Managing growth is a challenging part for businesses of any size. We study processes, we optimize those processes, and implement them, and we monitor the results. We develop new strategies for handling more business, we implement, and those strategies either work or are discarded.
We implement project management solutions, fine tune the steps, and fine tune some more. We develop key performance indicators (KPI’s) and monitor them constantly. We attach deviations from the norms and work to correct them.
For development firms, as we grow we bring on employees or sub-contractors. We develop or adopt standards and implement them: commenting, modular code, and consistency in development styles become the new norm. We institute formal training and certification programs.
And we work to improve communication, both internal and with clients. Here is on
Use Video as Part of the Development Process
One of the techniques we have developed at FM Database Consulting is using video to communicate development progress to our clients. The benefits are many:
- Faster explanation of newly added features
- Voice over by the developer gives deeper insights
- It makes a connection between your staff and your clients
- The video files can be used for training your clients staff if put into a help system
- It allows other developers to step in and come up to speed quickly (especially if you make more technical versions of the video for internal use)
The videos we make are short, and are made after a development session on a project or when we fix a problem or add, or enhance a feature.
Once you capture a video, you can save the video on your hard drive (and share it via Dropbox), or share it to a free Screencast.com account.
If you invest in Jing Pro, you’ll be able to export in .mp4 format as well as the swf format in the free version.
There are other solutions besides Jing:
- Camtasia–Screen recording and video editing (Mac and Windows)
- Screenflow from Telescreen (Mac Only)
- And a whole host of Windows based solutions.
Use your favorite screen capture software, and install it on all your developers workstations.
There’s one more way to use video in the development process
Teach your clients how to use Jing for themselves. When your client is having trouble or wants a feature added or modified, have them use Jing to show what has gone wrong (or what they want changed). They share to you, and you see exactly what needs to be done. It saves time for both you and the client, and improves communication.
Our clients are happier, and so are we
Since we have instituted this as a formal process, customer satisfaction has climbed. Our clients view the video at their convenience, see positive results on a continual basis, and provide timely and relevant feedback easily, as well.
Feedback from our clients keeps us working more efficiently, and we get the job done better and faster.
What’s not to like?