CONTACT US
The Way
We Do Things
Is Different
And Better

CLIENTEK

The Way

Through more than 22 years of continuous improvement we have adopted and refined a unique combination of project management techniques and engagement model. Using well established agile methods backed by strong governance, great tools, and well trained practitioners, we help you define success for your project, then achieve it in predictable increments.

Through our project dashboards, you have a complete view of the status every single day. Every two weeks you see real progress against your prioritized objectives as produced by our hybrid on-shore/off-shore teams.

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About Us

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We Do Things

Using well established agile methods backed by strong governance, great tools, and well trained practitioners, we help you define success for your project, then achieve it in predictable increments. Through our project dashboards, you have a complete view of the status every single day. Every two weeks you see real progress against your prioritized objectives.

We share the risk by charging a flat fee for each two week increment (“sprint”). At the start of the sprint, we agree on a set of objectives to be met. Unless we agree otherwise early and clearly, we deliver against those objectives at sprint end. We invoice you when you accept the sprint results. Or not at all if we missed the mark.

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Different

Our unique engagement model matches capacity to demand in a tight curve. We form a dedicated, hybrid team for each project. Senior, key team members are on-shore employees of Clientek. Other members are captive, off-shore developers and testers. At each sprint transition you may request a team size change as appropriate to meet your needs. Want to go faster or do more? Increase the team size and sprint flat fee. No need for that much capacity? Decrease the team size and fee.

And finally, at the end of each sprint you judge the accumulated value of what we’ve built. When you reach marketable critical mass – you release it. We’ll work with you up front to establish a budget and timeline (we call it a Release Plan). But whenever the product looks good enough to sell, you can move to production -- getting to market much faster than you’ve ever done before.

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Better

The most important thing is the success of your project. That sums up the way our approach is better than others. Our teams remain focused on this one, powerful idea: that we are here to contribute to your success as measured by you and as delivered to the marketplace.

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The Way

There are lots of ways of getting software done. How does ours work?

Through more than 22 years of continuous improvement we have adopted and refined a unique combination of project management techniques and engagement model. Using well established agile methods backed by strong governance, great tools, and well trained practitioners, we help you define success for your project, then achieve it in predictable increments. Through our project dashboards, you have a complete view of the status every single day. Every two weeks you see real progress against your prioritized objectives as produced by our hybrid on-shore/off-shore teams.

More About The Way We Do Things

Our process will get your project to done.

Initiation

Each engagement begins with an Initiation Sprint. Senior consultants work with you to define the criteria of success for your project. In two to four weeks our experienced team produces key project planning deliverables:
  • Project Vision – a clear definition of the measureable objectives

  • Architectural Vision – a high-level description of the required architectural elements and key system constraints

  • Market Vision – a high-level definition of the anticipated user community and go-to-market concepts

  • Release Plan – a high-level timeline mapping delivered value to milestones

  • Initial Product Backlog – a prioritized list of features to be developed

  • Initial Team Definition and Budget – confirmed on-shore named resources, off-shore team sizing and mix, and a flat-fee-sprint based budget estimate

Execution

Upon your approval of these deliverables, the Execution Sprints begin. Each takes the same form:
  • Planning – on day one, a set of features is selected from the backlog and committed for this sprint

  • Execution – the team uses daily coordination to execute tasks contributing to the completion of each committed feature; you track progress through the live dashboard and frequent communications from the team

  • Backlog Grooming – midway through this sprint, the Scrum Master works with you to prepare pending backlog items for selection and execution in the next sprint

  • Demo – at the end of the sprint you see a demo of the committed items for your approval; upon your approval we issue an invoice for the agreed flat fee

  • Retrospective – the final activity is a team examination and discussion of the success of this sprint and ideas of how to improve for the next sprint

Resolution

After each sprint, you may discuss with our account manager several possible actions:
  • Go To Production – when sufficient value has been delivered and a marketable product appears ready we plan for the final sprint, called the transition sprint, and move the project into production

  • End The Project – for your own reasons you decide to end the project at this time; if appropriate we execute one additional transition sprint

  • Pause the Project – for your own reasons you decide to hold on the next sprint activities pending decisions, budget, or other timing issues; we remain ready to restart at any time

  • Change the Team Size – together we agree that the team should either increase in size or decrease in size; the sprint fee is adjusted, the release plan is adjusted as appropriate, and the next sprint begins with the new team size

Transition

When the time is right, the engagement moves into the Transition Sprint. This targets a completion of the current set of functionality and preparation for you to take ownership. Often this includes such things as staff training, architectural overview meetings, production rollout planning, and related activities.

