Playbook

Toctoc's

Welcome to TocToc’s PlayBook, where transparency is our priority. We’re all about being upfront with you because we value your trust. Our aim is to help you invest your resources wisely and achieve the results you are after. When it comes to your projects, time, and money, consider them in safe hands with us. This PlayBook is your go-to resource for getting an overview of how we function when you hire us.

Analysing Requisites

Analysing client needs is the first step in any project. The steps involved in requirements analysis are as follows:
  • Compiling and evaluating customer needs
  • Requirements Documentation
  • Estimating a project
Members of the team analysing requirements include the following.
  • The Project Manager
  • The Sales Manager
  • Creator
  • The development team and TeamLead

Customer Requirements Collection and Analysis

The process of collecting and analysing client requirements is crucial for project development, as it determines the project’s length and quality. These requirements, which can be functional or non-functional, are essential for understanding the system’s behaviours under specific circumstances. Functional and non-functional requirements outline the qualities or attributes needed for the system to function successfully, while functional requirements define the system’s behaviours under specific circumstances. The PMBOK Guide lists various techniques for gathering requirements. Our organisation exclusively employs the following techniques:
  • Getting feedback through Questionnaires, Interviews, and Surveys
  • Analysis of Requirements
  • Generating ideas
  • Making prototypes

Documenting Requirements

The manager is responsible for making sure that every customer requirement has been thoroughly examined and recorded following the conclusion of the “Gathering and analysing client requirements” stage. RL (Requirements List) is the documented list of client requirements regarding the project. Together with the TeamLead/TechLead and the development team, the PM prepares all documentation. They also coordinate and verify the completed work with the client. Our team receives prepared documents for the estimating phase when the client gives their approval. The Project Manager is responsible for updating the links to the papers or the files as necessary.

Project Quote

Following the collection and analysis of customer requirements, we forward the documented data for estimation to the development team. The Project Manager bears primary responsibility for the estimate with support from Developers and Designers. All of our estimation calculations are stored in a Google Sheet. This spreadsheet follows a format that was created internally by the company. The work completed by the developers at this point results in an XLS file that contains a thorough estimate of every project’s feature that is sent to the PM. The PM discusses the quotes with the client after sending this file along with the estimate. After this conversation, a projected budget and timetable for the project are determined.

Categorisation of Client Requirements

Requirements are the specific features to be implemented, including functionality, user attributes, compatibility with devices, and project behaviour. The requirements analysis stage aims to gather client information, define project scope, evaluate risks, and form a project group. Our team considers all possible requirements to avoid missed estimates, agreements, client frustration, and missed deadlines.

Functional Requirements

User specifications outline website users’ objectives and capabilities, illustrating use cases and addressing registration, accessing information, and data recalculation using predetermined algorithms. Business prerequisites refer to the features that can be implemented from a business perspective, closely related to the term “customer.” Developers define software system functionality based on business and user requirements, defining actions to fulfill user requests. System prerequisites encompass software environment and hardware requirements, often provided by the software’s creator or maker, including operating system, installed components, and RAM capacity.

Non-Functional Requirements

Business policies determine the system’s intended operation. The policies are often derived from internal company policies, legal requirements, or other factors. Quality standards address sustainability, integrity, openness, and interaction with other systems. Key standards include usability, execution, reliability, dependability, user interfaces, and scalability. User interfaces are protocols used to interact with external databases or other systems, such as CRM systems. Development limitations are the “triple constraints” of duration, cost, and quality that are often met in project design, ensuring efficient and effective project execution. A project can be efficient and cost-effective, but it may also take time to complete, especially if the client demands quick and low-cost results.

Gathering Client Requirements

Team Members

  • Analyst or Project Manager
  • The development team and TeamLead
  • Stakeholders representing the client

Prerequisites

  • Ideas of the client
  • Task for Client
  • The project’s overarching goal

Deliverables

Collecting client feedback is crucial for any online project, including website building, design, and support. It involves listing stakeholders and gathering detailed requirements. A thorough list is essential for successful project completion, ensuring the client’s decision-making process and the involvement of stakeholders in gathering needs and details. Our team employs questionnaires, surveys, interviews, and brainstorming to gather client requirements. We utilise questionnaires and surveys to validate or improve previously developed requirements, such as details on the upcoming website and a list of requirements. Interviews can be conducted in person, over the phone, or via Skype, with open-ended and closed-ended questions to gather data and validate specifications. Our team prepares interview questions for clients using voice recording software with their permission. Clients receive a summary email after the interview, including the meeting’s time, attendees, problems, and the next meeting date if needed. Brainstorming sessions encourage participants to generate solutions for issues, either within a team or with the client and their representatives. Combining these approaches makes a collection of requirements more effective and reduces the possibility of requirements being overlooked.

