There is a lot of conventional wisdom in product development methodologies. The trick is to be able to harness the benefits associated with these models, whilst being prepared to take a fresh approach where necessary. This often involves working in harmony with client company practice so as to make novel development methods acceptable to those that own the budget.
The most appropriate approach will depend on what stage of the product development cycle the client has reached. Early proof of concept and budget sign-off requirements can often best be addressed by using off-the-shelf hardware and software solutions. Careful selection of the best-fit platform at this stage can also help shorten subsequent product development phases. However, caution is needed to avoid unwanted intellectual property issues relating to open source, public licence design elements.
The right combination of classic waterfall and more fluid agile development strategies can empower the client in two ways. It can provide certainty of core product functions, and at the same time facilitate the choice of user-dependant features that may become more evident through user-experience trials and testing throughout the development process.
Fen has tailored the optimum development strategy for a wide variety of client types. The common thread has been successful delivery and a client that is comfortable with the development process.