Our approach

1. Dream

It all starts with an idea, which translates into a dream. That dream generally holds a certain value. That’s what the first phase is all about. It’s about exploring ideas, dreams, and visions, and analyzing where the pain points lie in realizing such a dream. So, the first phase is really about the direction you want to take. Technology also comes into play in this phase. It’s a moment to explore which technologies best fit the destination you have in mind.

One of the methods we use for that is service design. For example, you have an end-to-end process in place, aiming to support your users as effectively as possible. These users can be both internal employees and customers. We integrate various processes and systems into this, which provides a good starting point for a new design. Once you have this, you can move on to the design phase.

We start in the dream phase by examining the workflow. This clarifies how the end-to-end process looks and should look in the future. We conduct a SWOT analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of such a process. When you’re undergoing a digital transformation, you’re not just rebuilding one-to-one. You want to elevate something to a higher level, and this type of analysis helps with that.

Ultimately, we translate that into a roadmap where we simply place the epics and features on a timeline. You can then determine that upon completion of a specific epic/feature, the application will truly add value. Additionally, you can expand the roadmap by adding a clear vision statement and business KPIs.

2. Design

In the design phase, we translate functional requirements and wishes into a prototype and technical design. We always start by creating a prototype to validate that the solution meets the needs of people and organizations. This helps save unnecessary design and development costs. Prototypes are quicker to create than software, even when developed with low code. Only after we have validated the functional solution, we translate it into architecture and data models.

During this phase, the focus is primarily on determining what needs to be solved and for what purpose. Here, an enterprise/domain architect will primarily define and validate the questions with the stakeholders. This is documented in enterprise and reference architectures.

“Enterprise architecture (EA) is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of organizations. The purpose of enterprise architecture is to determine how an organization can effectively achieve its current and future objectives.”

“A reference architecture is like a manual that instructs you on bringing together people, processes, products, and services to create a solution. It demonstrates how to best utilize specific technologies while adhering to industry best practices.”

Additionally, we need user acceptance criteria when developing new functionalities. Beforehand, we check with the user what the application needs to meet the requirements and be good enough. These are then incorporated into user stories.

3. Develop

To be flexible in responding to user needs during the development phase, we work agile and in sprints, and provide a demo. During a demo, feedback can be gathered from users. Peer reviews and regression testing are ways for us to test the software in between. Additionally, it’s important to us that users accept new software before it goes into production. With a user acceptance test, we ensure that new software is only delivered once users are satisfied. It should contribute to the workflow in the process and add value. When the software becomes significant enough to truly add value, it transitions into the drive phase.

In this phase, a solution and/or technical (software, infrastructure, data, cloud, security, etc.) architect creates the design for the technical solution. The goal of architecture is to provide the most optimal “fit for purpose” solution. This means that the solution is effective and meets the needs, capabilities, and organization goals while aligning with the enterprise and/or reference architecture. Additionally, architecture is agile in this era and thus continuously subject to changes.

4. Drive

In the drive phase, we continuously add new functionalities by repeating the same steps in the process. With this way of working, you achieve a much higher development speed. In the drive phase, we also take new applications into management. This allows us to support the use of the app and perform maintenance to ensure the application continues to work seamlessly.

Result

We measure the outcome of our approach in numbers. This could be in terms of a new project where the new product is expected to lead to increased revenue. With an existing product, you can also look at improving profit margins. The key results we focus on are automation rate, margin, and employee satisfaction.

Using low code and conducting a thorough analysis before starting development, requires less investment. If you invest more in the dream and design phases, you’ll spend less money in the development phase. Furthermore, the development of the application will proceed more quickly.

Curious about the possibilities?

Are you curious about how your problem can be solved using the 4D model? Or are you already well on your way with your plan and would like one of our professionals to take a look with you? Feel free to contact us without obligation!

Jimmy Iliohan