Digital transformation is an ever-evolving odyssey for businesses of all sizes — especially large enterprises with countless moving parts, various business units, and a broad customer base with growing expectations. As a result of this ongoing transformation, today’s digital products are expected to change the game for customers and businesses alike, delivering on the promise of new technologies and commercial models.
Forrester has a name for this kind of present-day product development — modern application development (MAD). And, according to Forrester, the vendors who help innovative companies improve their development process offer MAD Services. In its inaugural The Forrester Wave™: Modern Application Development Services, Q3 2022 report, the analyst writes:
“Modern application development (MAD) services focus on delivering modern digital software products that leverage the coolest and most modern technologies for great and differentiating customer experience. But that is not enough. MAD service clients also want to improve software development self-sufficiency and learn modern development practices and techniques themselves.”
Wizeline was named a Strong Performer in the report, so we thought we’d take a moment to share four of our modern application development best practices with you to celebrate. Read on to learn what fuels the products we build for the world’s leading companies!
1. Agile Is Everything in Modern Application Development
Without agile, there would be no modern application development. Seriously — it’s that important, and here’s why. In today’s world, everything is ever-changing, from customer expectations to the technologies that integrate with one another to unlock the next great product. With agile development practices, teams, processes, and the products themselves become better because of the iterative approach, emphasis on collaboration, and commitment to continuous improvement.
Look for a MAD services vendor that acts as an agile advisor. At Wizeline, we influence the maturity of clients’ agile practices by acting as advocates and assisting in adopting the methodology. All of our projects adhere to agile practices, utilizing scrum as the base in the vast majority. We use industry standards to measure the success and maturity of our agile adoption, e.g., on-time delivery (via burndown charts), product quality (via testing trends), sprint velocity, and estimation accuracy.
Continuous improvement and implementation of agile ceremonies (planning, standups, grooming, demos/retrospectives) increase time-to-value for our clients. Through agile, we create an environment of trust and collaboration with open and direct feedback that directly translates to product transformation and maturity.
2. Don’t Guess! Build the Right Product the First Time
While having the right team of engineers, designers, architects, and testers is undoubtedly critical to development success, it almost doesn’t matter if you’re not building the right product. That’s why staying true to a proven, research-driven product development process is so important.
At Wizeline, the product development life cycle starts with Foundations — our proprietary design thinking framework. In strong collaboration with our clients, we take a holistic approach to research, organize, analyze and identify critical areas of opportunity in order to better define, prioritize and activate strategic and tactical plans. This allows us to design, build, test, iterate and deploy products and services using DevOps best practices with a strong focus on continuously measuring critical customer experience and business success factors.
Some of the key activities for this phase of product development — Foundations — include:
- Alignment on business goals and value proposition
- Planning and facilitation of user research methods
- Tactical insights for product improvement through data analysis, ideation, and definition
- Concept validation and product strategy
- Technical design and feasibility assessment
3. Make Upskilling & Reskilling a Constant, Not an Afterthought
According to Gallup’s American Upskilling Study, 65% of workers believe employer-provided upskilling is “very important” when considering a new job. What’s more, American workers who recently participated in an upskilling program reported an 8.6% average salary increase. Clearly, upskilling has broad appeal for workers, but what about the companies that provide it?
While technology remains a core transformative force in business, the technologies which drive business transformation are constantly changing. Therefore, businesses must invest to ensure their teams are skilled in the right areas (i.e. site reliability engineering as an upskill to generic software engineering) to remain competitive.
For companies pursuing modern application development greatness, a framework for upskilling is mandatory. At Wizeline, we leverage our communities, mentorships, and Wizeline Academy to nurture engineers to become t-shaped while also learning new, critical skills ranging from leadership to specific programming languages. We have a program designated for each role, and based on the program, learning paths and career expectations are designed for growth.
For clients, we’ve rolled out the Wizeline Digital Skills Accelerator to provide custom learning & development programs based on the client’s business goals, talent development priorities, and desired outcomes. Through the Digital Skills Accelerator, we provide hand-tailored bootcamps, mentorships, learning paths, and tech talks that get teams up to speed on in-demand technology skills like AI, cloud, and UX design quickly and effectively.
4. Find a Partner with an Unwavering Focus on Delivering Business Value
Despite tech’s ubiquity in our lives, most companies today didn’t start out as technology companies. As such, leading enterprises across all industries have partnered with technology services firms (like Wizeline!) to build the right solutions to power their businesses and improve customer experience.
When selecting this kind of vendor, we think it’s vital to find a partner dedicated to delivering technology that drives business value, whether it’s increased revenue, improved efficiency, enhanced customer satisfaction, or something else that’s important to you. In fact, according to The Forrester Wave™ report, “The true success of MAD services comes from business value delivered and client teams’ ability to maintain and improve the solution on their own, long after providers’ guidance ends.”
Here’s how we measure the success of the MAD services delivered by Wizeline:
- Recording continuous reduction in events, bugs and issues created after the deployments done to production. This is done with a good release/change management process and having DevOps best practices in place.
- Enabling data collection in the application through dashboards and other tools to measure business value. This helps understand the business response once the application is deployed compared to how it was before the deployment.
- Analyzing customer experience by establishing continuous feedback loops regularly by the team through various ways like meetings, emails, survey forms, etc., and a formal CSAT survey is also sent to the clients regularly from Wizeline.
- Establishing a MAD dashboard, which varies for each client depending on their business priorities but generally focuses on DevOps metrics to help improve both efficiency and user experience.
How to Partner with Wizeline, a Leading MAD Services Firm
Wizeline is proud to have been named a “Strong Performer” in The Forrester Wave™: Modern Application Development Services, Q3 2022 report for our work with clients to develop game-changing modern digital products. According to Forrester, “Wizeline is a good fit for [businesses] interested in self-sufficiency in strategic MAD areas of their organization.”
If you’re interested in potentially partnering with Wizeline to optimize your modern application development efforts, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. For more information about Wizeline, you can access a complimentary copy of the Forrester report to learn more about us or explore our case studies for some examples of our work.