Business applications cost more to develop every year, yet satisfaction with the end result keeps going down. Why? Because successful application development begins and ends with good design.
This is the first post in a series that will focus on the top five design considerations you need to keep in mind for your projects. This post focuses on workflow and collaboration specifically. Future posts will highlight mobile applications, enterprise search, business intelligence, and custom development.
1. Understanding of the Problem
What problems are you trying to solve/automate through the application of these technologies? For example, just turning a print form into an electronic form does not provide a great deal of return on investment unless it is linked to a more overarching process that can be automated (e.g. authorizing access to resources, creating new accounts, applying for benefits, etc.).
2. End-User Expectations
What does the end-user expect to see in a collaborative solution? Do they expect social features such as wikis and chats, or are they looking for a way to create and share documents? Managing these expectations and providing training on how to use the resulting features is a fundamental key to the success of these types of solutions.
3. Does the technology fit?
Although the tools available are very sophisticated, you will want to ensure that they a good match for the business problem that needs to be solved. If a custom solution is necessary to meet the business requirements, keep in mind that will likely involve an up-front investment and considerations about longer-term maintenance to those customizations.
4. Conversions from Older/Existing Systems
Will your solution require converting from or interfacing to an existing system? Will you need to access information stored in external systems? If so, is the format of that information compatible with the solution or will the team need to create/test conversion code?
Can the existing infrastructure (e.g. network, database servers, security authentication) handle the increased loads that a collaborative/workflow solution will create? Do new servers need to be acquired/provisioned? Are there disaster recovery plans/infrastructure that need to be created/upgraded?
For more information, please visit our workflow and collaboration thought leadership page.