Providing a better service. CUTE!Happy New Year, everyone!
Salutations out of the way, we can get back to business. Before christmas we posted Mattched IT's New Years Resolutions and its time for an update on the steps we've taken towards them.
Third on our list (foremost in our minds) was "Building stronger relationships with our clients", key to which is the provision of high quality services. Last year we identified what we felt were two key weaknesses in our delivery of web projects.
Firstly, our releasing process was far from perfect. There were minor glitches with a number of projects and it was clear that a more managed approach was required to improve the situation. It also became apparent that in some cases, clients were not fully aware of our processes and standards.
Secondly, our client sign-off process was very woolly and consisted mainly of emails. If you've ever worked in an environment where you deliver something to someone then you will understand just how critical it is to get this right. It isn't about laying blame, but it is about accountability. This goes beyond the "cover your backside" culture which is all too present in some organisations. Knowing what was accepted is absolutely vital when you want to deliver a high quality product or service.
We identified three actions immediately. The first - a new process for releasing websites - has been in place for several months and has dramatically reduced the number of issues. Sites are now copied from our test system, rather than being freshly installed in the live environment.
Next, we decided that some of our terms, conditions, processes and procedures need to be better documented on our website. This is not complete yet, but is in the draft stages. It includes making a list of browsers which we test in readily available on our website, amongst other things.
Finally - CUTE. We are rebuilding our test platform from the ground up, using a new framework designed in-house. It's called the "Common User Testing Environment" and we're very excited about it. It will offer clients a way to log in securely from anywhere to view a test release of their project whenever they want. The sign-off process is managed through the same interface, so once happy the release accurately represents their specification and is functioning correctly, they can sign it off.
We love the name, too: Q. Do you have a test environment available? A. Yes. It's CUTE!
So there you have our progress so far. How about you? Are your business resolutions languising in the corner, or have you taken action already?