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CSIA Presents: Sketch to Product – A Case Study
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When: February 3, 2011
7:30am - 10:30am
Where: CSIA
216 16th St
Suite 850
Denver, CO  80202
Contact: Aimee Charlton

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Sketch to Product: A COPIC PQ case study on a collaborative approach to solution development

Win over your users on day one instead of day 99

How many times have you had users that didn’t try the product until the week before it was released and then were expected to give their blessing through gritted teeth?

How many times have you spent months building software for users that stayed out of the development process until a week before the release, and then bombarded developers and management with suggestions after it was too late to change the application?

Join us as we address the reasons why projects fail and share a collaborative approach that works well for creating effective products.

Aspenware’s team has been able to create applications for companies like COPIC because they get users involved from day one.  So, when software goes live, users experience a pleasant surprise of attractive, task oriented screens that don’t require a hefty user’s manual to explain them.

COPIC needed an enterprise application that could achieve significant business objectives of upgrading its e-Commerce site, enabling online group communication, and providing secure online access inside the company and over the Internet.  In creating a premium product for COPIC the Aspenware team used a collaborative approach, working closely with COPIC and every level of user from day one.  They took industry best practices and weaved them together and used cutting edge collaborative tools. They used hand-drawn sketches, and then gave interactive presentations of those screen sketches using Microsoft SketchFlow.  They gathered and stored feedback on their project web page, created screencast (videos) that illustrated application functionality, and conducted regular product demos starting at the beginning of the project. The result was "Practice Quality,” a companion set of applications (server and mobile), that is useful, intuitive, fun to use, and tells a story of COPIC’s excellence. 

In this session, Aspenware Internet Solutions and COPIC will cover key technical features of the project as well as explore the collaborative approach used in creating COPIC PQ; a set of applications that are both geek and sleek. It’s much more than collaboration and e-commerce software in this case study. 

Key take-a-ways include: 

  • How do you guarantee a successful application development when stakes are high and IT budgets are tight?
  • What are best practices for getting users involved in custom application development early on? 
  • As the IT director, how do you best work with vendors to get internet solutions that execute against your business objectives, are of premium quality, and are easy for non-technical users to navigate?
  • How do you build an application that doesn’t require a user’s manual?
  • How do you ensure a good relationship with your software vendor? What methods and tools can you utilize, and what values and expectations can you practice to improve this relationship?
Ticket Information:
Complimentary for all CSIA Members
$55 for Non-Members

7:30am – 8:00am Registration & Breakfast
8:00am – 8:15am Welcome & Introductions
8:15am – 9:30am Case Study Presentation
9:30am – 10:00am Audience Q&A
10:00am – 10:30am Continued Networking

Tom Koenig, VP of IT, COPIC
Tom is the Vice-President of Information Technology, responsible for all IT functions at COPIC.   COPIC is the leading provider of Physician Liability Insurance in Colorado.  He has been in the IT field for 22 years holding varied roles that include developer, project manager, data base administrator, infrastructure management and head of IT.  Tom has worked in the fields of health/life insurance, telecommunications, consulting, online publishing and data services.

Daren May, Chief Technical Officer, Aspenware Internet Solutions, Inc.
Daren loves collaborating with a great team to build great software. He believes that this happens when the team can interact directly with end users and stakeholders, understand the problem, and iterate through designs and builds based upon feedback. He loves new technologies, fitness (ask him about his boot camps), listening to music on his Zune HD (shameless product placement), film, reading geeky things and horse riding. Despite his accent, he claims to be an American. He's at Aspenware for the people that work here - 'hands down.'

It has been said that formal education will make you a living, but self-education will make you a fortune. Daren began his career and self-education as a radio, radar and sonar engineer in the Royal Navy at age 16.  He served for a ten-year period during which he led a team of engineers that maintained the radio, radar and sonar systems of an entire squadron of aircraft and became an integral part of the team that developed a fleet-wide software solution for tracking aircraft maintenance. Upon leaving the Royal Navy, Daren continued to grow through self- education and focused work, climbing up the ranks from a systems engineer at WPDS Software to a critical leader in EMC Consulting, where he worked as a practice team lead overseeing technical delivery for projects within the West and Central region of the US, before accepting a position at Aspenware.

As CTO of Aspenware, Daren leads a team of highly skilled developers that believe FA is job one and deliver incredible solutions (ask him about FA at Lunch N Learn).  Daren brings depth and breadth in his technical expertise, an energetic personality, motivational leadership, and charismatic presence to any situation. His self-education never ends - this quarter he has extended his mobile application skillset to include Windows Phone 7, leveraged the offline capabilities of out of browser Silverlight applications, and spent time learning about "bare foot” running shoes.

Dan Larson, Project Manager / Software Developer, Aspenware Internet Solutions, Inc.
Dan believes that creativity is not just for artists. It is also for business people that are able to find a unique solution to a problem. Dan is that way. He is an artistic, businesses-minded project manager and business analyst - who can also write code in a pinch. He is at Aspenware because the people work to be indispensable, regardless of job title. Dan is a family man who is hooked on adventure. When he's not piloting his airplane, you can find him playing with Photoshop or reading the likes of Seth Godin, Leo Tolstoy and C.S. Lewis.

Dan Larson is a project lead and user experience designer with Aspenware.  He has been a senior project manager and business analyst for the past 9 years.  Dan is a certified Project Management Professional through the PMI institute, and has managed teams of up to 45 people on projects with budgets up to 19 million.  He is also well versed in a number of software development methodologies including SCRUM agile development and the Rational Unified Process (RUP).  In the past 3 years, Dan has delivered a project to consolidate the back office inventories of 3 major telecommunications companies merging over 10 million data records to unify voice and data networks.  Dan is also a former business owner, software developer, programming instructor and user interface designer.  

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