Our Methodologies
 
 
 
PROJECT AND DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGIES

 

BUILDING TRUST THROUGH LANGUAGE

Our principal architect was trained in the BDA methodology, which emphasizes the critical role of language in the success or failure of projects. Certain key words - commitment, assesment, customer, trust - have meaning in everyday life - but take on new value when seen through the BDA methodology.

The following is excerpted from an article written by Tom Petzinger Jr. in his column "The Front Lines" on Dr. Fernando Flores, published by the The Wall Street Journal on May 23, 1997.

"From the German philosopher Martin Heidegger he learned that existence arises from interaction. Studying the theory of "speech acts," he realized that language always conveys not merely information but commitment. And soon a light bulb went off: "A human society," as he puts it, "operates through the expression of requests and promises." A business, likewise, is a collection of simultaneous conversations, and every conversation involves an act of commitment. ("Can you do this?" "I will pay that amount.") In this "network of commitments," everyone is a customer, a provider, or both at once. Thus, where computers are concerned, "You should not track information, you should track commitments."

These concepts infuse the way we manage projects and interact with our clients, as well as the way we design our applications to best model the way our clients' business is conducted.

The original, quite academic and philosophical treatise (but well-worth reading) is

Understanding Computers and Cognition:

A more recent book is Building Trust:

Read more about trust in this profile of BDA's founder, Fernando Flores.

ENABLING OUR CLIENTS

Our clients engage us to provide them help in two distinct areas: momentum and technology.

In the first case, we are engaged to assist your existing staff in building a system that is well-understood, but under-staffed. We are then able to offer our assistance in designing and building towards a deadline that would not be acheivable without additional help. At the conclusion of the project, your existing staff is well able to support and maintain the system without further outside assistance.

When we bring technology to our client, the situation can be more complicated. In this case, your staff may not have all of the knowledge necessary to implement the project. In fact, you may have no dedicated IT staff whatsoever.

In all cases, TimeBytes is commited to leaving you with the tools and skills you need to support and maintain the system on your own. To that end, we feel that it is crucial in all situations for you to be involved as much as possible in the development of the system. In this way, at the successful conclusion of the project, you can maintain and improve the system yourself. This does not mean you need a huge programming and IT staff! In this business environment, everyone needs to do more with less. TimeBytes will therefore help you identify a member of your staff who is willing and able to wear two hats as necessary - and we will teach them what they need to know and give them the tools they need to do those tasks in a minimum amount of time - so they can quickly get back to their 'main' job.

A major goal of a TimeBytes engagement is technology transfer - we want to teach your staff how the new system works, to include them in the process. When your staff builds a system alongside TimeBytes personnel, you get two huge benefits: 1) increased staff ownership of the final project and 2) staff knowledge of the system at all levels. With these two benefits, your staff will be willing and able to improve the system without requiring further outside help.

Of course, TimeBytes is always pleased to help in any way we can going forward - most of our work comes in the form of follow-on projects from satisfied clients.

STRUCTURED DEVELOPMENT

We also believe in structured development, with proper testing at each stage.

Read more about that in an excellent book,

Bulletproofing Web Applications.

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