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Agile working for more success

How low-code platforms promote agile work:

What is agile working?

The concept of agile working is a response to the ever-increasing complexity of entrepreneurial processes and the speed of change in fields such as development or marketing. Agile teams are designed to increase efficiency and innovation through greater adaptability.

This is based on a manifesto (agilemanifesto.org) written in 2001 by a group of experts in the field of software development. It sets out guiding principles and principles that are used by an agile team. In the meantime, the concept is also being applied in many other industries.

Guiding principles

The four guiding principles:
  • Individuals and interactions more than processes and tools
  • Functioning software more than comprehensive documentation
  • Cooperation with the customer more than contract negotiation
  • Responding to change more than following a plan

“That is, although we think the values on the right are important, we rate the values on the left side higher.” (Source: www.agilemanifesto.org)

In the application for companies outside of software development, the word “software” can be simply replaced by “service” or “product”. These guiding principles make it clear that the social dimension as well as the final result and adaptable work are put above technical aspects and documentation.

The principles of the Agile Manifesto describe important cornerstones of agile work. Particular emphasis is placed on close cooperation and direct communication as well as on the prerequisite for high motivation and self-organization of the employees. Management should be more supportive (servant leadership) and trust, rather than commanding and controlling from above. Instead of a five-year plan, visions are formulated that serve as hubs for any necessary rearrangements in planning. In addition, continuity is particularly important in many areas. The pace of work should be uniform – overtime is not foreseen – while changes and new insights are welcome and are continuously included in the development. This is also part of the continuous reflection that serves to continuously optimize the processes and organization in the team. This also includes questioning work steps, finding simple solutions as simple as possible and avoiding unnecessary tasks.

However, the principles are not to be understood as a formula for the perfect team. Each team is made up of different personalities and has to develop its own optimal working method through continuous learning and reflection. This phase of “finding yourself” is an important part of the way to a well-functioning agile team.

Agile methods

  • In addition to the principles, some well-known agile methods such as Scrum or Kanban have also developed. Scrum, for example, relies on short “development sprints” from days to weeks, maximum months. Then the achieved stand is presented to the customer or manager. Optimization suggestions or new insights are then absorbed directly and incorporated in the next sprint.
  • However, an agile approach is not yet achieved with a pure application of these methods. Rather, the internalization of the guiding principles and principles – the agile mindset – is important in order to implement agile work and thus be successful. Nevertheless, agile methods are often borrowed and in places successfully used in less agile teams.
  • However, agile work is not suitable for every team. It makes real sense, especially in the complex market environment, where adaptations to new contexts are part of daily business and long-term planning is hardly possible.
How can software support agile working?

The simple configuration of business applications with a low-code platform such as a business app has many advantages for agile teams:

  • Existing building blocks can be used to build applications quickly and in simple steps for the team
  • For special project-specific requirements, Business App also allows you to create your own elements
  • High data transparency enables agile work and self-organization in a team, so that the collective intelligence of the experts can be optimally utilized
  • Due to a high degree of automation possibilities in the applications and the easy integration of external software via interfaces,valuable time is saved, for example, during documentation activities
  • The data-based view of past and future project histories, on the other hand, is of great benefit for continuous learning and reflection.
  • Easy user management and operating system friendliness creates benefits especially in collaboration with supra-regional agile teams

Clear the ring for marketing

Or how do you juggle your projects?

BA Hero Marketing ProjektAs a marketing team, you actually always juggle many projects at the same time. But creative circus is not desirable. For creativity you need time and rest. Who has which tasks? When are the deadlines? What is already done? Which status can be reported in the marketing meeting? You and your colleagues ask yourselves these and similar questions every day. Excel lists do not meet the requirements for transparency and teamwork in the company. Otherwise, your working days will always consist of inquiries, inquiries, inquiries. Do you implement marketing projects and need a solution that supports you in a simple and uncomplicated way? Whatever you need, with the solution Project Reporter you can use and extend the appropriate application in a simple and uncomplicated way. In addition to the usual address and communication management to suppliers, you can also upload files (photos, PDFs, Word documents, etc.) and add further information such as tasks, decisions, communication, etc. With the help of the traffic light status you keep the overview.

