What is design and development?

After Sarah had explained some of her design principles to Jimmy, Jimmy was ready to start redesigning the new dashboard interface the client was waiting for. Meanwhile, his company, Shmuckle, is preparing to set up a new position as a product manager and will select the right people to work within the company. Jimmy is very interested in this, in fact, in the current architecture, Jimmy is a very suitable candidate. But to do that, he must prove that he is qualified and that he knows how to manage projects and teams.


For the design project he is doing in the control panel, he is also selecting the appropriate output process. Is it better to use the Agile development process, or should we use the Waterfall Model? Or is it a circular development process? He thought it would be a better choice to have a chat with the development department’s colleagues.
When he found the engineering department’s Boris, he was fishing in twitter in the corridor. “What process is it used? That’s for sure. Of course, it’s agile. This is the best, the process is clear and simple, and there is no better way to handle the design and development of digital products than agile. Then Boris went to the next conference room and pulled out a whiteboard and said, “Give me an hour and I’ll tell you everything about agile development. Then you can also plan weekly work content so that you can fully understand what to do. Oh, almost forgot. There are several podcasts and videos that can help you get to know more about agility. ”

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Agile development takes the evolution of user requirements as the core, and adopts an iterative, step-by-step approach to software development. In agile development, software projects are divided into several sub-projects at the early stage of construction, and the results of each sub-project are tested, with visual, integrated and operational features. In other words, a large project is divided into several interconnected, but also can run independently of small projects, and completed separately, in the process of software has been in use.


The nagging Boris finally found a person to talk to, and Jimmy was embarrassed for a moment and didn’t know how to respond. Fortunately, another department of development, Floris, passed by the door. Jimmy stopped him and said, “Floris, I’m looking for you everywhere. Why are you here?” He grabbed Floris’s hand and ran into another office, away from the enthusiastic Boris.
“What do you do?” What are you two talking about? ”
“Boris is telling me about agile development… ”
“What is it? Did he tell you about agile development? Pull it down, the only agile Macbook in their department. We all use the waterfall model as a product development process because it is linear, has a simpler structure, is easy to operate, rarely confusing. “Floris said,” from the office shelf, Floris finds a pile of documents on the Jimmy hand. “Everything you want is inside. Good luck. If you need any help, please make an appointment with me on the public platform and we can have a meeting to solve the problem ~”Floris said, returning to his desk and starting to work.

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Waterfall Model is a project development architecture. The development process is programmed through a series of phases. From system requirements analysis to product release and maintenance, each phase generates feedback loop. Therefore, if information is not covered or problems are found, it is best to “go back” Back to the previous phase and with appropriate modifications, the project development process “flows” from one phase to the next, which is the origin of the waterfall model name. The waterfall model includes software engineering development, enterprise project development, product production and marketing.

Holding a bunch of information and returning to their work station, the whole person is trapped in the mood of inertia, sitting in a computer chair and tangled up. There’s too much information. I don’t know where to start. Searching online is also a lot of content. I don’t know where to start. It’s muddled.

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Jimmy decided to adopt the final backup plan, Sarah. In the Jimmy work experience, the old leader Sarah always gives him reliable advice and feasible plan.


When there is a problem, one step back.

The door of Sarah office is always open. When Jimmy came to see her, Sarah was reading something interesting. There are lots of books and greens in her office. Beautiful colors make Sarah’s entire work area seem to evoke creativity and imagination. The open pages on the desk smell of ink and smell like a study at home. “Hey, Sarah, I have another problem to bother you. Are you free? ”

“My door is always open. What are the problems this time and see how I can help you. Sarah knows who it is when she hears the voice, drops the document at hand and smiles up at Jimmy, who is slightly embarrassed. As she spoke, Jimmy ran to the chair on the other side of the desk and collapsed into a chair. Sarah smiled and shook his head. He picked up the coffeepot and poured Jimmy a cup of coffee.
Back in his chair, Sarah did not look at his computer, but, like a counselor, stared at JImmy and went into a state of waiting for him to talk. And Jimmy was amazed at how freely and quickly Sarah put down the work at hand and helped herself, so much so that she stopped sitting there, stood up, and began to state her problems in earnest:
“Actually, the design principles you told me before have benefited me greatly. In accordance with the way you told me, I found the crux and solved the problem. But now I am not just designing the dashboard interface, I need to develop and implement it. Some people say that agile development is better. Some people say that the waterfall model is very powerful. There is no difference between these development methods, and I don’t know where the advantages are. Some people said I needed Scrum in agile development, others said it was actually shmum, others called it Bshmum, and some friends told me that Google’s DesignSprint could help me solve the problem. I feel like my brain is going to explode. So… Sarah do you understand? I need help. ”

