How NOT to do digital transformation as a publisher

A ‘digital first’ approach is no longer a nice-to-have for publishers and media organisations; it’s a matter of survival. But becoming a true digital player is no mean feat, and there’s a lot at stake. To help navigate the minefield, Inviqa held a roundtable with senior directors and digital leaders from some of the UK’s leading media, publishing, and entertainment organisations...

5 takeaways from dmexco 2016

In many ways, this year’s dmexco conference was bigger and better than ever. The annual Cologne gathering of 50,000 digital media and marketing professionals is always a great opportunity to make connections, debate the big issues, and take a barometer reading of the industry. And with record-breaking attendance and big industry questions on the table, this was one to watch.

Analogue tools for a digital life

As a digital PM, I spend all day in front of two screens, and as a tech geek, I usually spend a few more hours in front of screens when I get home. Even my addiction to reading novels - formerly a low-tech endeavour - involves a screen these days, thanks to my trusty Kindle. Recently, I've found integrating an analogue tool into my project management arsenal (AKA "keeping a paper diary") has really helped me focus on what's important. Plus, I get to buy nice stationery.

Opportunities for lenders with digital intermediaries

In our previous article we looked at intermediaries and brokerage in the digital era. So what to make of the rise of these digital aggregators in the SME lending market? Well, firstly, when working with the right aggregators it should mean easier and fewer relationships with your introducer network, superior quality leads that match your lending criteria and more complete lead information delivered online...

5 essential technology tips for fleet businesses

At Byng, we build new online revenue channels, customer services and systems that improve internal processes for businesses. We specialise in intermediated industries such as travel, insurance, lending, banking, publishing, utilities and shipbroking - where a good web and mobile offering provides a strong competitive edge to businesses that embrace technology. We've gathered a few tips for fleet businesses, on how to make the most out of web and mobile tech. This is based on experience working for companies such as Virgin Atlantic, PayPoint, TD Direct Investing and Allianz.

The greatest strategy for project retrospectives

Software delivery teams often struggle to implement all outputs from a retrospective. Once a team is into their next sprint, the new backlog takes priority and what may have been agreed in the retrospective can be put onto the back burner. Starfish, a technique for retrospectives, helps the team to take accountability for retrospective outcomes to ensure they are achieved...

How to improve Agile software delivery with story maps

As part of an Agile delivery team, you may be familiar with the usual project constraints of budget, time and scope. All too often, one or more of these elements needs to be reduced to allow for project delivery. But how can you quickly find out how close you are to delivery? How can you decide at what point your product becomes a releasable MVP?

How to convince your CFO to invest in modernising Legacy Systems

Legacy technology is the bane of progressive IT. Primarily, it means that progression is slow and although that clearly means less ability to deliver value for the business as a whole, it’s still difficult to fully explain to your CFO why you need budget to invest in legacy systems. Make no mistake, you will still need to earn majority support from your board, but as the keeper of the budget keys, your CFO is the judge to your stakeholders’ jury. Here are four pieces of tried-and-tested advice to help you communicate the problem and guarantee that investment.

3 tips for better brand communication online

No matter if you are a law firm, a government department, a car manufacturer, selling services and products, or just promoting your name, how your brand communicates online is vital. However, it’s no longer enough to produce an arresting design with some PR-based copy and simply wait for the sales to roll in - instead, brands must plan for inevitable change and find ways to ensure their message isn’t lost as their customers and competitors charge ahead.

The Kanban can-can

The Can-Can is a high-energy and physically demanding music hall dance, traditionally performed by a chorus line of female dancers. The spectacle is at its best when the troupe appear to perform as one harmonious unit, much like an established Kanban team. Tenuous links aside, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing several teams and their associated customers benefit from a Kanban approach to maintenance work (aka Business as Usual or BAU for short), so I’d like to share with you some of the processes we’ve come up with to help keep the work flowing smoothly - and how we’ve implemented these ideas in Jira.

How to build an extension for PHPSPEC

I recently launched a new extension for PhpSpec, something that was a lot of fun, but also made me realise that building an extension allows you to learn so much more about the tool you are building for and about design philosophies. I want to share my experiences to offer a reference point for other engineers thinking about building an extension for their tool of choice.