Marketing made easy

Print: Request quotations, distribute tasks, deliver print data on time, store view document, communicate the new material internally.

Events: Book stand space, hire stand constructors, delegate/monitor tasks, deliver material, send information internally, store trade show photos and share them with colleagues.

Social Media: Schedule posts, find/create image material, post image and text, call colleagues to share.

Campaigns: Record concept/procedure, document agreements and orders with suppliers, monitor work package, announce start and progress internally, campaign progress and results are available to everyone.

Press: Collect topics, work out text, pitch articles, document publications and send them to colleagues “beaming with joy”.

This can now be continued for almost all marketing projects.

In order to have a clear status of the projects in team meetings or in discussions with superiors, a project report can be generated directly from the application and no information, agreements or deadlines are lost. This is not only fast, but also ensures a professional appearance.

Last but not least, you communicate the project results internally within the company. The new brochures are here. This is what our trade fair stand looks like. We have published this technical article. … The colleagues will thank you for it.

This is how Project Reporter brings your marketing projects to success:

  • Simple, standardized project report
  • Project information, prices, agreements and decisions
  • Traffic light status for a quick overview
  • Integration of communication on the project report (conversations, notes, internal comments)
  • Overview of all tasks
  • Transparency to all projects

 

Which application do you need? Find out which Business App Solution suits you or create a completely individual solution for your business.

The software is there for the user

Why User Interface Design is so important

Since the first generation of computers, which were still operated by entering pure text, a lot has changed. Since the introduction of the Graphical User Interface, which allows even laypersons to use computers, usability is now the main focus. Today, the conception of the interface proves to be a complex interlocking of different development and design activities.

Group working on user interface

Software is not equal to software

With more and more complex technologies, their operation is also becoming more and more demanding. Differently trained users must be taken into account. Software should often not only be designed for desktop use, but should also be functional and intuitive to use on mobile devices. This is where inner logic and the balance between consistency and convention count. The user should be able to find operating functions and elements easily. However, different standards and trends must also be taken into account so that intuitive operation is retained on all devices.

Some sub-disciplines of user interface design

Chart User Interface Design

Sub-disciplines of User Interface Design

User Interface Design comprises first of all the conceptual, visual and technical design of digital interfaces between man and machine. The user interface and the associated interactions are designed according to aspects of user quality and design attractiveness.

The Information Architect initially lays the foundation for the further design. Above all, he categorizes and structures the contents and functions so that the user can find them easily. For a qualitatively valuable user interface design, this task should not be underestimated.

The Interaction Designer plans the provided interaction possibilities and the necessary user guidance. This also includes aspects such as text, icons and the type of interaction – does the user operate with mouse, touch, swipe?

The User Experience Designer basically combines all the disciplines mentioned above and goes one step further. For him, the user experience is at the center of attention. This should be as positive as possible so that the user is enthusiastic and recommends the product to others. For this purpose, so-called “personas” are usually differentiated, which stand prototypically for the individual user groups of a software. Based on these personas, action scenarios are then designed and thus possible negative experiences are excluded.

Actual … the user interface is the product

As far as the customer is concerned, the interface is the product.” | Jef Raskin*

Jef Raskin, one of the first interface designers at Apple, noticed this almost 20 years ago. And many quickly realized that he was right. Using the example of cloud computing software (SaaS), this can be explained quite simply.

Developer’s view: A developer usually has the big picture in mind. Uniformity is what counts. He prefers to use the latest technology, a single integrated database, and work through the cloud, where he has everything under control. Special solutions, offline capability, etc. – all this means more work for him and a higher risk of problems.

User perspective: A user views a software product from the perspective of his individual needs. He rarely looks into the full depth of the software, but simply at the user interface (UI). One would like to have an easy-to-use UI for his smartphone. Another would like a UI that fully exploits the performance of his desktop PC.

If one divides such different demands on the product into the above-mentioned “personas”, it is much easier to take them into account. The end product may no longer correspond to what a developer would have designed from the outset. Instead, however, more customer wishes are fulfilled, which makes the product more successful.

The fact that such an implementation involves more costs for the customer and may be less easily scalable to large user groups is a critical factor for many. Ultimately, however, consumers also know that a higher investment may be worthwhile for quality.

