How unique are my business
- In the experience of stSoftware, it is those businesses with
innovative (unique) processes (workflow), developed over time, by
owners and administrators that enjoy the most success. It is
those processes which creates their “unique value proposition”.
Their workflows have evolved to embody the uniqueness of
service those businesses deliver. It is the efficiency of
delivery and/or the customer experience these processes create
which differentiates those businesses in a competitive world.
- The ability of JobTrack to be customised to the particular
needs of client businesses sets it apart from other products in the
workflow space. JobTrack has a comprehensive set of
commercial workflows which are adaptable and customisable, enabling
your business to implement a customised capability to support the
delivery of your unique workflow.
- The unique value proposition of stSoftware is our ability to
implement systems which distinguish your business.
Do I need customised software?
- If your accounting system is the rear view window of your
business, JobTrack is the windscreen and steering wheel through
which you manage and direct your business. JobTrack provides
the usual tools to capture and direct your customer interactions
from first call to invoice and beyond.
- Successful businesses have their way of delivering unique
customer value. This is often the small commercial edge
supporting the businesses commercial success. While JobTrack
takes care of the 80% of your normal commercial needs, it is the
20% which are unique to your businesses which can define your
business’s “unique value proposition”.
- In essence most businesses need both a solid commercial
solution and their unique capabilities. You need a product
and a capability which gives your business a cost edge, a
performance edge and a capability edge.
How do I get the best of both
- Start with a configurable commercial workflow product which
will cost effectively meet your routine business requirements and
when customised functionality will add value or deliver operational
efficiencies. JobTrack is a complete, configurable “off
the shelf” commercial workflow manager. stSoftware configures
this functionality to implement your business processes.
stSoftware uses the Agile software development methodology to
efficiently deliver your system.
- The Agile method is regarded as being superior to the “
Waterfall” methodology. With the Waterfall methodology
systems may be fixed price, but systems developed this way are
typically inflexible. Failures of the Waterfall methodology
are often due to systems being developed in isolation from
contemporaneous user input. Systems developed this way are often
not quite what the client wanted, thought he was getting, or indeed
needed for business. In contrast the Agile methodology
systems are prototyped in a timely manner with shorter development
intervals between client reviews, the client gains better
understanding of scope, functionality and fitness for purpose of
each enhancement. This allows you to control and guide the
system development and budget. The trade-off is that it is
not possible to provide a fixed price; the commercial engagement
for customisation is “time and materials”.
What are the differences between Bespoke
development, Customisation, Parameterisation and “extended
- Bespoke developments refer to development where all or most of
the software required is developed to meet the needs of a single
customer. All requirements need to be fully specified,
developed and tested and debugged by that customer, usually at the
customer expense. These projects also tend to have long
development cycles. Further the maintenance of the bespoke
software is usually at the cost of the single customer.
- Software Customisation, refer to the situation where much of
the functionality already exists and is available to be modified to
meet individual requirements. Software customisation
can be achieved in a variety of ways. The software may have
the ability to be configured by entering values into the package
which manages its behaviour (this is called parameterisation) or by
changing the underling code. Changing the underline code
often introduces bugs and creates a new instance of the software
which can then be problematic to maintain.
- Parameterisation is the quickest way to customise
software. Configuring software this way rarely introduces
bugs. Updates to the package rarely create issue for
previously customised functions, making maintenance relatively
inexpensive. New package functionality is relatively easy to
use without losing existing customisations.
- It is sometimes desirable to extend the functionality of an
existing package to meet your unique requirement. stSoftware
generally include the extended functionality in the JobTrack
product, ensuring its future maintainability.
- JobTrack is designed to be parameterised to meet unique
business workflows. Creating your unique business workflow is
a matter of connecting the dots so to speak.
What does a typical stSoftware customer look
- Many of stSoftware’s customers are successful businesses who
are wishing to scale their operations to meet expanding demand and
improve their service delivery. Typically they keep critical
business data in a variety of sources; often duplicated or
otherwise fragmented. Often critical business processes are
on legacy systems, on paper, in spreadsheets or sometimes only in
the heads of key staff. They want to consolidate their
business systems but often don’t want to change their existing
accounting system. They want to improve the consistency
of service delivery to both protect their existing business and to
position it for significant growth. They often believe they
are surviving despite their systems rather than because of
- There is another consistent theme; clients often tell us they
need to improve their discipline and consistency at the same time
as improving their operational flexibility. JobTrack
allows a single consistent view of any business transaction and its
history, at any part of the service delivery lifecycle, from any
location, on different platforms (desktop, notebook, mobile phone)
and with many views, all with appropriate security and controls in
- You probably have already have reviewed the stSoftware website
but stSoftware recommends you call our office and have a short
conversation about your business requirement.
- If that discussion indicates to you that there is a good fit
between the JobTrack product and your business needs, we recommend
you engage us to conduct a mapping of your unique business
functions to the JobTrack “off the shelf” product.
- This consultancy will to provide you with a professionally
prepared gap analysis, a works program and a Preliminary
Budget. The Preliminary Budget is constructed on the
basis the standard product “look and feel” and functionality of
JobTrack is accepted as being fit for purpose. The budget is
provided in good faith, without prejudice, and as such is only to
be regarded by the client as a guide to possible future
costs. Using the Agile method means your works program will
change as successive iterations of the system are implemented.
- The Preliminary Budget will have metrics supporting the work
program. For instance, the Preliminary Budget would detail
how many screens or reports might need to be modified.
- The consultancy will also identify the functional extensions to
the JobTrack “off the shelf” product to meet your unique business
functions. It is recommended that any proposed new
functionality be risk tested as part of the initial consultancy
- Engaging stSoftware to produce a custom system
Step 1: Mapping existing JobTrack functionality to
- This is a consulting engagement. stSoftware will map your
organisation and roles to the functionality in JobTrack. We
will conduct a task analysis which involves the study of what your
staff do in terms of actions and/or cognitive processes to do their
job. A detailed task analysis is used to understand the current
system, the information flows within it, the problems for people,
and opportunities for innovation. We will also identify the
business rules you use and map those to the capabilities of
JobTrack. The consultancy professionally documents the way
you want your business to operate (that is your commercial
- With this consolidation of your businesses processes at hand,
you can creatively exploit the myriad of existing functionality in
JobTrack to organise your customer dealings with precision.
Step 2: Refining the budget and mitigating
- Using the consultancy report, you will understand in reasonable
detail the customisations which will be required to allow you to
implement your unique business processes. This allows you to refine
your requirements and manage the scope and timetable of the
engagement. Typically you will want to prioritise
customisations which support your key competitive advantages.
You will also want to understand the technical and budgetary
risks. Typically you will want these risks addressed before
committing to a larger development scope.
Step 3: Controlling the development and
commissioning the solution.
- You control the outcome and budget by managing the effort
committed to system development in any particular period. You
determine the scope of the system. Together with us, you
explore cost effective alternatives for achieving the business
outcomes you require.
- As each iteration is released, you set your priorities and
requirements for the next iteration.
What is the relationship between JobTrack and
- JobTrack is a business management software package which is
able to be parameterised to manage the typical processes involved
in managing a customer service including contact management, job
costing, quotation, tracking service delivery, invoicing etc.
- stSoftware is a consulting business which specialises in the
delivery of services related to the customisation of JobTrack
(parameterisation and functional extensions).