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When Jimmy heard about it, Sarah understood what was wrong with him. “Jimmy, it’s okay. We always have problems at some point, and other people’s instructions come in handy. ”
“I can understand that if you search for this information online, there will be too much clutter to make you feel overloaded. Fortunately, if you understand the fundamentals behind these things, it’s relatively easy to sort through everything. ”
“I knew I should have asked Sarah first. Jimmy couldn’t help complaining to himself. Speaking, he was picking up the paper and pen beside the coffee cup, ready to make notes, just like last time. Sarah saw through his careful thought and laughed, “don’t forget. Then he took a sip of coffee and continued, “Think about why we have agile, waterfall, sprint models, and why we work in cycles. ”
“For efficiency? Jimmy is conscious of scratching his head.
“Yes, but not exactly. Overall, we need a process to present the product, because the human mind has no direct control over the mess. In addition, a clear, documented process ensures that when you’re done, the entire development process of the product is deliverable and the details are traceable. That’s why we need these processes. ”
“The first question is not which process to choose, but why these processes exist and what problems we may encounter. No matter which one you choose. Sarah looked out of the window and continued, “Have you asked other colleagues in the company what kind of process they follow? Sarah asked.
“Most of the agile and waterfall models have been asked. Jimmy said.

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Commitment is the key.

“The first thing to tell you is that the two methods are excellent. But most companies only choose one of the two methods. So when people adopt Agile or Waterfall, we see more of the little sprints they make in design or development. In the past, we’ve seen teams maintain a high-intensity sprint over a time scale of three or six months. In the eyes of onlookers, a clear story, or a picture of the product being designed or developed. The popular practice today is to divide sprints into many different stages, which is why they are now called small sprints. But in essence, things and content have not changed. ”
“In addition, many people will use agile methods to do projects, and will continue to modify them in the process. They hope to achieve better results in this way. In fact, many teams do this consistently and for a long time, without releasing anything for months or even a year and a half. If you are in such a situation, you will ask yourself, what is the problem? I will tell you the reason is that there is no clear commitment and too many distractions. No one will commit to delivering something over a period of time, using excuses for not completing the project on time and on budget. ”
“If it’s only a week or two, a month, well, or a year, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you don’t need to have a clear process and promise to provide something. Of course, this is very challenging. This means that in this case, you have to make some choices to complete the task. Sarah concluded.

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Things that hinder progress

“It doesn’t matter which agile method you use, how many steps you take, or the classic waterfall model, or Google’s design sprint. It’s always assumed that the process is the key, but the reality is that it’s always just a means to an end. ”
“The real problem is that human nature is lazy and fails to deliver things as promised. Procrastination, inflated ego, office politics, party A who likes to do things, gossip-changing customers, and they all get into the product and design process like a roadblock. The endless debate, the ever-changing strategy, the ever-expanding zigzag sessions, all you have to do is sit in the office and think about what’s wrong with your life. Finally, I would like to talk about a project I went through many years ago. “Sarah thought she should talk about this from a specific case.
“So, first of all, you should be clear about delivering something in a specific period of time. You have to ensure that your team will not jump and delay, nor will the budget exceed the plan. You are going to work in the discipline. Constraint is actually a hidden advantage, and perhaps not everyone understands it. You need to remain completely focused. Apart from your comments and comments, you will not be distracted by anything else. In your case, you need to focus on the design and implementation of the dashboard interface. Sarah said.

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“The size of the team is very important. But that’s the story behind us. Let’s talk more carefully later. ”


“Suppose you have a team of three people working together to develop and release the next feature of your product. Specific to your head is to develop and implement the redesigned dashboard for you. You need to make sure that the rest of the company doesn’t come to interfere with their work or discuss anything other than this project. ”
“This is very important. They must remain focused. Reducing the likelihood of being disturbed — or not being disturbed is the best thing, and they can focus and think clearly. They don’t need to do anything other than the task at hand, and they don’t get distracted by other tasks. They should have sufficient control and autonomy over how to do the work at hand, when and what to do. Lastly, please bear in mind this:
The team must be small enough. If it is too large, communication problems will become a major obstacle. The cost of increasing one person’s information and ideas is doubled. If you have too much freedom, too much resources, and too many people, you’ll not only get overly designed, over-worked, over-budgeted, and a product that doesn’t have a focus and doesn’t work well. ”

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Problems always arise.

