Developed over the course of 20+ years, our Flex6™ process is designed to deliver projects on time and on budget all the while creating meaningful and positive relationships with project stakeholders.

Project 5™

As in every human venture, the project can only succeed with the right players. We start all engagements with an initial conversation to go over the 5 key elements of your project. This helps to determine if we are the right partner or if we can refer you to a group that will be a better fit. Schedule a 30 min Project 5™ meeting today >

Research & Strategic Insights

We leverage our decades of expertise to provide forward-thinking technical strategy and practical feasibility studies.

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 90 minute session, we explore dangers and opportunities, key outcomes, success criteria, capacity gaps, critical timeline, and budget constraints for the project. We clarify how success will be measured. We discuss how we will collaborate together to make your vision a reality.

Research

If you need to prove your business idea can work and is viable, we can build a simple "proof of concept (POC)" to mitigate the investment risk. The POC can help stakeholders understand the opportunities as well as the limitations of the system.

If you are considering an acquisition, we can conduct a pre-investment review and leverage our industry knowledge to provide some perspective and advice on the technological assets. To this end, we can perform a code review, participate in due diligence conversations, and generally help sort between the hype and the facts.

TECHNICAL Planning PHASE

The Technical Planning Phase helps clarify the vision, outline priorities and constraints, and get stakeholders on the same page. It consists of the following steps:

  • Outline desired outcomes, success metric criteria, and constraints
  • Define the most appropriate technical approach
  • Refine and document the requirements
  • Break the work down in bite size units
  • Develop a Complexity Scorecard™ that highlight the complexity of each unit by estimating the difficulty, uncertainty and effort to complete the work
  • Finalize the scope of work based on cost and priority
  • Develop a Project Plan with resources, timeline and budget

The final deliverable is a Game Plan that contains all key elements of the project as well as the KPIs that will be reviewed weekly.

COLLABORATIVE DEVELOPMENT

Two decades of software development projects have taught us that embracing the following 6 tenets is key to ensuring project success and facilitating support in the long run:

1. The Best People

  • We foster passion by aligning skillset and interests with project needs
  • We bring in SMEs when necessary
  • And reach out to experts in the tech community if needed

2. Working Together

  • We host daily engineering standups
  • We support each other via Slack
  • We encourage frequent code reviews

3. Keeping You in the Know

  • We host weekly Pulse Reports and Pulse Meetings
  • We maintain an ongoing Progress Chart
  • We are driven by our 5-star Guarantee

4. Documenting What's Important

  • We believe in ticket-driven development
  • We encourage explicit commits

5. Test-Driven

  • Unit tests
  • Peer-review process
  • UAT process

6. With Security in Mind

  • Permission-based access to source control
  • Practice of least privilege
  • Careful management of secrets

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, any “blockers”, and adjust course.

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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