Shared Risk

Should you determine at the end of any sprint that the team is not meeting your expectations and that you do not accept the output of that sprint, we agree to end the project. You do not pay for a sprint that was not accepted. If appropriate, we prepare any artifacts or other work product produced during paid sprints and deliver them to you in good order and without delay. Alternatively we may propose, and you may accept, adjusts to the output of the failed sprint. We make those adjustments at our cost and change a failed sprint into success.

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Who are we?

We have a long history of getting valuable work done fast. Here are the essentials.

Founded in 1992 we’ve engaged with more than 170 clients in more than 1,700 projects. Our customers span many markets and in come all sizes. They all have one thing in common: they want to get their solutions into play as soon as possible and begin to leverage the value of the important work.

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More About Who We Are

We have a long history of getting valuable work done fast. Here are the essentials.

Kirk Hoaglund, CEO

Kirk founded Clientek in 1992 after enjoying ten years at Control Data Corporation. With more than 30 years of experience building software solutions, he is focused on creating customer success stories – delivering software that generates real, measurable value. With numerous publications, several software patents, and deep experience in executive management, Kirk’s proven track record is applied to every client engagement.

Nathan Johnston, Technology

Starting his career in 1986, Nathan has worked in all aspects of IT solution delivery from infrastructure through development to management. His technology experience is both deep and broad. As a key consultant to many of our largest clients, he rides the cutting edge, staying current and relevant. He brings that deep knowledge base to our project governance process, ensuring we deliver solid, workable, and relevant systems.

Jesse LaDousa, Delivery

For nearly twenty years Jesse has been building, maturing and managing software development teams, being the catalyst that produces repeatable project success. His focus on driving both efficiency and results across all projects assures faster time to market with higher quality results. He brings a passion for governance and management that helps Clientek keep its core promise: the success of your project is the most important thing.

Craig Vosper, Process

In the twenty years since Craig’s seven-year service in the U.S. Army he has continuously refined his approach to process improvement. With rigor born from being a member of one of the largest teams in the world, Craig has deep passion for creating team success through well-considered processes. Craig’s process gurus help our clients improve their own execution. And they bring that experience back to the governance of our project teams.

Team

Our project teams are composed of senior, dedicated, on-shore leaders who manage a dedicated off-shore team of technologists. The on-shore leaders are responsible for ensuring the success of the project and your satisfaction with every aspect of the engagement. Our off-shore technologists are dedicated to our teams and have plenty of experience working with us.

Team leadership roles are filled as appropriate to the details of the engagement and will include some or all of:

  • Account Manager: our key interface to you with the ultimate responsibility for success

  • Team Leader: delivering the skills of an analyst, the team leader ensures that we understand your needs, constraints, and timeline

  • Solution Architect: bringing deep technical experience, the solution architect ensures that we build a solid solution that is appropriate to your systems, staff, and existing components

  • User Experience Architect: to guarantee that the solution is usable and delights its users, our UX architect works with you and your team to design the best experience possible

  • Scrum Master: a Scrum Master manages the project backlog, priorities, and status reporting constantly working to ensure that the team runs at peak efficiency

We enjoy a long-standing relationship with a stellar off-shore group. They provide dedicated resources who work with our teams on many projects. Our hybrid team coordinates its activities every single day and ensures an overlap of several hours. Taking advantage of the time-zone differences, the combined team can effectively focus 18-20 hours per day executing on project tasks.

Should you elect to attend the daily coordination meeting, you’ll hear from most team members. With complete transparency you’ll experience their approach, questions, refinement, problem resolution, and, most importantly, dedication to your project’s success.

