We approach Nextpoint web application development in a highly iterative fashion. Because our application is 100% web-based with no installed components, we are able to easily change directions and release things as they are available in a way that we never could if we provided traditional installed software. We never have to commit to things months or years in advance to their being released. So as the EDD industry and rules change (such as the newly enacted Rule 502), we’re able to rapidly shift our priorities to address the changing needs of our customers. Here’s how we do it:
- Let it evolve. Web applications are different than physical products with assembly lines and treating them in the same way is a big mistake. The longer you wait to get out a release, the more changes you make at once, and the bigger the learning curve you create for your users. We let our application evolve over time so that everybody is involved in the growth and changes.
- Anticipate. We’re always working to stay ahead of the curve. We think a lot about scalability for example. If the amount of data we need to review and manage through trial continues to grow at 10x yearly, how will that change the EDRM process and required technologies?
- We get a ton of feedback and we listen. We think about how requested changes will impact other customers and if we determine that everybody benefits, we make the change and roll it out.
- We review usage patterns and look for problem areas. For example, when a new or modified file format shows up and is causing processing issues, we get notified in the lab. This gives us the opportunity to immediately patch and support the new format.
- Maintain long term plans but be ready to change. We could work in a vacuum, but why? We always have a long term plan. It’s a mechanism for us to think about the big picture. We could tell you right now what the next 24 months of Nextpoint enhancements will look like, but we’d be wrong. And this is perhaps our biggest asset. We don’t know how the industry will change over the coming years but we do know that we’ll be working with our customers to immediately address their needs.