Customer Requirements Documentation

Team Members

  • PM
  • Developers
  • TechLead and TeamLead
  • Customer

Requirements

Client requirements are gathered through voice recordings, notes, mock-ups, and/or UML models.

Deliverables

List of Requirements

The Project Manager (PM) is responsible for thoroughly analysing and documenting client needs, known as the RL (Requirement List). They create a list of requirements based on customer analysis, which can be provided by the client. The project plan is developed through consistent implementation of project requirements, with task scheduling reducing development time. Tasks are selected and completed sequentially based on client priorities. Additional needs are gathered and incorporated into the work process, creating a new timetable for each phase. Our team uses requirements documentation like RL and Description of Features, which is maintained and updated as needed, typically in a Google Drive folder.

Requirement List (RL)

Large projects, like website building, require documentation to clarify requirements. This documentation includes tracking previous RL iterations, including version numbers, dates, and modifications. A table of contents can be added for easy navigation, and links to sections of the text can be included. The TechLead, with English proficiency, drafts the RL, which is accessible to both internal staff and clients. The RL may include visual descriptions, such as screenshots, charts, graphs, mock-ups, or designs, in addition to a written description.

Description of Features

Medium-sized and smaller projects often use this type of requirements documentation to enhance existing functionality rather than build a website from scratch. The project’s features are broken down into steps in a shared Google Drive folder. The project manager creates a description of features detailing element behaviours, connections, personalised cabinet or bucket characteristics, visual impact, checkout procedures, and user privileges. This documentation is created using an approved template, and all authorized modifications are recorded. Features are thoroughly explained, and details are clearly stated. All requirements are estimated and validated by the customer, serving as a guideline or checklist for the Development Planning stage.

Project Design

Team Members

  • The Project Manager
  • Designer

Requirements

  • The requirement for designing
  • Ideas of the client
  • Wireframes or mock-ups (if available)

Deliverables

  • Wireframes or mock-ups (if needed)
  • PSD formatted design
When a customer requests a design, they receive a PSD file, not a functioning website, and are informed about the final design’s functionality and layout. If they just want a design, they are shown sample websites and colour schemes. If no specification is provided, mock-ups or wireframes are requested, along with a unit-by-unit description of each page. The designer creates layouts for every page, and the client can review the design page by page.

Project Pricing

1. Making a Quotation

The PM provides a comprehensive list of client files and information, along with a detailed description. The development team, along with TeamLead, thoroughly reviews the data, asking questions and providing feedback. They break down the project into smaller components and provide estimates, often offering a min-max plug.

2. Developing a Commercial Proposal

The client receives an XLS file with task lists and budget estimates. The project manager drafts a commercial proposal (PC), a template-based document outlining project parameters and company information. The client receives the PC in PDF format. It includes the project plan, goals, target audience, objectives, technological options, scope, cost and payment terms, and post-launch details. The PC serves as a comprehensive record of the project’s progress and potential issues, including scope, financial details, and payment terms. It also includes the director’s signature and stamp.

Overview of Project Development and Planning

The project moves onto the Planning and Development phase as soon as the requirement list is complete and the client approves the project quote. There are three primary stages to this process:
  • Project scheduling
  • Project development
  • Technical assistance
The following workers are involved in the project’s development and planning:
  • PM, or Project Manager
  • The development team and TeamLead
  • Designer and Tester
  • Customer
  • The company’s CTO
The Department Managers handle coordination and decision-making, requests for access to files and folders, and organisational concerns.

Stages of Project Planning

Planning a Project

The PMBOK defines success as completing a project within the approved criteria of scope, time, and quality during the planning phase. This involves establishing infrastructure, confirming technical support, and holding team meetings. The Project Manager is responsible for planning projects, using a checklist as a guide. The timeline is the primary tool for assigning resources and assessing work extent. Redmine and Bitbucket are the main project environments, with email being the primary communication method.

