So you’ve decided to work with a digital product agency. Smart move. You want epic results fast, and an agency knows how to make that happen. You’ve done some basic research and feel you’ve found an agency partner that is a good personal fit. So now what? How do you go from remarkable vision to breakthrough product?
Here, we’ll peel back the veil and show you how we do things here at Camber Creative. We think our methodology is the best, but we may be a little biased. Processes and development philosophy will differ among different agencies. But we think this will give you a solid idea of the process regardless of who you decide to work with.
Phase 1: Consultation
No matter how structured your product vision may be when you start to work with a digital product agency, it’s critical to socialize your ideas with your new team to get everyone bought in to the vision and objective with a strong onboarding process.
Don’t worry if you have only a loose idea of the problem you want to solve because the best digital product agencies will be able to help you transform big, bold, and abstract ideas into tangible products that can validate your idea and find product-market fit.
The purpose of the initial consultation is to open up a two-way conversation about your product, and assess whether you and the agency are a good fit for your product development needs. At Camber, this initial conversation typically takes the form of a low-pressure thirty-to-sixty minute call or video chat.
“When we’re consulting about any new product (or even a new feature), we are primarily concerned with justifying the effort to do anything at all. We are starting with a strong “why” to help you avoid building solutions in search of problems.”
Brice Gramm, Founder & CEO @ Camber Creative
During this initial conversation, you should be prepared to discuss the big picture of your project and answer some broad questions. This is also a great time to share a pitch deck, sketches, written requirements, or anything else you may have to explain your vision.
And let’s be clear — you don’t need to come to the table with all of the answers. The purpose of this initial consultation is to help the product team better understand our starting point, so that we can make a reasonable proposal for what to do next.
Phase 2: Planning
During the planning phase, we add substance, approaches, and estimates to the ideas worth pursuing. We write actionable specifications, analyze each feature qualitatively and quantitatively, apply our Feature Value Framework to find an optimal focus point, and propose the best technical approach and budget based on objectives and constraints.
The purpose of the planning phase is to level set the dream against the budget. At Camber Creative, we believe most development estimates suck. The methodology is often flawed and doesn’t apply agile thinking to estimating. We take a radical new approach which we believe is better for our clients and reduces scope creep, over-billing, and budget shocks. We believe the planning phase is the catalyst for finalizing a realistic budget with honest expectations that allow us to begin to prioritize features for an MVP.