Agile Development and Shopping Local: A Case Study

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You’re not likely to be able to walk down your block and happen across your local software development business. They don’t have retail storefronts for customers to pop in and ask questions, browse a menu and sign up for service, like many businesses do. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t local software development companies right around the corner that can build your website, web application, or mobile application. Just google your city name and what you need, ex. “Arlington custom web application” and you will quickly be able to find the developers close to you.

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But why do you need a local developer? Can’t this kind of work be done from anywhere, especially with ubiquitous outsourcing options to other countries? Yes it can, but there are still clear values with being close to your development company, particularly when developing a custom application that is critical to your business success.

Customer Participation in Agile Development

Segue uses an Agile approach to developing software that requires close customer/team interaction and continuous input. We often do this work remotely, as our customers can be in any location. However, working with local business owners, such as in our “Sidewalks” project example below, provides a tremendous advantage. With our customer in close proximity, the development team was able to ask questions, get clarifications, and brainstorm ideas, in person. Design ideas could be reviewed together with the customer to align with their vision and technical issues were more readily discussed and explained. This opportunity to work so closely with our customer gave the team added insight into the project goals and possibilities, resulting in an end product that was satisfying for everyone involved.

Sidewalks provides consumers with a way to discover and support local businesses while promoting charitable giving.  Sidewalks teams with businesses in the Arlington community and allows consumers to earn loyalty points which translate into cash. The cash can be directly distributed to a customer-specified qualifying charity or school.

The Sidewalks apps and website are accessible and convenient for individuals, families, and schools — while supporting and encouraging patronage at local businesses.   Sidewalks’ goal is to promote customer loyalty and make charitable contributions more accessible and frequent for both consumers and businesses.

Segue developed mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices that allow consumers to locate participating businesses and earn rewards by simply scanning a QR code at the local business. In addition, a fully-featured website provides prospective and existing Sidewalks non-profits, businesses, and consumers with information about the program. The application also allows businesses to provide continued community outreach – which serves as an additional source of brand advertising. It also provides increased exposure to potential new customers and is an easy way to track giving goals and progress.

Segue Technologies is a proud member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. This month’s Shop Chamber focus is Communications and IT. For the full list of participating Arlington businesses visit www.arlingtonchamber.org/shopchamber.

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