Methodology

The Qualicom Development Methodology (QDM) is a proprietary version of the software development methodology that we use to develop most of our own applications. It includes six interrelated phases:

  • Vision/Scope
  • Requirements
  • Usability
  • Development
  • QA
  • Deployment


This structure is iterable, and flexible enough to work well for projects lasting from a few months to several years. Alternatively, we also have considerable experience working within our clients' existing software development approaches, either exclusively or in conjunction with QDM. Our best practices integrate well with existing methodologies, often leading to significant synergies.

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Requirements

A key to Qualicom's success in software development projects is our strong focus on requirements analysis. We make sure we're building the right software. Our requirements documents focus on what needs to be done, not how to do it.

This helps us retain our user-centred focus and gives us the flexibility to use the best techniques available as development proceeds in an agile manner. It also improves readability, which helps business users review and sign off on the documentation.

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Interaction Design

At the start of a project, business analysts and user experience designers work together, using techniques such as contextual interviews, focus groups, task analysis, and user profiling to gather information about the business, the users, and the users' workflows.

The user experience designer then iterates through various design possibilities, working with business users to make any necessary changes before coding begins. This allows us to "get it right the first time", ensuring high user satisfaction levels, good productivity, and low ongoing support costs.

As development proceeds, we keep communication open with the users, making sure all stakeholders remain on the same page at each Agile Sprint cycle right through to system implementation. View Qualicom's technical paper, User-Centred Development: Interaction Design Overview.

At Qualicom, documentation and training activity starts as soon as requirements gathering is complete. This has several benefits:

  • Improvement in quality. Without increasing time on task, this approach maximises elapsed time, allowing our technical communicators and trainers to thoroughly understand the software and translate that understanding for your users.
  • Focus on user needs. Our documentation and training is task-oriented, focusing on the users' needs and processes and providing context for the software's functionality.
  • Integration with QA. Test scripts can be written based on the documentation, thereby ensuring a focus on usability as well as making obvious any deviation from specifications.
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Documentation

Qualicom has considerable documentation experience. Our in-house documentation is single-sourced for output to multiple media, products, locations, and clients using conditionalized content. For clients, we have coordinated a number of projects using varying skills and technologies. Examples include:

Training

Qualicom has developed and presented a number of training classes for the retail products that we sell, as well as for custom applications developed for clients. Our training classes are a blend of background information and hands-on exercises, geared specifically to the audience. We can provide train-the-trainers (T3) classes, including the necessary materials for subsequent end user training, or we can train the end users directly.

Our enterprise consulting work often includes a more informal element as we mentor client staff throughout a project. We've also presented a number of seminars to clients and professional organizations on topics such as business requirements gathering and user-centred development.