A Space-O Guide to Project Management and Development Activities

A Space-O Guide to Project Management and Development Activities
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Flexible Methodology – a Win-Win Situation.

This article is meant as a guideline. No two projects are alike. The Project manager is responsible for being thoughtful about the process: what documents are appropriate for this project? What phases are appropriate for this project? In addition to tailoring the process to fit the project, the Program Manager should also tailor the process to fit the individuals and skill set of the project team.

After delivery of hundred’s of iPhone / Android and Blackberry applications ranging from Business Apps… to Utilities or it might development of Game, we have to say one thing we need to have a Flexible Methodology for development of an a project, the reason to this is very simple, 65% clients approaching us are non-technical clients  or even if they are technical this might be there first iPhone or Android Project, so they need a lot of handhold from start to end.  Even they need support in getting Apple developer ID or they need our support how to deploy the Application on device for testing at there end during development phases. For such clients, we use simple tools which includes Elance-PMB message board or give them access to our online Project Management System (BaseCamp) additionally we use Skype, TeamViewer for support can communication.

For clients who are Technical and already know software development lifecycle or either they are Software development company we prefer to use:

  • Online Project collaboration tools like BaseCamp
  • Online BugTracking & Ticketing system of www.lighthouseapp.com
  • If the client does not have mockups and wireframe and we both need to collaborate jointly then we use online Mockup tools of https://www.lucidchart.com
Spaceo Project Management Methodology

Lets take a deeper look:

a. Project Plan: 

A Project Manager (who has minimum 4+ years of core mobile application development expernces), from Space-O, will be your assistant, collaborator and liaison during this process.

The steps we take to establish this project are:

Step 1. Create Project Team

The Project Manager will be assigned to the project. This project manager will work with offshore project manager to select the team best suited for this project with the skill set and background.

He will use Basecamp (project management system) as a central tool to store all knowledge base about the project.

Additionally, he contact details and Skype details would be communicated to client.

Step 2. Create System design document

The next step is to develop a System Design Document & Mockups. We personally have found that Mockup of screens are easy for communication between client and developers, Hence either by using online tools or simple hand drawn napkin drawings we initialize this phase.

We norally develop such  document together with CLIENT. This document will determine the feasibility of the technology options that will be used to meet the requirements that will provide the desired features for CLIENT. In addition during the creation of this document future requirements will be discussed to ensure that the new version can support these requirements.

The purpose of the Design Document / mockups is to systematically specify requirements for the project and the features to be developed. Both functional and non-functional specifications are captured in this document. It serves as the guidebook for design and development.

Work on this document will start as soon as an initial work order for the project is signed. The project manager assigned to this project will work with CLIENT technical staff to discuss and resolve any technology or design issues needed to implement the development.

Step 3. Development of Code:

The development team will start development of the programs/ code as specified in the System design document / mockup. We anticipate the Software progress will be tracked via the Basecamp Milestones feature and with weekly status reviews with the project manager, lead developer and CLIENT.

Step 4. Quality Control (QC) & Quality Assurance (QA) / testing or On site testing and acceptance:

For larger projects a  dedicated / part-time QA engineer will be assigned to the project and will be performing on going testing and bug reporting as software development proceeds. If the client is also testing the application at his end then we would prefer to use Lighthouse ticketing & bug tracking system, this is easy and fasest way to keep track of issues and fixes.

He will also work with CLIENT to develop the acceptance test procedures if the clients want this to be part of the project at separate billable hours.

Step 5. Initial delivery:

After the mockups are done we can communicate the start dates and create several milestones and source code is delivery on reaching of each milestone.  For Sharing the Sourcecode we currently either send them as attachment to email if the is small project, for large project we use shared folders using DropBox

b. Communication: 

CLIENT will receive from Space-O, on a regular basis, deliverables such as; code releases, documentation, schemas, database designs and status report for review through BaseCamp.

To facilitate, organize and present these deliverables, CLIENT will receive an account and login privileges to Space-O’s Online tools including Basecamp.

Posted there are all documents, status reports and detailed descriptions of the software development process for you to see and respond to. CLIENT can ask us to add one or more of his staff members on Basecamp and is responsible to assign their own project manger to work with Space-O on a daily basis to provide tasks, review the project implementations and provide feedback to Space-O.

Phone calls or Conference Calls:

You can talk to our sales, PM, or billing representatives by calling at anytime during your business day to our offices. In 80% cases we are available to talk immediately. In the rest 20% cases we may need 3-6 business hours advance notice.

Email or Basecamp:

Basecamp is most preferred way of communication than email because its easy to keep all communication and project knowledge in once central place.

Skype or IM Messengers.

CLIENT is responsible to assign their own project manger to work with Space-O on a daily basis to provide tasks, review the project implementations and provide feedback to Space-O.   Our Project Manager and Clients Project Manager can use tools like Skype or other IM messanger for Voice / Video Conference calls.

c.  Development Process: 

Document Available on Request, please ask us if you need to know the development process.

d. Project Lifecycle Methodology: 

Document Available on Request, please ask us if you need to know the development process.

e. Project Management Structure: 

The project team for the Development phases will be organized as follows:

 Project Manager at Space-O <—> Project Manager at Client



      • Mobile Developers
      • QA Engineers

f. Roles and Responsibilities

Project Manager

  • Manages the overall Project, the development environment, and provides process related support for the teams on the project.
  • Leads and coordinates technical activities and artifacts the project.
  • Establishes the overall structure for each architectural view: the decomposition of the view, the grouping of elements, and the interfaces between these major groupings.