Project Development

Project development is a critical phase in a project’s life cycle, where the project manager (PM) oversees the team, timelines, resources, quality, expenses, and client feedback. The process begins with a team meeting where the group addresses the problem domain, validates task estimates, and collaborates to identify technical solutions and architecture. The PM is responsible for tasks related to phases and tasks, which are the smallest components of the project’s functionality. The PM checks tasks daily for readiness and monitors project readiness. Completed tasks and phases must pass mandatory testing, with a dedicated software tester (QA) designated for testing purposes. The PM follows the customer’s approved Risk Level (RL) to avoid potential issues and ensures the design phase is completed to the appropriate standards within specified client dates and verified by the customer. Following project completion, the PM conducts a retrospective analysis of deliverables and includes the project in the business’s internal portfolio.

Tech Support Services

Technical support is a service provided by our organization to maintain and enhance websites. It includes communication with web hosts, technical website evaluation, assistance with website functionality, and updates to websites. This service is available to both external and internal clients, ensuring the website’s functionality is up to date.

Project Planning Confirmation

The project requirements are essential tasks to be completed before the project’s launch. The project manager, team lead, and team members are responsible for ensuring all requirements are met. Consistent execution of well-defined requirements helps create a comprehensive plan and schedule. During the development phase, time is saved by correctly arranging jobs. If there are gaps or unclear requirements, well-documented tasks are identified and completed in small batches and on short schedules (Phase, Sprint, and Batch). At each stage, the client is shown progress, and additional needs are gathered and incorporated into the work process. If there are few requirements or the project is in support, tasks must be completed in the order specified by the client, without scheduling.

Project Planning Checklist

 
  • Decide on the final team of Developers and TeamLeads.
  • Create a thorough project plan (timeline) that assigns tasks to each project member and ensures completion of work by the deadline.
  • The PM and TeamLeads complete the Upload file once the client and TeamLeads have approved the project plan.
  • Make sure you create and complete the internal documentation file. This is crucial for major projects involving multiple departments and over 100 hours of work.
  • In Redmine, create a new project and move the task containing the quotation from the Quotes project to it.
  • Link the lead manager, tester, and development team to a Redmine project.
  • Assign individuals to the relevant positions.
  • Fill out the project summary and include customer information and a project description if needed. For instance, you must outline each client’s responsibilities if there are several parties involved in the project.
  • Complete the WIKI page in accordance with the guidelines.
  • In the project settings, include the version. The specifics of the project determine the version name.
  • If needed, add categories to the project parameters. The particulars of the project determine the category name.
  • Add the customer if required.
  • Make a Bitbucket repository and assign the appropriate access levels to users. The involved TeamLeads need to be given Admin rights.
  • Assign tasks to the project. A different section contains a description of the prerequisites for creating tasks.
 

Project Timetable

The project timeline is a crucial aspect of any project, outlining tasks and schedules for each team member. It is typically a graphic design with a lengthy bar symbolizing time and labels dates and events. The Project Manager (PM) creates a thorough Project Plan during the planning phase, outlining how work will be divided into tasks for each team member and distributed on a scheduled basis. The timeline includes tasks that take no longer than eight hours to complete, controlling for deviances during the execution process. For the primary project, the developer’s daily workload is limited to six hours, with two hours left over for bids, force majeure, and other unanticipated occurrences. Tasks are broken into milestones or phases for major projects, with no more than three to four weeks between phases. Project Checkpoints (PCs) are interim dates that monitor plan deviations and determine the percentage of work completed. The PM’s primary duty is to ensure the timeline is updated on schedule and accessible to both the client and the development team.

Project Development Tasks Prior to Project Launch

Requirements

  • Project RL
  • Project infrastructure was set up in Redmine.
  • Project Schedule
  • Design, if relevant

Team Members

  • The Project Manager
  • Department and Developer TeamLeads
  • Tester

Deliverables

  • A list of potential risks;
  • Different courses of action when faced with obstacles;
  • Carefully consider technological fixes;
  • Responses to the queries to begin working on the project.
A meeting is required before a project begins to familiarize the group, discuss requirements, and define architecture and technical solutions. The project manager organizes the meetings, which include developers, TeamLeads, PMs, and testers. Google Calendar can be used to schedule meetings. Everyone must have the RL and design before the meeting. Regular meetings are required for large projects that are over 100 hours long, and the schedule must be decided at the first meeting. The primary topics covered at the meeting include ensuring developers have all necessary information, addressing team queries, tracking task progress, and providing quick reports to the group. The team also discusses any obstacles preventing completion within the allotted time and the remedies put in place. The team provides broad remarks or observations regarding the project’s present state or progress.

