Promote synergy across your delivery, design, and quality assurance teams

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Why the need for this guide?

Synergetic cross-functional teams (XFT) contribute greatly to the success of a program. Benefits of a cross-functional team include increased innovation and efficiency through different skill sets and expertise.

  1. The breaking down and accountability of tasks that can be handed over from one team to another easily
  2. Alignment of the timeline across the various team setups such that there would be a…


Setting the foundation for interactive prototyping in MS PowerPoint

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MS PowerPoint is my personal tool of choice for various design work i.e. creating pitch decks, e-product launch posters, short animations, and interactive prototypes because of the three key reasons:

  1. Availability — comes pre-installed in most corporate computers, even in strict environments i.e. government, defence, and banking sectors without you having to request for approvals for software cost, etc.
  2. Flexibility — allows you to embed an interactive prototype into a pitch deck to showcase value to stakeholders
  3. Portability — allows you to send the design document to various user groups for review, feedback, and collaboration without having the users to…


Five simple steps towards improving product quality and increasing adoption

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Why conduct user tests?

Below are three key reasons that I chose to conduct user tests with my users before launching the digital product to the masses:

  • Validate: ensures that the product fits the needs and provide value for my target users/groups
  • Educate: allows users to gain some familiarity with the product before launch to minimize training and questions regarding product usage
  • Advocate: leverage on users’ network to share about the product’s new features and facilitate the adoption of the product

I have consolidated the five steps which I took to conduct a simple user test for my users:

  1. Establish test objectives
  2. Select target…

Important activities and tasks to take note of in preparation for your project transition

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What happens after a project ends?

The transition to the post-production/maintenance phase begins. The transition primarily involves tasks and activities that span the following three broad categories:

  • People — planning for support teams (L1/L2/L3), educating end-users
  • Process — support/escalation workflow structure, service-level agreements, handover/training plans, documentation
  • Product — technical documentation, user guides, road maps

The goal is to provide assurance to the client that their business will continue to function after the departure of the project team.

People

During the project transition phase, the…


Tweak your product design quickly so that developers can ship useful product features fast

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A lean design sprint is a scaled-down design approach that involves delivering artefacts quickly in an iterative fashion to obtain user feedback with limited resources.

  1. Prototype: Establish initial sketches of user journeys
  2. Define: Create a user feedback framework
  3. Validate: Organise frequent meetings with users
  4. Build: Align your sprint schedule with…


Ensure that vulnerabilities are properly addressed through a security assessment before your application goes live

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What is the security assessment about?

Anything can happen when your app gets released to the public. As we don’t know what we don’t know, it’s important to ensure that proper measures are in place to mitigate the risks and application vulnerabilities — through a security assessment and audit.

What does the security assessment and tests cover?

The coverage of the security assessment and tests vary across projects, but they would generally cover the following areas:

  • Mobile and web application penetration tests: OWASP Top 10 20XX vulnerabilities
  • Infrastructure audit: OS hardening and vulnerability; access controls, auth configurations, security logging

What is the process like?

I will be sharing my experience — at a high level — from an infrastructure…


Five useful components of a user story specification that facilitates the delivery of your solution

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Writing a useful user story can make a significant difference in your delivery timeline in the long run.

What is a user story?

In an agile delivery framework, a user story is the smallest unit of work to be delivered. The end deliverable should be able to demonstrate value to the user in the form of addressing the needs of the user specified in the user story; it’s essentially a user requirement that’s focused on the user’s experience.

What makes a good user story?

The way you write the user story would determine the outcome of the deliverable. Hence, it’s important to include the essential components in the form of specifications…


Practical examples to estimate, quantify, and present your digital transformation project benefits to investors

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Numbers form the backbone of project proposals to obtain funding from sponsors.

  1. Establish and communicate the benefits
  2. Plan and set targets to achieve the benefits
  3. Estimate and quantify the overall financial benefits
  4. Project and quantify the benefits for the individual value sources
  5. Put things together and ask for…


Set up an operating model that complements your business

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A digital factory is a cross-functional unit within an organisation that incorporates a modern style of working and utilises advanced digital platforms to drive transformation throughout the business.

  1. Address the pre-requisites
  2. Ensure a strong foundation


Technology is just a part of the larger equation

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An effective digital transformation encompasses the entire spectrum of business and technology elements. What I have found surprising after moving from a technology-oriented to a business-oriented environment was the significance of technology in driving digital transformation—it’s much less than I thought, whereas there’s a huge dependency on business and people elements to ensure an effective transformation.

Background

The shift in the environment

I recently moved from dealing primarily with machines to humans. Instead of writing scripts, codes, and managing infrastructure, now I’m…

Jimmy Soh

In perpetual beta—playing at the intersection between digital technology and business.

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