How we do it
Filemaker Many of our client engagements begin with a problem to be solved or an business opportunity to be pursued. What happens next often spells out the difference between success and failure. Where assessment, analysis and planning come next, paired with effective communications and a proven methodology, the outcomes are much more likely to be on target, minimizing the risk of doing something wrong, or less than effective. We firmly believe that how we do it, is just as important as what we do.

Custom Software Development
"If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there" - George Harrison.
This is the type of approach that plagues many software projects these days.

Would you hire a contractor to build a house and then allow them to start pouring the foundation the very next day? You normally would ask to see the blueprints or house plans first wouldn't you? Like a house, a good database is built with forethought, with proper care and great attention to the needs of the data that are critical to run your business.

Since the database is the cornerstone of pretty much every business project, if a proper planning phase is ignored in favor of just "getting it done," the project has a greater likelihood of heading off in an unforeseen direction. Despite best intentions, due to the lack of proper designing and planning the chances for success are greatly diminished.

Needs Assessment
Often, before designing or re-designing a database or web application, there is a critical need to understand exactly what is required of it, and why. Conducting a needs assessment allows us to systematically explore the way things are in your business, and the way you'd like them to be.

Business Process Analysis
Before automating existing processes, in the hopes of streamlining them in search of greater efficiencies or better performance, it is often advisable to make this an opportunity to re-engineer the process altogether. The introduction of database and web-based technologies will often present newer, more efficient ways of doing things that could not have been considered in the previous process. ACG can assist you in identifying and enhancing your business processes now, and throughout the life of your database or web application.

ACG Development / Deployment Process
Once the design process is underway, we will start our development process to take what has been conceived and turn it into tangible results. And just like design, development is a collaborative process in which we keep the client communications constantly flowing. We typically set regular, periodic meetings, in person or via a web conference for our clients to see our progress, give us feedback, make suggestions, and to become familiar with their system as it is being developed. This helps eliminate any 'surprises' that might result in rework or delays.

Throughout the development process, our development team will be testing the application to insure that it meets the defined requirements. And at appropriate times, we'll provide our clients with early test versions of their system; to give them an early understanding of how it functions, how it appears, and what is the current status of the project.

Change Management
Change management is the process of identifying, documenting, analyzing, prioritizing and agreeing on changes to scope (project management) and then controlling changes and communicating to relevant stakeholders. Each change can significantly impact the timeline and budget of a software project. ACG has developed a detailed Change Order Management Process to track and control the changes that frequently occur in any software development project.

Web Strategy
At ACG, our concept of a 'Web Strategy' encompasses far more than a client's outward facing website. We think in the broader terms of the 'web-enablement' of the entire business. Web applications can have a very transformative effect on your business, as they can literally change the way you do business. Besides being tailored for your unique business requirements, a good web strategy not only allows you to sell more products and services online but also allows you to streamline your processes, into a well designed web application that is accessible to you and your customers 24/7.

Implementation and Training Plan:
Our software development projects don't end when development is complete. We also work with our clients to implement the software and train their users, further enhancing the success of the project. We work with your staff to "train the trainers" which reduces costs and enhances full ownership and responsibility for the new applications.

Continuous Communication
Database and Web application design and development is a highly collaborative undertaking. A key factor in ACG's success is continuous communication, both internal to the development team, and external with the client and project stakeholders. We take great pains to insure that the client communication on all of our projects is open, clear, concise and relevant to the business needs at hand.

At ACG, we combine business strategy, usability and a creative flair to transform your technical and business objectives into compelling database and web solutions. ACG has the tools and expertise to deliver top results. Our multidisciplinary approach and iterative design process insures top-quality results, on time and within budget.

Consult our experts about your database project