Our Flex6™ process is designed to help you deliver projects on time and on budget. Through time-tested  best practices, we can help your team start, complete and launch new systems.

Strategic Planning

Everybody hates waterfall project management. We do too. Yet the alternative isn't necessarily a pure Agile methodology, unless you have all the money or time in the world, which our clients usually don't have.

What we have found to work best is to go through an initial Strategic Planning phase that aims to bring everyone on the same page. This usually consists of a Vision Builder™ workshop followed by the development of a Game Plan.

Vision Builder™ Workshop

Technology is merely a mean to an end, which is why it makes sense to start by reviewing where we want to go (and why) first, and work backwards from there. The Vision Builder™ workshop is designed to get all stakeholders on the same page, united in a common vision and ready to row in the same direction.

In a short 90 minute session, we explore dangers and opportunities, key outcomes, success criteria, capacity gaps, critical timeline and budget for the project. We also evaluate how we might collaborate together to make your vision a reality and establish a common language and process for doing so.

Through a Vision Builder™ workshop, we will start by exploring factors likely to impact the project results, such as:

  • Project overview
  • Project success definition
  • Obstacles and opportunities
  • Users needs/wants
  • Prioritized goals

Game Plan Development

Once the goals have been clearly identified, we can work on exploring the requirements and prioritizing the features.

User Experience Design

If your project has a UI component, we are happy to work with your design team. Or we highly recommend working with GravityDrive, an experienced group that uses a human-centered design process to focus on making products useful, usable, and appealing. We want people to have better experiences as they navigate through an increasingly complex world. GravityDrive applies scientific principles to learn about the people, the processes, the products, and the environment. This allows us to optimize record keeping, complex processes, and the interactions between you, your users, and your services. 

Functional Requirements documentation

In order to understand and identify the specifications, we may develop a user journey map, develop dynamic functional wireframes, put together system diagrams and come up with design comps. The goal is to develop a clear vision for the system that is needed and put together a list of functional requirements.

Complexity ScoreCard™

A key deliverable of the Strategic Planning phase is a Complexity ScoreCard™ spreadsheet. It presents a high-level recap of the desired functionalities as well as detailed time and budget estimates that enable the project stakeholders to plan work strategically.

Project Plan

The final deliverable of the Strategic Planning phase is a Gantt Chart of the project with the main phases, estimated efforts, task assignments and milestones.

All of those elements are key to the success of the project as they are essentially the blueprints for the implementation and deployment phase.

Implementation and Deployment

Decades of web development projects have taught us that best practices are key to ensure project success and facilitate support in the long run. Here are the processes and tools that we have developed over the years:

Our Project Management Approach

  • A dedicated project manager facilitates collaboration between all parties
  • A Living SpecBook or requirement repository is automatically and continuously kept up-to-date
  • A multi-directional Traceability Matrix is at the heart of our engineering operations so we can check progress in real-time
  • Frequent “show and shares” are scheduled with project stakeholders
  • Weekly Pulse Meetings™ take place with project stakeholders to review budget and overall progress as well as “blockers”

Thoughtful Software Development:

  • Source control management and configuration management are used in all development projects
  • A Code Review is scheduled weekly within the Engineering group
  • A consistent series of tools and platforms is used across the team
  • Testing and Continuous Integration is part of the process
  • Code Consistency is maintained via CI
  • Engineering standup meetings take place daily
  • Development documentation is continuously updated
  • Code comments are used effectively

Coordinated Deployment:

Releases are first performed on a sandbox environment to which our clients have access. When parallel work needs to happen, several branches can be set up and multiple instances are available for testing. Once the deliverables have been approved in a Staging/UAT environment, we  coordinate a release/deployment of the code and content to the live Production environment.

Comprehensive Testing:

Additional testing protocols are leveraged to develop the project and report defects:

Structured Testing: As a team member completes a task on the project, the QA team verifies that the task is implemented correctly per specification and defect-free. The structured testing is delivered to the QA team in the form of tickets. Test Cases are documented for future reference. Traceability is ensured by linking each issue found to a related technical and/or functional requirement.

Exploratory Testing: As structured test cases are developed, members of the QA team are given freedom to report defects and questions that go against specifications. In this method, when changes are introduced, the QA team has well-rounded knowledge of the product and is alert to impacts/consequences of changes.

Infrastructure Management:

  • Source control management and configuration management are used in all DevOps orchestration projects
  • Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is part of our infrastructure management approach
  • Analytics (Grafana/Kibana) is run diligently
  • Alerting is set up with intelligent filtering and escalation thresholds

Strong Security Standards

We maintain an internal Security Policy document which engineers and all other employees are required to review periodically and abide by at all times. This includes the engineering team’s approach to common security vulnerabilities in software and infrastructure such as the OWASP Top 10. A full copy of our Security Policy can be provided upon request in conjunction with an executed NDA.

Maintenance, Support, and Training

We offer one or a combination of several support plans:

Proactive Maintenance

The Proactive Maintenance plan ensures your site/app/system is always running on the latest software version and is protected against security vulnerabilities.

It includes:

  • Monthly OS updates on all environments
  • OS vulnerability announcement monitoring
  • Emergency server patching when a patch is made available
  • Application minor upgrades (e.g. 4.3.0 to 4.3.1)

Continuous Innovation™

The Continuous Innovation retainer is for organizations who are planning on getting assistance on a regular basis. It is defined as follows:

  • We guarantee “x” number of hours to be available to you each month.
  • Lead time may be anytime from 1 day to 1 week as we fit the work in our schedule as we go
  • Up to one month's worth of hours may roll into the following month.
  • Work is to be scheduled during normal business hours
  • You can borrow hours from subsequent months.
  • Minimum: 30h/month

Emergency Support

The Emergency Support plan guarantees a 2h response time and offers peace of mind. It includes the possibility to contact Six Feet Up after business hours. The hours are “use-it-or-lose-it”.

On-Demand Support

Flexible and convenient, the On-Demand Support option doesn’t require any commitment but is subject to availability. It is defined as follows:

  • ‘Urgent Support’ is for work that requires attention in fewer than 8 business hours
  • ‘Scheduled Support’ is for anything that can be handled in more than 8 business hours

The On-Demand Support option comes with the following terms:

  • Response time is not guaranteed.
  • Support is billed in 1 hour increments.
  • Payment in full is required prior to the start of the work.

Training & Mentoring

We can offer a wide variety of training and mentoring options. Contact us for more details.

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