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Collect Business Needs & Problems
02. 
Collect Business Needs & Problems
How to build a modern e-commerce platform - the key questions to start with
02

Collect Business Needs & Problems

It will be nothing new for you to read that you start every project by collecting requirements (at least any decent project) and there are few dozens of techniques, requirements, and possibilities to do it. For example, you can create BPMN diagrams, wireframes, interactive models, or simple Trello boards of how your product/online shop should behave. You should define the customer buying process,  goal metrics, parameters that will reflect a project’s success. All mentioned techniques and tools are meant only to support and visualize the project’s needs, and they are nothing without a bunch of people with various expertise, knowledge, and willingness to build something special. 

This work aims to consciously decide what e-commerce platform is best for you and how exactly your online shop should work and look like to provide the results you expect. Most people that choose to start their journey to selling online think it’s very simple – usually, they choose WordPress with WooCommerce, they buy a nice-looking theme on themeforest that seems to have all they need. But… During the process of implementation, they are learning the things, they should have known before the very start. To avoid that, the first thing we offer is a workshop.

At Scalac (before Covid time) we most of the time were invited to the client’s team for a few days to discuss project status needs and goals. That gives us general information about where we are right now and where we wish to be soon. Right now due to Covid we are proceeding with such workshops online, it usually takes some more time, but we manage to still achieve the same goals. The squad for that workshop is not meaningless. Take into consideration that that workshop crew should be “perfectly balanced as all things should be…” (thanks Thanos). If you want to read more about how to collect requirements, choose the right people, and create a good summary at the end feel free to reach for another article here.

 

perfectly balanced

The typical agenda of such workshops looks more or less like this:

Day 1:
Project and business introduction (4h)

Short description of what is a project is (0.5h)

Client will also explain what is crucial for the business, after that everyone should understand how existing solution works (2h)

Client explains what kind of problems they have now and also what they want to achieve in the short and the long term future. Scalac should know about all deadlines, obligations, and so on. After that, everyone should understand where the project is and what has to be done and when. (1.5h)

Day 2:

Brainstorm session (Client and Scalac)

We have to group and discuss all problems, improvement areas briefly and prioritize all of them. Suggestions: improve web<->app communication, improve router<->player communication, how to store and load assets, how to extract ffmpeg to another service, how to make each component scalable (1h)

Deep discussion of each problem (maybe in a few teams). Outcome: we should prepare documentation/diagram/plan/estimations/risks/trade-offs for each discussed problem (7h).

Day 3:

Summary

Presentation of each solution, after that everyone, should be in sync (tech team and business) (2h)

Together with business create SoW, Road Map, team(s) and discuss integration with upcoming wireframes (4h)

So after the workshop you have your goals and objectives, you have basic documentation and requirements. Just have in mind that you didn’t get everything.

In our case, we had a 2 day workshop with …… from the client’s side, and …. from Scalac. The result of this workshop was: 

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