Chris Lillies, Head of Project Management at Tryzens, answers some of the key questions asked by clients about Tryzens’ Delivery Methodology
- We are not sure what eCommerce platform to use. They all seem to offer similar functionality – how do we choose the one that best suits our needs?
We work in partnership with our clients to help them find the best package for their eCommerce site. We have extensive platform knowledge, but we are not just technologists implementing technology. Our team includes people with lots of retail operations experience and retail business analysts. We will look at what is possible with your existing site, the functionality you need now and long-term. We give recommendations based on our broad knowledge of eCommerce and the available technology. This flexible approach has given us an excellent track record of successful projects, delivered on time and within budget.
- How long does a project take? How much manpower do we need to commit?
On average projects take six months, from start to finish. Timelines vary due to the complexity of the eCommerce site and the number of countries it serves. We map out exactly what tools and resources will be needed and provide a clear timeline for delivery.
During the initial discovery phase we work closely with a client over a few weeks to define their functional and non-functional requirements. We would typically have 8-10 workshops with a project manager, business analyst and technical architect from Tryzens. From the client side, we recommend that representatives from IT, logistics, buying and marketing roles attend. This give us the opportunity to discuss all your needs, from how new products are introduced and marketed, to site conversion and delivery.
Following the discovery phase, we produce detailed business requirements, functional specifications and technical approach documents and agree work packages for the project delivery. Work packages are based around the key functional areas of the site so that we are able to provide ongoing testing and demonstrations of progress throughout the development phase.
- How do we create the right look and feel for our shop? Can you help with design?
The design can be done by our clients, by Tryzens in house team or by a third party agency. We use the requirement documentation and a range of tools to produce designs and wireframes, so you can see a model of what your website will look like. Once the site is live, A/B testing on the graphical design will allow you to see how users respond to different designs and page layouts. The way products are displayed and the ease of the checkout process can have a big impact on trading performance.
- How long does testing take? When can we go live?
Each part of the functionality is produced and tested by Tryzens. We only deliver this to the client for user acceptance testing when we are sure it meets all their business requirements – clients then use simulated data for a few weeks to see if there are any defects or anything that they would like to change.
We help clients to carry out operational testing. This includes performance tests – you could simulate big loads such as peak traffic during the Christmas shopping period. This enables you to see response times to traffic and conversion efficiency. You would also explore how the shop runs from an operational perspective and how you will manage the technical aspects of the shop and whether you want to do this in-house, with Tryzens or via a third party.
- What if we decide we want to do things differently? How would you accommodate change requests?
The discovery phase is really important, as this is where you organise the website structure. At this stage clients have lots of flexibility – they may want a number of shops for different brands or to include different approaches to personalization. They may want to organise the site according to the different countries they serve and cater to cultural differences.
Some system integrators use change requests as an excuse to increase the price of the project rather than fairly reflecting the actual cost of incremental work. We are happy to change things – after all projects evolve and issues may only become apparent when you see a real version and begin testing your site.
That said, significant and late changes can delay a project and incur extra costs but we would explain why and come to an agreement on this. We do our best to keep fees down – major change requests are rare due to our thorough discovery phase and industry knowledge.
- How much will the project cost?
Where possible we agree all costs at the beginning of the project. We don’t want our clients to have any surprises and show all costs including technology licensing fees and the ongoing costs to maintain the website.
Having spent many years at Sainsbury’s, I appreciate the enormous importance of eCommerce to a business and how every penny matters. We know how to get the right balance between functionality and the performance of the website and stick to our delivery methodology, so the project price isn’t exceeded. We want to add more commercially successful customers to our track record of projects completed on time and budget.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this further. Our clients are also happy to talk to you about their experience with us.