An introduction to testing and quality assurance

Why do we need testers? It’s human nature to make errors and therefore any developer working on a large piece of work will make errors along the way. Since the inception of high-level computer programming back in the 1950s, developers have been writing massive amounts of code to deliver a very specific function. Ultimately errors will occur, bugs can and will slip into the code, and as a result defects may appear in the software delivered to the end user.

Empathy: the diference between product ownership and scope creep

When practicing Agile, the product owner (PO) role is designed to represent the client business in the development team. From a technical standpoint, the product owner lends focus to the team. From the customer standpoint, the product owner adds an increasing degree of accountability to the day-by-day and to the project as a whole. The product owner is more than critical to the outcome of the project.

5 simple tips on starting a new scrum team

As many companies within the IT industry move away from Waterfall/PRINCE 2 and more towards Agile/Scrum, it can be hard for project managers and Scrum teams to know what the best approaches are for a new Scrum team. There is a lot of information online that provides information about what Scrum is, what tools are available, and what the Scrum process is. I have worked in the digital/ IT industry as project manager/ business analyst since 2005 and have worked with Scrum since joining Inviqa at the start of February 2014. The transition has been a steep learning curve and in this article I will share some of the practices I have learnt to improve Scrum team efficiency.

Inviqa finds harmony in Symfony for myjobmatcher.com

MyJobMatcher.com, part of the Opinio Group, is an online job matching platform that finds career opportunities for candidates based on content from their uploaded CVs.

MyJobMatcher.com’s intelligent matching system was already attracting millions of job seekers, but was quickly reaching performance capacity. MyJobMatcher.com engaged Inviqa to help it break free of its legacy systems and build a scalable platform that could support its continuous and rapid growth.  

Bugs and defects: why you should treat them differently

How many of you have wondered about the difference in bugs and defects? How many would argue they both are the same? And how do you define if an issue is within or out of the scope of a sprint? In this blog, I’d like to look at what defines a bug and a defect, why I think they are different, and the benefits for keeping them separate. While differentiating bugs and defects won’t address every issue within a sprint, having clear distinction for these terms definitely helps to keep your team focused on what you have agreed to deliver.

8 tips for avoiding vendor lock in

Vendor lock-in makes a customer dependent on a supplier for a product or service, and unable to use another vendor without substantial switching costs or inconvenience. While standards, bodies and an increased focus on interoperability have helped reduce the threat of application lock-in, web site and web application development can still be a minefield. In this article, we will look at eight ideas that can help companies avoid vendor lock-in, intentional or otherwise, when setting up new sites or systems.

How clean is your code?

As a new addition to the Inviqa Group, I recently attended the Inviqa Bootcamp, an internal week of training in which we are taught the development techniques and processes the Inviqa technical team leaders have put in place for automating and standardising the way each project is run. What impressed me the most during this week of training is how important employee professionalism and quality are for Inviqa. Its dedicated training team focus constantly on improving team skills and technical ability to make us better software engineers and deliver bigger and better digital projects.

An introduction to service APIs

Every company starts with a single website or web application, but as a company’s internet presence grows, many different applications and websites are deployed. With a traditional approach of treating each of these applications as a completely separate solution, a number of problems occur. But by introducing a service API the problems of the traditional approach can be overcome...

10 tips for improving website performance

On the Internet nothing causes people as much grief, anger and aggravation as a slow loading website. If a website does not load within the critical first 2 seconds 50% of viewers will click or tap away and most of them won’t return. This means lower conversion rates, lower rankings on searches and anemic traffic. And this rule is not only applicable for small websites. Google saw a drop of 20% traffic because a page loaded half a second slower. Amazon experienced substantial revenue losses because page load speed increased by 100 milliseconds.

6 Tips on choosing a technical partner for outsourcing

Have you decided to get a new website or a mobile app or make your current website mobile friendly? Great. Go for it. That’s the first 20% of your job done. For most of us the biggest challenges are the technical skills needed to pull-off the project allied to a stable delivery that offers businesses value for money. When it comes to designing a serious web application, an iOS app or a responsive website an overwhelming number of companies choose to outsource it to a third party.

Transforming a mobile-unfriendly site with responsive design

SAM Learning is the company behind Penda Learning - a web-based science and math training resource for teachers in the US.   

The challenge  

SAM Learning was receiving feedback from teachers that the Penda Learning website didn’t work when they were trying to access it from a tablet. Teachers found the initial interaction unusable because the homepage was not optimized for mobile devices, and this was affecting sales.  

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