-, and enterprise level-clients has taught us that no matter the size of the project or budget, there are 6 things that impact the mobile app development cost:

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Create a High-Functioning Work Space with the 5S Methodology

By Celerity on Mar. 21, 2017 View Comments

In Business Process Management, Lean methodology is centered on the idea of eliminating waste. This process sounds simple in theory – “Get rid of defects, cut out steps that add no value” – but actually implementing these ideas requires strategic planning. The 5S methodology presents an organized way of eliminating physical waste and standardizing the use of equipment and processes across an entire functional unit. 5S stresses that cleanliness, organization, and standardization are key in creating the most efficient and effective work processes. The method originated from five Japanese words which have been translated into English.

Here’s how you can implement the steps:

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Episerver Ascending: Takeaways From Episerver’s 2017 Conference

By John Dymond, .NET CMS Architect on Mar. 13, 2017 View Comments

In the last year, Episerver's significant investments into its product have truly made it stand out in the competitive CMS landscape. I had high hopes in attending the Ascend conference to see what’s in store for 2017, and it did not disappoint! There was a lot of great information shared at the conference from both IT and Marketing perspectives. The following are my top three takeaways from the conference as well as some points worth considering if you are looking to grow or transform your web presence:

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Setting up Episerver to Run as an Azure Application

By John Dymond, .NET CMS Architect on Feb. 21, 2017 View Comments

Episerver is a leading CMS that helps companies create an effective user experience across all channels and devices. Episerver was recently featured in the Forrester Wave WCM 2017 and was listed as the leading .NET CMS vendor and 1 of the 3 leaders in the report. 

 

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5 Ways to Think Beyond Salary When Negotiating

By Jill Barlow and Amanda Paga, Corporate Recruiters on Feb. 15, 2017 View Comments

You’re interviewing for your dream job, and everything has been smooth sailing so far. You nailed the first interview, and you’re anxious and excited to meet the rest of the team. Your phone rings, and it’s the recruiter who initially contacted you about the position. He has great news - you’re the top candidate so far, and he is calling to schedule your final interview!

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Mastering Agile Product Development

By Celerity on Jan. 31, 2017 View Comments


Recently, Celerity’s Agile experts put together an interactive webinar on Mastering Agile Product Development – an area where many attempt to conquer but few succeed. Their first question to the audience was:

True or False: New product ideas primarily come from management in my organization.


The audience was split 50/50 on their answers. The next question asked if securing funding for a product was difficult. Once again, the audience was split down the middle. The same respondents, however, who agreed that new ideas come from management also said that funding a product was not difficult.

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The Price of Poor Product Ownership: 3 Ways to Doom Your Agile Project

By Todd Miller, ScrumMaster, Product Owner on Jan. 24, 2017 View Comments

Being an Agile Product Owner is a difficult endeavor. In fact, I would venture to say it may very well be the hardest and most critical product owner role on an Agile project. You have to keep the team happy and engaged, stakeholders are constantly looking for “status” updates, and you need to appease the customer by understanding their needs and delivering high value as quickly as possible.

I’ve witnessed many unpleasant Agile projects, even to the point of a project’s complete failure, because of poor Product Ownership, despit using a proper agile framework. There are a variety of reasons for that, but I’m seeing a trend of Product Owners spending their time in the wrong places.

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Choosing an Automatic or Manual Content Migration

By Celerity on Jan. 17, 2017 View Comments

Website redesign or re-platforming projects are often the most exciting and dreaded undertaking for marketing teams. No matter how much you look forward to a shiny new CMS, there’s no denying that the arduous task of content migration can zap some of the joy out of the process.

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14 Must-Know Mobile App Best Practices

By Celerity on Jan. 10, 2017 View Comments

Mobile technology use is at an all time high as 80 percent of internet surfers now own a smartphone to access the web. It should come as no surprise then that developing a mobile app for your business can make you more competitive online. But where do you start? 

We recently published a checklist of the top 14 Mobile App Best Practices you need to consider in order to successfully build a new mobile app, or update an existing one.

Here's a snapshot of what you need to know:

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Creating Non-Traditional Value Streams with a Capability Model

By David Tanner, Business Architect on Jan. 5, 2017 View Comments

The Capability Model and the Value Stream are important tools to an organization for different reasons. The Capability Model, a model of an organization’s ability to successfully perform a business activity, helps an organization understand the capabilities developed through the execution of the business model and makes the executive decision-making process more seamless. Likewise, Value Stream Mapping, a Lean tool for capturing an organization’s process to create a product, helps management visualize the processes that add value directly to the customer and those that do not. However, the effort to capture an organization’s Capability Model and Value Stream can be quite daunting. It requires significant time commitment from staff, dollar commitment of external consultants, or a combination of both.

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Software Development and Agile Methodologies: A Chronicle of 2016

By Celerity on Dec. 27, 2016 View Comments

As we say goodbye to 2016, let’s reflect on some of the Celerity stories that were popular this year! From trends like Agile development to personalization and operational readiness, Celerity’s consulting team has contributed a wealth of knowledge to Breakthroughs in Acceleration. Here are a few of our favorite articles:

Operational Readiness: 3 Keys to a Successful Takeoff for Any Large-Scale System
If you’re preparing for the launch of a large-scale initiative in the coming year, don’t let untested systems and unprepared users create a deployment debacle. Follow these three operational readiness steps to help build confidence in your new system and get your project off the ground smoothly. Read the full blog post.

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How to Streamline Quality Assurance for Agile Scrum Development

By John Mark Swartz, Consultant on Dec. 20, 2016 View Comments

I have learned over the years that tried and true quality assurance (QA) practices work great in a waterfall approach. QA is regimented by nature and lends itself perfectly to the methodical nature of waterfall development, only with a lot of extra fluff. Can we cut out some of that fluff to match the streamlined nature of Agile Scrum development? I believe we can trim down some of the QA practices included in waterfall, keeping the highest quality of standards and even improving on them by being more efficient with our time.

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How Agile Can Be Embraced by Your Entire Organization

By Celerity on Dec. 13, 2016 View Comments

This post is a preview of our eBook: Leading an Enterprise Agile Transformation. Download the full eBook here.

A recent survey by Scrum Alliance found that more than 70% of Agile practitioners report tension between their teams and the rest of the organization. The reason? They are following different road maps and moving at different speeds. Whether your organization is in the early stages of adopting Agile methodologies or you have multiple teams running sprints, non-Agile influences will eventually cause your success to plateau. The breakthrough opportunity is a true, Agile transformation.

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How the Best Testers Learn an Existing System

By Janet Leon, Senior Quality Assurance Analyst on Dec. 6, 2016 View Comments

Have you ever been in an interview where you were asked the question “As a tester, how do you learn a new system?” Was your response “I will read the requirements and or system documentation”? Your response to the question should be: “Is this a new or existing system?”

This distinction is what can make all the difference between marginally knowing and fulling understanding the system. If it's a new system, you should respond with, “I will ask for all of the requirements and functional specifications available and start reading and creating test cases based on this documentation.” However, if it is an existing system, your best response would be, “If there are no existing artifacts I would go into each page/screen of the system and create a baseline regression test.”

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