CabForward℠ adopted, from the inset, agile software development practices and lean process controls. Those practices are a very good fit for our philosophy and the way we want customers to feel about being in control of their project. We have had some missteps along the way, as all businesses do, but we always strive for excellence in every engagement.
Whether the project is a mobile or web application, Ruby on Rails or other open source framework, the process is the same, and our objectives unchanged. We wanted to find a way to give the client more control during the development cycle, so we looked for ways to put them in the driver’s seat. So, we turned the waterfall project management process around, putting the client “up front” in the development cycle. That’s how the name CabForward℠ evolved. It imparts the overriding passion we have for providing the best customer experience available. That’s also how our initial business slogan evolved; “We Build While You Drive.”
Waterfall and Big Design Up Front
It is often argued that the waterfall and Big Design up Front project management processes, in general, can be suited to software projects that are 1) stable (especially those projects with unchanging requirements, such as with shrink wrap software) and, 2) where it is possible and likely that designers will be able to fully predict problem areas of the system and produce a correct design before implementation is started, and, 3) that implementers follow the well-made, complete design accurately, ensuring that the integration of the system proceeds smoothly.
We took the best of both models and revised them to better fit agile and lean principles. The Big Design Up Front is at the core of our Discovery Sessions, which are designed to save our customers time and money by creating an overall approach to their project, developing User Stories, and defining each step of the development process from the Minimum Viable Product through to subsequent development sprints. We use elements of the waterfall process, too, we just switched them around to give the customer more control of their project through our own transparency.
Cab-forward Becomes CabForward℠
We wrote previously about how our company name, CabForward, came from researching cab-forward perspectives in various industries and how innovation was applied in those cases to improve applications and processes. We searched for corollaries in other practices that could validate our approach. The earliest use of the term “cab-forward” that we could find was the description of how a locomotive was positioned backwards at the head of a train to put the smoke stack and exhaust chest behind the crew.
In Origin of the Term Cab Forward we examined why railroads used that practice. The problem that ensued was that it put the tender in front of the locomotive, and tenders are intended to be pulled, not pushed, which limited the speed of the train. The solution was to redesign the locomotive so that the smoke stack, steam chest, and the tender, were behind the cab.
Some of the interesting detail we discovered along the way were things like the smoke stack that extended back over the roof of the cab, such as in the Rogers Consolidation locomotive, and the attempts to protect the crew through the use of smoke hoods.
That same innovative process was applied to motor vehicles, as well, when we researched trucks and cars that use the cab-forward design to provide better experience for drivers.
All of these principles revolve around a desire to protect the driver and elevate the overall experience. That’s what we wanted to do in our business; to put the customer in the driver’s seat, give them clear vision into what is going on, and give them control to speed up or slow down as necessary. The CabForward process works, and have many happy, repeat, customers who like this new approach to the development cycle.
Contact us for more information on how we can help your project.