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We Do Things

With everything we do rooted in our base methodology and engagement model, we offer four practice areas.

You need to get your idea into the hands and minds of your customers. That’s your job. In order to do that, you need your idea fleshed out and turned into a working system. That’s our job. We’ve done just that with thousands of ideas. There is a good chance that something you do each day involves a system we’ve delivered for one of our customers.

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More About The Things We Do

Solution Development

You need to get your idea into the hands and minds of your customers. That’s your job. In order to do that, you need your idea fleshed out and turned into a working system. That’s our job. We’ve done just that with thousands of ideas. There is a good chance that something you do each day involves a system we’ve delivered for one of our customers.
We design, build, integration, deploy, and support software systems. While the usual, modern technology buzzwords apply, we approach the problem from a point of agnosticism. The architectural and component decisions that need to be made a both the same and different with every project. The same because the real span of useful, enterprise-class components is not large. Different because you already have systems in place, people working on them, and customers using them. Those things have greater impact on the architectural decisions than any intrinsic coolness of a particular technology component.

  • User Experience Engineering

  • Mobile Device Interfaces -- iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile

  • Web Application Interfaces – HTML5, CSS3, and desktop experience

  • Web Service APIs – SOAP, REST, JSON

  • Functionally specific computation engines – payroll, finance, underwriting, etc.

  • Scalable, resilient database engines – Oracle, SQL Server, SQL Azure, Hadoop

  • Secure and reliable inter-component communications

  • Communications routing and handling – Azure Service Bus, AWS Queues, and others

Training and Coaching

We are very well practiced at our project management methods. They are all based on accepted, wide-spread, and well-documented mechanisms, such as Scrum and Value Focused Analysis. We use these concepts every single day in every single project. We train our people regularly and make sure everyone has a common understanding of how all this works. And we constantly measure to make sure it is all working.

We can bring those same things to you. The improvements we’ve been able to make can also be made within your teams. We have helped many organizations, of all sizes, adopt agile methods. Our trainers and coaches have deep experience and know how to plan such engagements so that they can work within your enterprise.

Managed Services

When you’d like us to take a system all the way from design to managed hosting, we can help. Our capabilities span the necessary services that bring your system to life in the marketplace. We can provide:

  • Managed Application Hosting in AWS or Microsoft Azure

  • 24x7 NOC Monitoring and Up-time Assurance/Troubleshooting

  • 24x7 Call Center Support Services

  • Mobile Device Provisioning and Deployment

  • Capacity Planning

  • Elastic Service Monitoring and Management

  • Full-System Performance and Security Testing and Monitoring

Consulting

The brainpower that drives our successful engagements comes from the minds of very experienced, focused people. We employ people with superior analytical and communication skills. These skills can be applied to specific opportunities with you.
We've have helped our clients with:

  • Merger and Acquisition Due Diligence

  • Merger and Acquisition Integration

  • Software System Performance Tuning

  • Technology Refresh Planning

  • Legacy System Sunsetting

  • New Product or New Market Concepts, POCs, and Planning

  • System Security Assessment and Advisement

  • Large-scale System Rollout Planning

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...Is Different

We're different. Here's why you should care.

Clientek was founded on the idea that we could fundamentally improve the way that IT professional services are delivered.

This has remained our goal for over 22 years and we make more and better progress every year. There are several key ways that our engagement model and processes differ from our competition.

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More About How We're Different

Dont believe us? We'll give you a free quote.

Focus on Value

For a long time, the way that progress has been measured is through activity. As an industry, we've planned ahead to generate a certain amount of activity. When that amount has been accomplished, it feels like something good has happened. Further, we’ve priced the work based entirely on that activity: we’ve charge by the hour.

That’s never seemed quite right to us.

While activity is certainly an element of executing against a set of goals, the achievement of the goals marks progress. That is, the delivery of value marks progress. Our teams work with you to define those goals, in a measureable fashion. Then the goals are targeted in priority order, delivering the most important things earliest. We charge for delivery, drawing a clear line between price and value.

