To deliver great projects consistently and with good value to our customers we rely both on our talented team as well as evolving project management and technical processes. When we meet new customers we present them with our product development process approach early on which helps to add order to planning and to set clear expectations as we proceed forward. The bullet points of the product development process become the milestones of every successful engagement.
During Initial Customer Interview we first listen to our customer’s vision and goals. Sometimes the initial interview becomes a mini consulting session where the customer receives feedback for those very early stage entrepreneurial projects. We also use a structured questionnaire that helps us identify the priorities, set clear goals, and the timeline for the engagement. We attempt to give a ball park quote which is typically based on similar scope projects from the past. The next step is developing the Project Plan and Budget. This step is often done by email communication and Illionix takes a leading role. At the end of this step we have a written Project Plan as well as Statement of Work and Budget documents.
Selecting Key Technologies includes identifying the most appropriate hardware and software platform for product implementation. Earlier experiences as well as understanding the state of the art play the major role.
A typical hardware product development process is split into two paths. The Engineering Path is focused on delivering a Works-Like prototype with the development guided by the Engineering Specifications document. For Works-Like prototype we usually employ the off-the-shelf development tools and prototyping boards. The Design Path results in the Looks-Like prototype development. This prototype uses appropriate shape, color, materials, and finish as the final product but lacks the technical functionality. The two development paths are combined in the Alpha Prototype, this is the actual product prototype that has both the look, feel, and the operation of the final product. For early stage start-up companies the Alpha Prototype is a major milestone on the way to securing venture capital.