True AfterCare is a Scottsdale, Arizona based startup in the healthcare space. “True AfterCare uses science, technology, and a human touch to optimize the outcomes of treatment for addictive disorders in the critical first 90 days following residential care.” Much more can be learned by visiting their website.
This is an important distinction to consider, most people who want to create startups are experts in their domain. In the case of True AfterCare, they were experts in the treatment of addiction. They were not experts in software development or the specific domain of mobile app development. This is a common situation for startups in today’s world where businesses of all sizes and shapes must utilize software to run their business.
True Aftercare was founded in February of 2017 by Steve Moak Jr. Among their many ambitious challenges they needed a fully mobile platform to support their clients who reenter the real-world after receiving treatment in various sober living environments. That is where Software Ops enters the picture.
Making a decision to select a software development partner is one of the most critical steps for a startup that doesn’t have in-house development expertise. True AfterCare selected Software Ops after reviewing a number of firms, some of which were global players in the software development space.
Discovering the Features of the True AfterCare Platform
Software Ops uses the term “Discovery” for a process by which both Software Ops and True AfterCare worked together to discovery the key functionality of the platform. This is critical step in the process and is required for a successful design and development of a complex mobile software platform, like True AfterCare.
Discovery is an engagement that takes significant time, energy, and applied expertise from both parties to get right. When done correctly it lays the foundation for the success of the software development project as well as successful utilization of the software platform for our clients. These are two very important points that need to be expanded.
The world is full of software projects that fail, meaning the software was never completed. There are many reasons for this; one is not understanding what is to be built. Discovery is the process that resolves that situation for the development team. But what happens when a software development company successfully delivers properly working software, if the software doesn’t actually fulfill upon the needs of the users of the system?
A software platform can function properly, with our errors or defects, but it also must do the job for which it was built. This is the second key reason why Software Ops conducts Discovery: to make sure we, the builders of the software, build what our client needs to be successful. So that our client, like True AfterCare, produces return on their investment.
[Maybe put a side bar of the DMRVP of Discovery or add a link to a DMRVP of discovery that is described on a different page]
Before I describe that process it needs to be noted that True AfterCare asked Software Ops to build out the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to a specific and extremely aggressive timeline. Time is everything for a startup. Without the True AfterCare mobile platform, there was no business model and no business. Software Ops had to scope the platform to be a useful MVP and hit their timeline for them to begin bring on coaches and clients.
Software Ops started development of the True Aftercare mobile platform the last week of March 2017 and completed the MVP the first week of June 2017. What is remarkable about this feat is that we built native Android and iOS apps in addition to a cloud based platform with a portal for True AfterCare coaches and the management team.
Development of the True AfterCare Platform
After the Discovery effort was completed and True AfterCare decided to engage Software Ops for the development of the platform we embarked upon our uniquely agile development process.
Software Ops utilizes of agile software development practicesto meet the needs of our unique situation. We use a powerful and unique agile process as we manage multiple clients and multiple projects at the same time, utilizing our talented staff across those projects. In the case of True AfterCare, with their complex system and tight timeline, we assigned developers mostly focused on that project.
Our process is a simple and repeatable process: Plan the Work, Execute the Work, Review the Outcomes, Demo the Software to our Clients. We do this every two weeks as we build out the system. Because communication is critical the development team, consisting of product management, project management, developers, and quality assurance, meet in a Daily Stand-Up to coordinate action between the members of the team.
The key to development success is constant coordination action which requires communication between the team. We use modern software tools to manage our project, from project management tools to internal messaging tools, and source code control systems.
Deployment of the True AfterCare Platform
Software Ops utilizes various cloud based platforms to deploy our customer’s systems. For True AfterCare we chose Heroku as our cloud based system, as we have been using Heroku for over 6 years and find it to be a very cost effective platform. We continue to use Heroku, but have used Amazon Web Service offerings as well.
We use the Apple App Store to deploy iOS apps and use Google Play to deploy Android apps.
Ultimate Outcome - A Functioning System
Today the True AfterCare platform is up and running and supporting the business model as designed. A true success for True AfterCare
Reasons for Success
Developing a platform like True AfterCare is nontrivial because the requirements of the system included native Android and iOS apps, and a cloud bases system with a central database. It also included two distinct portals for users of the system to access via a web browser.
It takes a team of skilled individuals working together to produce a complex system like True AfterCare and Software Ops has that team.
The Software Ops process begins with our Discovery Engagement, continues with our Agile Development process, and ends with our skill to deploy a modern mobile platform to the internet.