Deliver Soon and Often

The longer it takes to deliver a demonstrable increment of value, the higher the risk – the larger the potential error. If you wait for two months before reviewing the output of a team, then the risk of error is the entire two months of time and budget. And when delivery progress is measured in horizontal slices (e.g. “here is the completed database schema” “take a look at the finished data access layer”) it is impossible to judge the value of that result and your project goals.
Our teams plan their projects so that vertical slices of the final solution are delivered soon after starting the work, and then often thereafter. We start by defining the smallest features that will provide value to you. Then, if applicable, we decompose that into vertical slices that can be tested and demonstrated. A vertical slice touches many elements of the final solution providing early risk control on the architecture. And the vertical approach helps avoid overdesigning each of the solution layers. Only that which contributes to the goals will be built.

Share the Risk

Because we plan all of our work in small increments, it is feasible for us to share the risk with you on each increment. We agree at the onset about which goals will be targeted. Then we work toward that. You are kept in the loop every day. At the end of each increment, we show you what we’ve accomplished.

Upon your approval, we issue an invoice.

Things can happen even during the course of short cycles. There can be unknown challenges from either side that we all can agree represent a rational change to the expected output of a cycle. If that happens, we work with you to adjust. No such adjustment will ever be suggested just a few days before the iteration ends. And no adjustments will be allowed without your full agreement.

Guarantee Predictability, Transparency, and Flexibility

Rigorous adherence to agile methods and value-focused analysis results in an engagement that keeps you well-informed, adapts to your changing needs, and produces regular, usable results in a predictable fashion.

Early in the course of a project our teams settle into a pattern of work that displays a stable and slightly increasing velocity. The velocity of a team measures its ability to produce a certain amount of deliverable value for each interaction. With a stable velocity, it becomes easy to predict the timeline for a string of results. Because teams tend to gradually improve within the bounds of a single project, it is routine to meet, then slightly beat deadlines. This stability also makes it possible to accurately determine the impact of a change – how it will affect the planned timeline.

From the very start those things that contribute to team velocity are discussed, tracked, managed, and communicated. You’ll have a complete view of what is happening with the team and the project. We publish and actively maintain a dashboard for every engagement. You’ll see when the team has slowed to handle a particularly challenging problem. You’ll see them recover and it will be clear to everyone how that happened – so it can be repeated the next time. There are no mysteries.

Because it is always clear that the team is working on and has planned, and the velocity has become predictable, changes are much easier to manage. The impact on the engagement is clear and decisions about adjustments, changes, or even new ideas can be made in the context of the effects on the whole outcome. This level of unprecedented flexibility helps you get what want and get to market quicker.

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And Better.

There are lots of advantages to working with Clientek.

The most important thing is the success of your project. That sums up the way our approach is better than others. Our teams remain focused on this one, powerful idea: that we are here to contribute to your success as measured by you and as delivered to the marketplace.

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Way Better.

There are lots of advantages to working with Clientek.

Faster Time to Market

Your project is a success when the developed system is put into production. Then the planned returns can begin. The faster you can deploy a working solution, the sooner you can reap the rewards. It is common for our teams to deploy many versions of a solution long before other methods have deployed even one. Each version improves on the one before and business value is delivered from the very first.

Higher Quality

Our agile methods vastly improve the quality of delivered solutions in several ways:

  • Quality Assurance from the start. Planning for and execution of quality assurance activities starts on the first day of the project.

  • Vertical-slice Development. Because we design and build our systems from vertical solution slices, real testing is possible early and many components of the system receive regular, repeated, and detailed coverage.

  • Feature Decomposition. The same techniques that lead to predictable development help with quality as well. By decomposing features into manageable and understandable pieces, development proceeds with fewer risks and test results are much easier to analyze.

Greater Predictability

It is just this simple, predictability means you get the planned value for the planned price. Risks are easier to identify and managed. Unplanned impacts can be analyzed and managed. There are no surprises that stay surprising.

Capacity Matched to Demand

Our engagement model allows you to adjust team and budget parameters often. There is no chance you are paying for idle resources. There is no chance we won’t be able to increase capacity if your demand or timeline changes. Because our team capacity can be matched to the project demands at a very granular level, the overall price is less. You pay only for what you need.

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