Anyone who has ever been a part of building something – a house, a website, a commercial, etc – knows the value of well-laid plans. Good plans can prevent disastrous consequences from wasting time to wasting money and resources. It doesn’t take too many failures before realizing how important planning can be. How many times have you heard “Measure twice, cut once” or “Failing to plan is planning to fail”?
Of course with most things, it’s easier said than done. Putting words into action is not always easy, because let’s face it, the action is the fun part. At the same time, it is possible to plan too much. The trick is to have just the right amount of planning to be effective and minimize the amount of rework, but also meet an adequate amount of compliance. The popularity of Agile is a testament to the fact that the world is moving faster – unfortunately, moving faster often impacts planning as it becomes marginalized or ignored altogether.
At Enterasys, we develop solutions for varying business problems in IT, across multiple environments of varying difficulty and for a wide variety of customers, partners and employees. We are increasingly trying to deliver business solutions quickly and operate in an Agile fashion, favoring simplicity over complexity and focusing on the core requirements of a solution to drive toward success. Like most companies, our projects range in scope and complexity with each one being different from all the others. Not every project requires intricate planning or even design, but for those that do we rely on ProtoShare.
One of the key differentiators of ProtoShare is its ability to support varying levels of design complexity, but doing so easily. Simply put, it doesn’t get in the way: it’s there when you need it, as you need it. The software allows for the rapid creation of grey box wireframes yet at the same time it has the horsepower needed for designers to build high fidelity prototypes using templates, masters, rich CSS support, a stencil & widget library, and states. ProtoShare provides the flexibility we need to prototype diverse, enterprise solutions without requiring an enterprise budget.
When we first started using ProtoShare, we expected to leverage the review platform with customers. Unfortunately, old ways die hard and stakeholders favored offline documentation instead. Luckily, with a couple mouse clicks, we can easily generate fully annotated wireframes from ProtoShare and share them with stakeholders. Our method of collaboration may be a bit different from other ProtoShare users, but we are still able to efficiently gather feedback to ensure we have the right solution before going to development.
With ProtoShare it’s possible to move fast and still be able to create a well-laid plan before jumping right to the solution. You just may save yourself a lot of headaches by doing so. After all, “Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal.”
Christopher Lavoie is the Director of Application Development & ERP with Enterasys Networks, a premier global provider of wired and wireless network infrastructure and security solutions. He can be reached at clavoie [at ] enterasys.com, LinkedIn, and Twitter.