Project Performance Control

Requirements

  • At an active development stage, the project
  • Project Schedule
Team Members
  • The Project Manager
  • Customer
  • The project’s TeamLead and developers

Deliverables

  • No postponements in the project’s execution
  • Diminished likelihood of surpassing quotations
  • Minimise losses if quotes are exceeded
  • Effective communication between project participants
The PM starts each day by reviewing open tasks in Redmine and checking their email. They should confirm the following post:
  • Project Status:The team focuses on jobs with a “Request” status, notifying the client when they find a task with a “Request” status. If the client is actively working on the project, the manager reminds them of the problems and provides links to the task. The status is modified to feedback after verifying if the client has not modified the tasks or task statuses.
  • Deadliness:The manager checks the task’s due date if it has been in the “New” status for longer than two or three days. They also remind the client about tasks marked as “Sent to Client” if they haven’t been updated in more than two or three days.
  • Project Schedule: The manager notes locally completed work that the client verified, and the strategy specifies and monitors checkpoints. The developer logs into Redmine daily to record the amount of time spent and the percentage of the task completed, recording every minute spent in Tasks.

Monitoring Project Status

The project manager reviews tasks and ensures everything is proceeding as planned before a phase’s end. They confirm the testing task has been established and the upload file has the allotted time for the tester. Testing and bug fixes must be completed by the phase’s deadline. The project manager informs the customer of the phase’s readiness and requests them to verify the status of reported concerns and ask follow-up questions. The PM visits developers daily to address issues and update task status. TeamLead is notified of any queries and asked to provide assistance. Extended projects are monitored at checkpoints approximately once a week. The tester must be integrated into the planning stage of development to ensure testing is a part of the development process involving three phases. This ensures testing is not left as a final task.

Phase 1: Initial preparation (after obtaining a project).

Before testing, the tester must review the Quotation Task and contact the Project Manager (PM) for any questions. A checklist is prepared, including the subject area, target audience, country, and rivalry. The tester must prepare questions for team meetings for additional discussion. The preliminary phase should not consume more than 5% of the testing period.

Stage 2: After one or more project tasks are finished, the task for testing is created.

The project’s WIKI provides crucial details for testers, including links to specifications, credentials and access controls for accounts, design documentation, the project’s state of development and anticipated release date, and a URL to internal documentation. The project manager creates the details as the project progresses. This information is essential for effective testing and documentation management.

Checklist for PMs creating testing tasks:

  • Describe the task, indicating which project component needs testing. Include the task for the developer as a Related Issue.
  • The testing period for this task is estimated to take place.
  • Prioritising bugs and indicating which needs to be fixed first. For instance, give functionality defects top priority and all other bugs regular priority if the customer does not currently place a high value on the interface.
  • The project requires the following sorts of testing: functional, interface, localisation, usability, compatibility, and integration testing.
Functionality testing is a crucial process that ensures a program can perform its intended tasks and meets user or customer needs. It is essential for all activities except interface testing tasks. Usability testing aims to determine the user-friendliness, intelligibility, and visual appeal of a project. It is mandatory for new projects and is only available for projects involving changes to completed websites. Localisation testing involves testing localized versions of a website, ensuring accurate translations of language, user interface elements, system messages, errors, and help and support documentation. Compatibility testing verifies that the product functions properly in specific settings, such as the client’s device and OS versions. Interface testing verifies that the client-provided website layout and interface align with specifications and pixel-perfectness is necessary. Integration testing tests a system made up of two or more modules, focusing on defects related to implementation issues in interface interaction between modules. The second stage of integration testing involves discussing the time required to write test plans, test cases, and checklists with the project manager.

Stage 3: Talking with the developers (just before testing begins when one or more project tasks are finished)

The PM responds to inquiries if there are linguistic or technological barriers preventing communication with the developers. The checklist should include identifying parts that need improvement, those that are ready, and those that require further work. Testing unfinished or redesigned components is unnecessary as they will eventually be finished. Placeholders are considered during testing, but time is devoted to discussing unimplemented features and answering queries. The team logs each known bug in the bug-tracking database, as the project’s developers are often aware of a specific number of bugs. QA initiates the testing phase at the conclusion of the third stage.

