Talk about a journey!
From the first whiteboard session that sketched out the basic concept for Method Grid, through to early private beta iterations and our first paying clients, there hasn’t been a week where the solution has stood still.
It’s this aspect of the product-based entrepreneurial adventure that we love the most: the observation of, and dialogue with, our growing community of real-world users.
This dynamic has always sat at the heart of our agile development mindset and has led to the incremental evolution of a solution that no one mind could ever have predicted all those years ago.
We now stand at another major milestone on this path.
The starting point of which was the comprehensive user survey back in the summer – see results here.
The findings reinforced what we were seeing in practice. Once organisational leaders (and it does need leadership!) have grasped the benefit of systematically investing in the build of structured, repeatable playbooks (methodologies, service propositions, operating procedures, training syllabi etc.) then it is a small leap-of-logic to use such “grids” as the basis for organising consistent delivery and quality assurance of such practice.
In simple terms, a powerful challenge was agitated by our users: to make Method Grid a platform for integrated knowledge AND project management.
With that goal framed, we have spent the last few months holistically designing how this major new release should work – as led by our talented UX designer (Tom Knights) and in close conversation with many of you (a huge thanks to everyone who has contributed – this is truly a design shaped and refined by a hundred minds).
The following assets describe this release through the device of a typical Method Grid user situation: a professional service firm using developed, structured intellectual property (e.g. a client service methodology) to project manage these services to a real-world client commission.
The description also focuses on distinct user avatars: firm executives (seeking dashboard overview), project leads (seeking easy project set up and assurance oversight), project team members (seeking productivity enablement) and, as required, external project members (say, an end-client seeking visibility on engagement progress).
PPM Release | What will it look like?
Asset 01: Recent Webinar – 20-minute video describing the PPM Release
Asset 02: Detailed description through an example (project based) user story
Asset 03: Illustrative new screen designs for the PPM Release
These will give you a sense of the work needed to get to this point: the starting gate for this new – and very exciting – set of features.
PPM Release | Development Roadmap | When will we see these new features?
By common request, you now want to know when these features will appear.
This blog seeks to answer that question but before doing so, a reminder as to how the (lean but perfectly formed) development team works here at Method Grid HQ.
Essentially, we subscribe fully to the agile school of software development. Whilst, with this release, we very much needed to have a formed sense of the “big picture” (how it will all fit together), we always seek to then develop fast-paced, incremental benefit for our users.
Typically, we work to a fortnightly “sprint” duration – deploying upgrade releases with no disruption to our user community i.e. they just happen in the background. We communicate this regular stream of updates in our “Product News” blog stream.
To this end, many of you will be pleased to receive our next release: the ability for professional users to enjoy single-sign-on (SSO) in integration with their own common-place, corporate active directories (Microsoft and Okta initially).
With SSO almost out of the door and the high-level PPM design “locked down”, the development team are now raring to go with this major piece of work.
Following Monday’s full-team sprint planning session, we can now communicate the following major new release (target deployment) plan:
DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 15 November 2019:
- Interface updates (as foundation for new release):
- new dropdown design (improved corporate look/feel)
- new button colours (improved corporate look/feel)
- updated off-canvas design (improved corporate look/feel)
- repositioned buttons (consistency across application)
- other improved design consistencies