Team Architect

  • Develop System design document, provide lead and guidance to team.


  • Develop appropriate modules assigned by the Lead developer.

Quality Assurance Tester (the second developer will perform this task)

  • Executes testing, including test set-up and execution,
  • Evaluates test execution and recovery from errors.
  • Assesses the results of test and logging of identified defects.

g. Discovery & Knowledge Transfer Detail: 

During the first weeks Space-O will review the documentation, learn the existing system and its business logic of the tasks and will ask CLIENT team if there are any unclear questions. Space-O will regularly contact CLIENT to clarify the system design requirements and user workflows.

CLIENT is responsible for maintaining its production systems. Also a QA/Staging environment (servers, databases) needs to be configured where Space-O will be uploading code updates for CLIENT’s review and feedback. Maintenance of QA/Staging servers is the responsibility of CLIENT. In the event CLIENT needs Space-O to allocate resources or create QA/Staging servers it needs to be discussed separately for each tasks since software-licensing fees could be involved.

Throughout the project Space-O requires CLIENT to provide timely clarifications, review of the work results and feedback.

Space-O will contact CLIENT person responsible for work with status reports, questions and code drops for review.

CLIENT will track the project’s status using Space-O’s Basecamp based Project Tracking Management System. The project plans and tasks are updated according to the tracking results.

h. Documentation

Space-O utilizes IT Project Management methodology for managing the documenting process and documentation content throughout the project development life cycle. Software documentation can be classified as follows:

  • Technological documentation defines the software development process and contains detailed technical descriptions. It is intended for use by our software design, development, maintenance and testing specialists in order for them to master, enhance and correct the programs and data throughout the entire software life cycle.
  • The document integration is carried out according to the Project Management methodology
  • The life cycle of the CLIENT project is similar to the industry standards:
    • Analysis and specification development
    • Preliminary design.
    • In-depth design.
    • Component coding and debugging.
    • Integration and complex debugging.
    • System testing and documenting.
    • Release to production and product maintenance.
  • To effectively manage the software development and documenting process, a software development plan is created. The plan outline is as follows:
    • General structure of the documentation package.
    • Terms, definitions, and the content of each document.
    • Document structure, quality and notation requirements.
    • Document integration and storage requirements.
    • Document preparation, checking, editing, control, discussion, approval and distribution schedules.
  • To implement the documentation plans, we create documents that regulate:
    • Document creation process.
    • Obligations and duties of specialists responsible for each particular document.
    • Resources required for document creation.
    • Document quality requirements and control methods.
  • QA documentation

Document Available on Request, please ask us if you need to know the development process.

i. Work-Load Split

Space-O proposes to develop all products from its development facilities. During creation of the System Design document and the user acceptance phase the Space-O Project Manager and developers will be available for review and issues clarifications.

j. Project Monitoring and Control

Project status reports will be issued weekly and will include milestone-tracking details to ensure that the project stays on track. Changes in the schedule will be escalated to the project managers, who will then decide whether to alter scope in order to preserve target completion dates.

k. Requirements and Change Management Plan

All feedback from CLIENT will be logged; the software problems or bugs will be registered and acknowledged by issuing a bug description document. Space-O agrees to solve all bugs during the warranty period within the costs given for this project. All change requests that are out of scope need to be discussed with the Project Manager.

l. Quality Control Plan

All deliverables are required to go through the appropriate review process. The review is required to ensure that each deliverable is of acceptable quality, using guidelines described in the XP review guidelines and checklists. In addition, defects will be recorded and tracked.

m. Reporting Plan

Weekly project status reports will be issued. Phase and iteration summary reports will also be issued at the appropriate time on the Basecamp project management system.

n. Measurement Plan

Effort and time will be used to track progress of the project. The project manager will use Planned vs. Actual reports to measure progress.

o. Development Approach

Space-O will use Rapid Application Development Approach (RAD) or XP which need to be discussed before the beginning of the project. It’s the most suitable approach for this type of joint development in a distributed environment.

p. Coding Standards

Unless coding standards provided by CLIENT, Space-O will be using its own development standards.

q. Defect/Bug Tracking & Repair Process

We use lighthhouse online bug tracking system and client and Space-O team will be given.

r. Final systems testing (regression) and preparation

  • User Guide update according to the CLIENT feedback
  • Regression testing and bug fixing.
  • Installation and Administration Guides
  • Preparation of the source files, packages, etc. to be transferred to CLIENT.

s. Warranty/Support Plan

We can provide CLIENT with a customized support plan to meet your specific needs. The software will be warranted for 6 months from release.

We make source code security a high priority and take every necessary precaution to prevent any leaks outside of the team. Each employee signs and adheres to an individual NDA agreement.

We take every step possible to prevent un-authorized internal and external access and network based attacks to source repositories. We utilize Firewalls for the local network in our company and corporate wide anti-virus software. We employ 1 system and network administrators in our company.

Our contract specifies that all copyright, and Intellectual Property ownership, remain with our clients. Space-O is assigned no, and retains no, derivative works of our Client’s Intellectual Properties.

t. Milestones

Based on the development milestones, code modifications will be remotely delivered and installed on CLIENT’s server(s). If it’s required, the deliverables can be set up on the server and an additional set of unit/system testing can be performed. The final milestone release will have the necessary technical and user documentation based on CLIENT requests. CLIENT would be responsible for providing the sets of documentation Space-O needs to develop each task.