Additional Project Tasks

Requirements

  • Project RL
  • Project Schedule
  • New tasks assigned by the client that are not covered by the RL

Team Members

  • The Project Manager
  • Customer
  • The project’s TeamLead and developers

Deliverables

  • Client Satisfaction
  • The capacity to increase the team’s workload if feasible
To ensure the project is completed on time, the Project Manager (PM) must determine the importance of additional activities within the current phase. If tasks are significant and take no more than one to two hours, they may be included in the current phase’s implementation. If the additional jobs impact the phase’s final timeline and are critical, the PM informs the client and requests their confirmation. If the customer does not want to change the phase date, work hours are transferred from one or more phase one tasks to the new task. Adding a new task in the middle of a phase or project will cause adjustments to the overall deadline and cost. The PM estimates new tasks by creating a task in the current project or subproject for a quote. They also forward queries and responses between the programmer and the client. The PM accepts due dates, modifies the schedule, and provides the client with final details. The project is scheduled in accordance with the defined procedures when confirmed.

Project Completion

Team Members

  • The Project Manager
  • Customer
  • The project’s TeamLead and developers

Requirements

  • Project RL
  • Project Schedule

Deliverables

  • The potential to increase the team’s workload going forward
  • The respect and trust of the growing clientele
The project manager is responsible for analysing the ongoing project and the client’s past, present, and future demands, as well as suggesting improvements such as mobile versions, optimized page loading, and new payment methods. This analysis may involve TeamLeads and Developers and is done well in advance, ideally two to three weeks before the project’s completion, to avoid delays in estimation, questioning, budget approval, and RL writing. The goal is to identify new client demands and improve the project overall.

Project Implementation

Team Members

  • The Project Manager
  • Customer
  • The project’s TeamLead and developers

Requirements

  • The project was finished and tested
  • Verification of the transfer from the customer
  • Access to the client’s server

Deliverables

  • An active client server with a functional website.
After completing the project, modifications are deployed to the live client-server, known as “deployment to the production server.” The project manager creates a task for a developer, granting them access to the live server and a task description. Developers verify internal linkages, image availability, logo, favicon, and mobile site functionality. Deliverables include a link to the client’s website. Before deployment, the PM requests access to the client’s live server to verify website functionality, including the PHP version and required APIs. The team developer completes testing in Redmine, and the client must attest to the deliverables’ satisfaction. Instruction manuals are written for new capabilities, and user manuals are written for each phase.

Project Post-Completion Analysis

Team Members

  • The Project Manager
  • Customer
  • The project’s TeamLead and developers

Requirements

  • The finished project that the client has authorised
  • Data regarding the number of hours spent
  • Estimating a project

Deliverables

  • Google Doc with collected comments
  • Conclusion after examination
  • A list of modifications and enhancements for upcoming projects
Project analysis is a crucial process that evaluates a project’s strengths and weaknesses, financial viability, and future process adjustments. It involves gathering opinions from project members, asking customers for input, and combining them into a Google Doc. The director and senior manager review the input, draw conclusions, and adjust work procedures. A letter detailing these conclusions is sent to every project member and cc’d to the lead manager and director of the company. A meeting is held to review previous issues and resolve them before starting the current project. If no issues are identified, innovations arising from the project’s analysis are listed.

Online Support

Team Members

  • Client/Project Manager
  • Project Tester
  • TeamLeads
  • Developers

Requirement

  • Operational site
  • Tasks for efficient maintenance are present.
  • Issues or bugs with the website

Deliverables

  • A working website free of errors and defects
  • The client’s money is used as intended
  • The developer’s workload is completed on schedule.
Online support is focused on maintaining, updating, and enhancing a website. Both internal clients for whom we created a site from scratch and external clients that bring us ready-made websites can receive online support from our company. We provide informational and technical support to our clients.

Informational Support

Informational support involves working with website content, updating or adding content, and optimizing the site for search engines. The team may roll out updates, such as adding new pages or modules. Informational support also covers helping the client in moving the website to a new server, restoring it from backups, moving the domain, and choosing a new host. Additionally, it involves providing assistance with website functionality, including backing up databases, fixing process issues, and checking for viruses.

Technical Support

Technical help can be provided on an ongoing basis or on a periodic basis (upon request). When we offer technical help, we typically find solutions for the unique issues with the website. If the client expresses interest in continuing help, we calculate the monthly hourly rate and the number of hours needed. We look for any technical issues with the website, assess the speed at which pages load, verify the correctness of the mobile layout, and see whether any important modules or upgrades are available. We also fix bugs that are readily apparent and provide remedies.
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