Author archives: Celerity

Getting Started with Software Test Automation

By Celerity on Dec. 13, 2017 View Comments

Software test automation makes use of specialized tools to control the execution of tests and compares the actual results against the expected results. With automated testing, you can record and playback predefined actions or scripts and report upon the results quickly and efficiently. While it requires an upfront investment, the benefits are clear.

Here are three reasons why software test automation will help your organization:

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Mastering Agile Product Development

By Celerity on Nov. 10, 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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7 Ways to Effectively Manage a Product Owner Backlog

By Celerity on Jul. 11, 2017 View Comments

Product backlog management is an art form that requires relentless attention. As a Product Owner, it’s your responsibility to run a well-oiled machine and keep the product backlog healthy. This includes accommodating stakeholders, development teams, and most importantly, users. But how do you manage a product backlog in a way that is effective and results-driven?

Here are 7 tips from an Agile Product Owner who’s been around the block:

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Choosing an Automatic or Manual Content Migration

By Celerity on Jul. 1, 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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3 Myths You’ve Heard About Content Migration (And Why They’re Wrong)

By Celerity on Jun. 27, 2017 View Comments

Let’s face it – Content migration is complex. Like, really complex. After all, CMS solutions hold a lot of important data and moving it to a completely new system is risky business. You don’t want to be that person responsible for losing documents, lengthy downtime or underestimating the project entirely. It’s time to get realistic about the process.

Here are 3 myths about content migration that often lead to misguided projects. Let us set the record straight:

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Why BPM Consultants are Pros at Organizational Change Management

By Celerity on Apr. 18, 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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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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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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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 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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Agile Marketing: Learn the Lingo

By Celerity on Oct. 11, 2016 View Comments

A too-long to-do list is a daily reality for most marketers. The larger issue, however, comes from that long list of tasks lacking prioritization and coordination with others on your team, resulting in time spent on the wrong tasks and missed project deadlines. Agile Marketing offers a compelling solution to this problem and helps marketing teams, both big and small, accomplish projects faster through improved communication, transparency, and innovation.

Adopting its core tenants from Agile software development, Agile Marketing is a work management methodology that can help a team work faster, leaner, and more strategically through short bursts of work and frequent feedback. Agile helps to prioritize and execute projects more quickly and helps to bridge gaps between IT, Marketing, and the Business.

Before you get started, though, you must learn how to SPEAK Agile. As you start researching and planning your team’s adoption to Agile Marketing, here’s a handy reference of the terms you’ll come across and what they mean:

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CRM Implementation: 5 Strategies to Seal the Deal

By Celerity on Jan. 19, 2016 View Comments

When it comes to implementing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, an organization’s priorities are often confused due to poorly defined business requirements, lack of proper change management and, most critically, inconsistent prioritization of the people, process, and technology involved.

Process and technology must be addressed in that order, with the human factor naturally being considered throughout the entire implementation lifecycle. The idea is to take technology (or tools and systems, of which you may use several) out of the equation in order to determine your CRM business problem and better focus on people and process.

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Making Your Case: 4 Ways to Plan for Enterprise Mobile Applications

By Celerity on Nov. 24, 2015 View Comments

According to a survey by Mobile Helix, a majority of enterprises think they’d experience 40% more productivity if they moved their enterprise apps to mobile. Strikingly, only 32% of those companies feel they have the skills necessary to pull off development.

The disparity comes down to having budget dollars to invest in mobile infrastructure, access to cutting edge mobile app development tools, and resources capable of executing their mobile vision.

Even when budget and resources are within reach, it’s difficult to justify your mobile application strategy. That's why we broke it down into 4 simple steps.

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Upstream Caching: A Django Developer Crash Course

By Celerity on Nov. 3, 2015 View Comments

The Golden Rule for Django Developers is “Don’t prematurely optimize code.” But when a website goes live, user demand can outweigh site functionality, meaning slower page loads and a downgraded user experience. Code optimization is no longer a waste of timeit’s required.

There are several ways to optimize, but scaling out horizontally to deal with growing demand gets expensive. Luckily, there’s still a way to salvage your code without breaking the bank: You can cache.

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Why Companies are Making the Shift from Staffing to Managed Services

By Celerity on Oct. 2, 2015 View Comments

Staffing sales are currently reaching more than $130 billion annually in the US, but what happens when traditional staffingwhich is highly transactional and often lacks flexibilityno longer serves a business’ needs from a value-based partnership perspective?

Today, many enterprise-level businesses with complex skillset requirements have reached critical mass with staffing providers, left with too many individual contributors, management nightmares, and a lack of tangible results. How did they get there?

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IT Security: If It's Not A Board-Level Topic, Your Business Is At Risk

By Celerity on Aug. 25, 2015 View Comments

The biggest data breach of 2014 can be credited to the one that got the best of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The attackers infiltrated the Sony Corporation and exposed a company executive’s emails, which contained movie project details that had not yet been made public. By the time 2014 came to a close, approximately 1,500 breaches worldwide had exposed nearly 1 billion records total, according to The Wall Street Journal.

As we know, IT security will remain a hot topic with the recent activities occurring across business lines. Board-level strategies are a must and processes and procedures need to be implemented to protect the reputation and reduce the regulatory risks of these companies. Here are some crucial information security tips:

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What a UX Designer Wants

By Celerity on Aug. 11, 2015 View Comments

Envision your brand as something that’s flawless to engage with, fluid across all digital channels and devices, and perfectly complements your physical presence or storefront.

Who's going to help you bring that vision to life? UX Designers.

But these savvy professionals are in high demand, low supply, and difficult to find, attract, and retain. Many command high salaries with little experience. Companies are now striving to hire User Experience talent inhouse, instead of contracting, making the talent pool even smaller. And as engineering agility improves, expectations are rising for comprehensive product thinking—meaning user experience design is no easy task.

You know that you need a strong UX hero to save your digital channels. UX heroes are an analytical, process-driven thinkers that are articulate and digitally aware of the marketplace. They synthesize all components of content, wireframes, and design work within your site so that users can get to the right stuff, quickly. Your UX hero will take abstract business requirements and map them out like a boss.

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8 UX Design Tips to Take Your Site From Good to Great

By Celerity on Jun. 11, 2015 View Comments

Research shows that if it takes a user longer than 10 seconds to find what they’re looking for on your website, they will give up and abandon the page entirely. Chances of that person coming back to your site are slim to none—in fact, poor UX design can cost you valuable customers.

Your site’s ability to point users to the right content, products, and services quickly is paramount to success in 2015. In addition, your user experience design needs to be flawless and transparent across all digital properties to present a consistent brand experience.

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10 UX Designer Interview Questions

By Celerity on May. 19, 2015 View Comments

Hiring top-notch UX Designers is essential for your company to be competitive in the digital space. When interviewing UX Design candidates, you not only need to know the right questions to ask, but the right responses your candidates should be giving. Below are the top 10 UX designer interview questions to ask your UX candidates and key answers to look for:

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3 Common Vendor Management System Problems (And How to Solve Them)

By Celerity on Apr. 14, 2015 View Comments

In theory, a Vendor Management System (VMS) is an ingenious solution to solving all your digital talent woes. After all, it’s a one-stop portal where your organization can list all its open jobs, vendors log in and submit the best candidates, and hiring managers have an easy decision to make.

Like shooting fish in a barrel, right? Not so fast. There absolutely can be several big benefits to a well-run VMS, but there are also several downfalls. 

As we’ve mentioned in other posts, VMS’s are not the right solution for every company. If your organization is considering implementing a VMS or already has one, you should understand the realities of some common pain points:

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