Here’s how we break down our remote deployment process.
It’s worth noting that many of these steps can happen in parallel. For example, we often train customers on the basics of the platform and app building during the scoping phase. Identifying new use-cases and preparation for scale can happen during the initial deployment.
Project scoping – During this phase, we lay the groundwork for a successful project. We get to know your goals and your operation.
This work adapts well to remote scenarios. Much of the initial project development can be done over the phone or video conferencing software. Each customer works closely with one of our internal industrial operations experts, who can help identify use-cases and business value up front.
Across multiple meetings with the Tulip team, we’ll collaborate to:
- Learn your goals and determine where Tulip fits in your company’s journey
- Define success criteria
- Pick and prioritize use-cases
- Establish a timeline, scope, roles, and responsibilities
At this stage you and your team have access to Tulip University–our interactive online learning resources–to start exploring and developing your Tulip app building capabilities.
At the end of this stage, we’ll have determined what a deployment will look like, how and when it will take place, and what needs to be done to execute.
App Scoping and Development
This is where we dive into the nitty-gritty of your operations. Your customer success representative will start detailed discussions about your facility’s physical layout, processes, machines, equipment, tech stack, and the personnel involved.
While we do this over video calls, we do our best to get a sense of your physical shop floor and operations performance. Remotely, we can work from process maps, plant layout schematics, floorplans, and other resources to learn as much as possible. Often, we ask a customer to provide us with photos and videos, walk us through their current processes on a video call and share dashboards with existing performance information. During this phase, we do our best to learn product flow, layout, and which activities are performed by specific worker roles and how they link to the performance challenges or opportunities.
Next, we move into the app building process. Depending on the complexity of the use-case or the process, this may involve several digital training sessions with your customer team reps. You’ll then work to build your applications, or workshop the initial applications build by our team–whichever we’ve decided on during scoping.
It’s important to note that the details of the deploy are all worked out during this stage. We’ll work with you to resolve any technical issues, like hardware, connections, and devices. And we’ll begin the training and change management activities outlined during scoping.
Deploy, Test, Iterate
By this point, everything should be set to go. The apps should be built, operations connected, and team ready to use to Tulip.
To maximize the success of the deploy, we follow the agile method (if you’re unfamiliar, you can learn more about agile here). In short, agile prioritizes short, 1-2 week “sprints” over long, linear development cycles. The goal of agile is to learn more by doing more, and thus make more progress in the long run. Further, these sprints give you the opportunity to check in with your team to determine whether the apps are meeting your goals. Is it intuitive for the end-user? Do supervisors and management have access to the data they need? Your answers to these questions can influence further iterations.
Our objective is to get the app into the users hands in the first sprint. This allows us to get feedback on the development and usage, which we then build onto the process mapping and user journey mapping from previous worked out earlier in our collaboration.
When it comes to remote deploys, we work with your team to set clear sprint goals. At the end of every sprint (usually weekly or every other week), we check in and propose adjustments as necessary.
Leading up to and throughout this phase, we’ll continue to check-in on all categories of the deployment, including connectivity, hardware readiness, app design, databases, and connectors.
Capability Building For Broader Deployment
By this point, Tulip is more or less “deployed.” After several cycles of testing and iteration, your applications should be suitable for production. The technical and culture elements should be settled, too. If issues arise, our support staff are experts and resolving technical issues remotely.
At this stage, we’ll work with you to begin the next phase of the project. This could be building your team’s or your operation’s internal capacities–a good example of this is training power-users at multiple sites who can then train their teammates. This is also when we’d begin to help you identify new use-cases, or to devise and implementation plan for previously identified use-cases.