Product Guides: Annual Hosting and Support

Code Customization Process

Occasionally, our standard application's features do not meet the unique functional requirements of our Enterprise clients. When these situations arise, you can rely on EchoSpan for the development and hosting of performance management applications that are modified to your specifications.

Examples of code-level application customizations include:

  1. Report components

  2. Workflow changes

  3. Integration with other HR systems

This article outlines our approach to application customizations and what you can expect during and after a customization project. All customization efforts are guided by our internal application development process to ensure high quality results. Additionally, regardless of the functional requirements requested, we seek for our customizations to provide the client the following:

Autonomy
The customer must have complete control over the customized features.

Flexibility
The customized features should adapt easily to varied project needs as set forth by stated requirements.

Usability
Customized features should be easily used by their intended users with little training.

Reliability
The customized features must be available when they are needed.

In order to meet the client's functional requirements as well as the above qualitative requirements, all customizations follow a standardized workflow:

Phase 1: Expose & Explore
We'll work with you to solidify functional and non-functional requirements for your customized feedback tool. Once we both have a complete understanding of what is needed and what is possible, we can organize and finalize requirements.

Phase 2: Design
During this phase of work, we'll create mock-ups and sample projects for you to review. Sample projects will be functional when possible and can be shared amongst your team for gathering of inputs. Design documents for customizations will include mockups and user documentation where applicable. The resulting deliverable from this phase of work will be a final development handbook that outlines the new features that need to be created as well as setup steps for creating and managing projects that include the customizations.

Phase 3: Develop & Test
This is the phase of work where EchoSpan will develop the customizations required for the project. Production-ready projects will be created alongside your admin team and preparations will be made for initial testing of final projects and features. Unit-level testing will be performed by EchoSpan on all customizations as well as automated or manual penetration testing. You will participate in user-acceptance testing for any portions of the application that have been modified, as well as the production-ready projects.

Phase 4: Deploy
Now, the production-ready, tested solution is made available to users. We typically recommend moving the final tool live to a pilot group first. During the deployment phase, your EchoSpan client manger and support staff will be available to you full-time to ensure that everything works smoothly.

Phase 5: Evaluate
Once the production solution is in use, we'll reconvene to evaluate the adherence of the tool to the four principles listed above (autonomy, flexibility, usability and reliability). Any areas where the system falls short will be documented and improved if appropriate. Requirements for future phases of development are documented at this time and a new cycle of work can begin at the Expose and Explore phase.

Phase 6: Training & Support
Once remaining wrinkles have been ironed out of the production solution, we move to the training and support phase of work. This phase continues for the duration of your company's relationship with EchoSpan. Additionally, we will provide a personal training for your administrative users and assist you with the setup of your initial projects. Training for end-users is available upon request and can include production of videos and presentations for internal distribution.

Ongoing support is provided by a dedicated client management team that is comprised of US-based, EchoSpan employees. All support personnel hold a bachelor's degree or higher. Project management services are available if you prefer that we manage your reviews. More information on that service is available here: https://www.echospan.com/project-management.asp

During this phase our main objectives are:

  • Ensure that the tool operates in a reliable and error-free manner.
  • Fix technical problems that arise quickly and permanently.
  • Keep you advised of changes to the system that might improve or impact the operation of your customizations.
  • Conduct regular client meetings where tool improvements are discussed along with any other topics of importance.
  • Provide ongoing training to your administrators on the operation of the tool and project management best practices.

Some customizations may increase your annual support fee. Increases to your annual support costs will be outlined in your work order prior to approval. 


Last updated: Wednesday, July 31, 2019
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