“If you take a step back and look at the problem, as I said, you realize that the problem behind the process is not the quality of the process itself, nor the company, the people, the country, the culture, or anything else. This is about discipline and restraint. Not only the team itself needs discipline, but also the sense of discipline and discipline. As we know, teams, products, and companies are top-down, top-down disciplines, constraints, and insights that determine bottom-level discipline, tuning, and output. ”
Now, you may ask yourself, what will happen if you have problems with your project? First of all, you need a clear vision or idea of what you want to achieve. Unless your vision and goals are clear enough, you will not be able to offer commitments. Before the project starts, the vision / goal must be clearly defined, achievable, difficult, and enforceable, otherwise it will be deviated from the process. Here are some tips for you to remember:
Don’t deceive yourself. You need to plan the whole project ahead of time to avoid mistakes. A lot of things go wrong, so you need a goal and a vision, you need to move toward that goal, and you need to be ready to solve problems and correct deviations. Once you’re influenced by other factors, it’s easy to increase development time, budget, and recruit more people. Do not believe in the so-called planning and blueprint, it is nothing. The problem is that it’s bound to happen. When it goes wrong, focus on the final goal, grab the project at hand, and nothing else. ”
Sarah says that Jimmy has begun to think. “So, after I’ve told you these things, what are you going to do next for the dashboard project you have on hand? ”

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Things that need to be kept in mind

Jimmy’s mind was still reflecting on what Sarah had just said, and his subconscious reply was, “Be far-sighted, clear-sighted, ready for impending errors and problems, build a small enough independent team, separate from the rest of the company and focus on what’s right without interruption. The most important task is to deliver the promised products before the date of commitment. But I don’t know how small the team is. How many people should I bring? Jimmy asked.
“If I say I know you need to bring a few, then I must be lying to you. However, in general, your product is not too large, I suggest that control within 3 people. You’re the project’s lead designer and product manager. There’s no big problem with design. You need two developers, one responsible for the front end and one responsible for the back end. That’s enough. Sarah replied.
“Then how many people should I spend on this? Jimmy asked again.
“This is your project. Time should be measured by you. However, you need to know at the outset how much resources you have on hand, how much time you have to devote to the project, how much budget is available, and how patient the management team is. And it’s not time that matters, it’s your commitment, and what you have to deliver when you get there. This is not only a responsibility to the top, but also a goal and a clear boundary for you and your project. Your project doesn’t look small, and it may take a month to develop under this workload. But remember, in a month, you must submit a usable product. From my point of view, I am not allowed to increase the budget and time. Constraints are beneficial to both sides. Sarah said.
“Then I would like to ask the first question: should we use agile or waterfall models? Jimmy still can’t help asking.
“I don’t know. Sarah said frankly, “your project should be decided by you. For me, choosing which process is not really the most important issue. Instead, as I just said, the issues that precede the process are the most important. These factors have a far-reaching impact on commitment, team building and management. If you know the product that will eventually be produced, the process is just a means. Sarah concluded with a smile. Speaking, she reached for the document that had not been read before. “Thank you, Sarah,” Jimmy laughed. “You seem to have saved me once again.” Jimmy walked out of Sarah’s office.
“My door is always open. “Sarah whispered,” away, Jimmy probably didn’t hear the whisper.

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When designing and developing digital products, the leaders of each team can choose the processes and methods they are used to or prefer. It doesn’t matter what approach we use, and we may encounter more new approaches and strategies in the next decade. The only constant is always the most fundamental problem, team commitment and delivery.
I’ve noticed that some people call processes like agility and waterfall models used by products “God of the Project.” But in fact, no matter what the process is, it can still get bogged down in endless nagging sessions and meaningless debates, and when problems arise, it begins to change the timetable. “We couldn’t finish Function A on time, so we couldn’t develop Module B, and the developers needed to get involved in the next project, so we didn’t have enough resources, so the project had to stop for a month. This is a common case and a typical negative case.
I believe that the product team should be highly focused on the current product and be isolated from the needs of other products and irrelevant issues. “Hey, Angela, our big client wants this to go live today. Can you put your project aside and help us get this product online? This is also a negative case. Refuses.


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