It makes sense, especially for midsize companies, whose requirements can vary greatly, to invest in adaptable software that meets all their user requirements.

 

* Raskin, Jef (2000): The Human Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems. Boston: Addison Wesley.

 

Tailor-made personnel services

Finding the right personnel at the right time. Does the person meet the customer’s requirements? A lot of paperwork, huge amounts of files and many applications for different jobs from people all over Germany or even worldwide. Challenges for employees of companies offering personnel services.
A common problem in companies with personnel services: Create internal structures, keep the overview and ensure that the workflow is not endangered. With an infinite number of Excel lists in which the most varied information of all employees is stored, one does not necessarily make any progress. But there is another way. Whether setcards for models, hostesses, service staff or staff for customer service. Whether national or international customers. Tailor-made personnel services for trade fairs, conferences, congresses and events or model agency for TV, advertising or photo productions.

You place personnel worldwide and need a solution that supports you in a simple and uncomplicated way? Whatever you need, with Business App you can easily configure suitable applications for it. In addition to the usual address management, files can be uploaded here (photos, certificates, etc.) or information about size, clothing, second homes, language skills or special skills can be added.

In order to provide the customer with a clear summary of the applicants, a PDF can be generated directly from the application and a setcard is created that can be seen. This is not only quick and provides an overview, but also ensures a professional appearance towards the customer.

 

From the inquiry to the implementation – with tailor-made software:

  1. The customer makes an inquiry
He plans a big event, for which he needs 50 employees in the areas of catering, service and customer care in Berlin. His request is stored transparently in the application along with all other correspondence.
2. Search for the right personnel
In order to avoid costs for the customer, the database is filtered by place of residence: no further than 50 kilometres from Berlin. Due to the contact data stored in the database, it only takes a few minutes until the personnel from Berlin and the surrounding area are found.
3. Inquiries of available personnel
The job offer is sent to the available and suitable personnel by e-mail and they are informed about the period and the exact tasks. The customer’s briefing is also attached to the e-mail. This makes it easy to decide whether the job offer fits.
4. Passing on the setcards
After 50 employees have been found, the setcards are sent to the customer. They get an insight into appearance, size, language skills, abilities, etc. In this way, necessary steps can be taken in advance. For example, getting the right size of work clothes. This saves time and contributes to a smooth process.
5. Final discussion and filing of contracts
Each individual receives a contract that is valid for the period of the event. These are signed and stored in the application. Nothing gets lost and everything important remains in one central location.
Now there is nothing left to do, the event can begin.

Which application do you need? Find out which Business App solution suits you or create a completely individual solution for your business.

Human-Resources-Management

HR management – the key to success

What exactly is HR management?

Human resources management is the modern term for personnel management. Why everyone is now talking about HR management and not about personnel management can be explained by the terminology.

The use of the term resource underlines the importance of the employee for the company. The primary objective is, to provide the company with the human resources that are needed to cope with all its entrepreneurial tasks. In Planning the difficulty is, to take equal account of the balance of operational and employee interests. This already indicates that personnel management in every company is highly individual. Every company must find its way to successfully attract and develop employees.

Experiment failed – or not?

If you look at the history of personnel management, until 1930 human beings were primarily regarded as machines and a worker was led accordingly. Only the so-called lighting experiment drew attention to the fact, that the employee is a socially active being with his own interests. The main objective of the experiment was originally to find out, how the lighting of a room affects the working methods of the employees. By the way, an enormously important insight was gained. The working groups that were told, that they were part of an experiment, worked more intensively than those, who were not informed. Conclusion: Paying attention to the employee and making his importance for something clear, is the most important factor for increasing employee satisfaction and thus also productivity.

HR management – what is the problem?

The sentence “If Siemens knew what Siemens knows” reveals the difficulty of HR management. Every single employee brings knowledge and experience. It is the company’s most important resource. Promoting it and exploiting its potential should be at the top of the agenda. But the larger the company, the more difficult it becomes to deploy and support each individual optimally. Long communication channels and inadequate structures often prevent the ideal use of skills and abilities. Even with the support of certain software, limits often quickly become apparent. Especially in the area of HR management, every company works with highly individual processes and often does not have enough possibilities for adaptation with standard software.

