Basic Workflow of Our Dev Team

A common quirk between Clients with Web Products and Web Dev Teams Wanting To Build Web Products is that there’s something lost in translation between point A and point B. Preventative measures to this could be implemented -- but are usually passed by and a project ends up on its head.

No one’s specifically to blame for this. Dev teams aren’t out to eat your project and you’re not in the market to spend a lot of money for nothing. But this weird disconnect happens between these two worlds and I think a lot of it has to do with the two worlds not quite meshing.

For those of you considering a web project and commissioning a team to do it, I felt a basic rundown of what our web development workflow looks like.

We’ll make sure to discuss in more depth how we start a project in another article. For now we’ll be focusing on our weekly rhythm.

It’s not always a Monday thing but at the ‘top of the week’ we always meet for a quick 30-60 minute kanban. The purpose of which is three-fold: Follow-up Last Week Declare this week Discuss roadblocks

This is where you, as our client, get the chance to talk to the developer directly. Ideally, you’ll feel comfortable enough to voice your concerns here and now before we kick off into the next sprint. By sprint, PXP refers to the weekly tasks and we’ll talk about last week’s sprint and this week’s. Once the meeting’s wrapped up, we find it’s the most efficient to leave everyone to their own devices and specialities.

In the place of spontaneous checkups on your part, we insist on keeping organization using Trello. This way, you can comment on the week’s jobs without disrupting a developer in the zone.

We try to make our project boards as readable as possible and keep them uniform so that anyone can hop into any project and know what’s up. Each of these swim lanes has a distinct purpose and can help guide our Monday meetings.

The Backlog

This is the pile. All of the things need doing but while they sit here, we know that they can wait. Now, since this is your project, it can feel easy to be swept up in how important *all* the tasks are but there’s always a priority.

The Pull Queue

Each week, we’re going to talk about what’s coming next. In a perfect world, this is empty at the top of the meeting and full at the bottom as everyone takes from the Backlog and commits to tasks by bringing them to the pull queue.

WIP

This is probably the most fluid of the swim lanes and is more a heads up to those attached to a card. Someone during the week grabs a pull queue card and takes it to WIP. Once they’re done working on it for the day, it should slip back into the pull queue or forward into peer review so someone can take a look at the progress.

Peer Review

One of the greatest advantages of having a whole dev team is that we keep each other honest. Sometimes one of us misses a step or a change doesn’t translate just right -- and another dev can be there to double check and make sure you’re getting the best.

Client Review

At the top of our kanban, we’re hoping to have plenty in here for you to overview. This is the last step before things are considered completed. We’ve discussed the task at the beginning, it’s gone through a rigorous testing period, and now you’re up to take an honest look and either OK things or give feedback and toss it back to the backlog/pull queue.

Completed

Instead of deleting cards we prefer to keep them here. It’s an easy way to reference past tasks for any information pertinent to future tasks -- and it stands as a morale checkpoint where we can see all the progress made so far.

All this is meant to help our meetings, weekly workflow, and finally our invoice to you. With the help of our custom-built time app, we use these trello cards not only as helpful reminders but as data points for our pricing. When you receive our invoice, you’ll be informed of each and every card worked on -- as well as the time and cost attached to each.

Some clients of ours say it’s too comprehensive -- they’d just be happy with a cut and dry total cost. But we find that more and more clients appreciate being able to see all those little details since it helps them learn just what goes into a development task.

The way we organize is not for everyone. But it’s the way that works best for our independent ecosystem. This way, you’re kept up to speed and our developers are given the space they need to really shine. But the one thing our workflow incentivizes is engagement by all parties and if you’re willing to speak up, learn, and push alongside us, your project will soar.

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