Project Leadership Blog Part 1 – Testing

How do you know that the software product released into production is virtually defect-free? The one-word answer is simple, but definitely not easy: “testing”. Testing is often the single most overlooked aspect of a project. One of the most well known facts about software defects is that the longer they go undiscovered, the more expensive they are to fix when discovered. Testing allows for the identification of issues and defects before implementation. General Rule The cost of correcting a software defect grows exponentially for each downstream phase of the development lifecycle in which it remains undiscovered. A simple ratio to consider is 1:10:100. If a defect costs one unit (hour or dollar) to correct in the Define and Design phases, it costs approximately 10 units to fix in the Development and Testing phases, and over 100 times to fix in production, after the Deploy phase. Increasing Cost of Defect Correction – Based on Historic Data The preceding diagram describes in more detail the relative cost of a defect at different times in the life cycle of a software project, based on historic data. Initially, the cost of fixing a defect at the Requirements stage, when everything is on paper only is somewhat irrelevant. However, as the project moves along in its life cycle the cost of fixing a defect increases exponentially. At the initial Requirements stage, when a defect is no more than a change in thought, the relative cost is times 1. During Design phase, the relative cost is times 5 what it was when compared to the Requirements phase, and then times 10 what it was when...

Bay Furnace Website Redesign

As a well-established business, Bay Furnace recognized the need to refresh its website to include easy content management as well as functionality which would allow customers to send inquiries or request information. After only two weeks, Briteskies was able to provide Bay Furnace with a revamped WordPress site that allowed them to manage their own content and stay in constant contact with customers. View the full Bay Furnace case...

What Is A Graphic Designer?

Two people at a party meet and introduce themselves as Graphic Designers. At first glance, you would assume their line of work would be the same; art, form, line, color, etc. Yet the more they reveal about their profession, the more you realize they are speaking different languages. The first Designer uses terms like typesetting, pantone colors, identity and bleed. The second speaks of content management systems, image optimization and user centric design. Today’s digital media has created a broad spectrum for Graphic Designers enabling them each to claim their own niche in the design world. This is my attempt at sorting out the different areas of Graphic Design and how they relate to one another. Definition The Bureau of Labor Statistics simply defines a Graphic Designer as someone who will plan, analyze, and create visual solutions to communication problems. The media used dictates what type of Graphic Designer is best suited for the job. The following organizational chart will help you visualize the general areas of graphic design while also highlighting Briteskies’ areas of expertise.   Illustration Illustration is a broad category that including services such as t-shirt design, typography, informational graphics, painting and drawing. Within the area of Illustration, some artists specialize in Identity and Branding projects. This can include anything from a logo redesign for a growing company to bottle label design for a new brand of wine. Others, in the area of Illustration specialize in Typesetting. These designers know the ins and outs of print material such as newspapers, magazines and brochures. The intended output for most of these projects is different print material. Frequent...

It’s All About People

“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” – General George S. Patton Over the last 15 years I have moved between the consulting world and the product delivery world. In those changing roles, I have written software, designed user interfaces, streamlined workflow processes, managed accounts and departments. One thing I have been successful at is ‘delivery’; be it delivery in consulting, in-house development, or departmental management.  In addition, as a result of my changing roles, I have worked with bleeding edge technophiles, aspiring entrepreneurs, arrogant marketers, and of course the average Janes and Joes. Through it all, I have learned one very important thing – successful delivery is all about people.  My accomplishments were not mine alone; but a collective effort by my mentors, my colleagues and ultimately those people on my team. Those average Janes and Joes weren’t so average after all. One thing I have always believed is, “Processes do not DO business, money does not DO business, it is PEOPLE who do business.” You can have the greatest product, plenty of money, and the best processes, software, workflows, machinery, etc. but if you do not have great people, you are bound to mediocrity. Can you sell and make a profit? Of course! But, as Jim Collins discusses in Good to Great, if you are interested in building a legacy, you have to do so with great people. During the course of my career I have worked with new managers and successful entrepreneurs that believe they know the RIGHT way of doing things. After all, they were...