What is the solution?

The success of your company depends on the skills of your employees. And what their goals are. For the digital future, they need completely new skills and abilities. Strategic personnel development and corresponding management methods are crucial to success. How do you make your goals the goals of your employees? And how do you continuously develop your employees?

Developing employees means supporting and challenging them. Qualified personnel development ensures the economic success of your company. With the Talent Manager you can optimally deploy your employees and promote their development. The perfect basis for modern human resource management.
The Talent Manager is the perfect application to solve the challenges of modern HR management. Simple and company-wide usable, it raises personnel development and management to a new level.

Reference Selling

Reference Selling: the best way to convince customers

Satisfied customers are the best advertisement and the best protection against competitors.
If your customers are satisfied, everyone should notice that. With good reference selling you can generate new prospects and convert leads into customers. On the other hand, it also helps with customer loyalty.

References are also exciting for our own employees. Nothing gives more motivation than a satisfied customer. But many companies find it difficult to create compelling reference stories. What is most important? This contribution reveals this.

Reference Selling significantly influences the purchase decision

Consumer evaluations of their experiences with products and service providers have a decisive impact on the purchasing and decision-making processes of other consumers. This development is confirmed by a GfK survey in 2017 conducted by Greven Medien : two thirds (66.4 %) of German citizens no longer make a purchase decision without first checking evaluations on the Internet. 31.9% of all respondents state that ratings in online portals influence their decision strongly or very strongly.

Reference Selling – a look behind the scenes

What is most interesting: what was the customer’s problem and how was it solved? How did the company proceed and what were the challenges? These “behind-the-scene” moments are very important for other customers to see if the company can deliver flexible solutions and has the expertise to match. If you can already demonstrate solutions for well-known customers, you automatically receive a leap of faith. Reference stories are an important sales argument, especially for the acquisition of new customers.

Reference Selling – how to get a great reference story

If you want to attract attention and stand out from the competition, you need reference marketing. However, many companies find it difficult to create references.
These are the typical success factors, so that in the end a good reference story is created:

    • Good cooperation from all involved
      An exciting reference story can only be written if all the exciting facts are gathered together.
    • Motivating the customer to a reference story
      Often the customer has his hands full and is not exactly waiting to get extra work. Good research in advance helps here.
    • Lively narrative style
      Nobody likes to read miserably long texts – more success is achieved with crisp short sentences and pictorial language that arouses emotions.
    • Appropriate image material
      Also here applies: emotional, exciting hangers obtain the best effect e.g. photos of the work employment or its result are more exciting than a picture of any company building. The presentation is most impressive with a video.

Reference selling – facts are not everything

With reference stories it is basically no different from painting. With the pencil one creates a foundation that has been achieved through cooperation with the customer. But it only becomes really interesting when colors are added and you start “coloring”. Attention, this is not meant to create untruths. It is not completely uninteresting how many employees the customer’s company has or how long the company has existed. But it is not the most important thing. More identification potential for other customers is provided, for example, by a concretely identifiable success that has resulted from the use of the new product. Scenic and detailed descriptions also arouse the interest of the reader. A look at the customer’s history is also often suitable to show the enormous development of the customer, in which the new solution has its share.

How can Reference Selling be implemented in everyday life?

Obtaining the right information and building a structured reference story is not so easy for many. Often the creation of a good story takes a relatively long time or is postponed because the daily business has priority.

Now there is a tool with which reference stories can be created easily, structured and with little effort.

The Reference Manager provides a template for the creation of reference stories and helps to break down and write down the customer project into its work steps, challenges and solutions. No information is forgotten. Images and videos can also be captured for reference.

Collaboration with colleagues and customers is simplified. All required information can be conveniently obtained electronically by colleagues, e.g. in sales or customer service, and entered directly by them. Communication with the customer in the form of conversations and emails is also easily and quickly documented for later traceability for reference purposes. This also includes approvals for the use of the reference by the customer, which are thus traceable at all times.

Of course, the Reference Manager also helps to keep the overview. The status shows which processing phase each reference story is in. Is the reference story available to the customer for approval or does a colleague still have to provide input? Everything can be traced very easily.

Create the basis for good reference selling now and create exciting references:

View the Reference Manger!