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Big changes don’t happen all at once. Our process enables us to deliver meaningful, incremental modernization while building an overarching vision and strategy for modernizing.

Understanding the root of the problem

Research

Our goal is to build better foundations, not better facades or quick fixes. From the ground up, we can effectively and efficiently remake entire systems. This means we must begin by pursuing the underlying cause.

We conduct interviews, workshops, and surveys with a range of users and stakeholders to identify pain points. We always listen closely to the communities we serve, and strive to develop a nuanced and insightful understanding of their experiences and needs. We continually advocate for these voices, both to ourselves and our partners.

Aligning teams

Defining product vision

Our government partners bring decades of knowledge, experience, and policy insight to the table. We have our own set of specialities in technology and design. By bringing these skillsets together, our work becomes more impactful, the systems we build more resilient, and the tools we make more comprehensive.

We establish a product management framework to align stakeholders around a strategic vision that measures success and sets everyone up for efficient delivery. We nurture collaboration throughout the process by inviting feedback early and often, communicating transparently and continuously, and sharing and receiving knowledge with equal levels of enthusiasm.

User-centered design practices

Prototyping, usability testing, and iterating

Nava’s approach to user centered design prioritizes the needs of the people who will interact with, inform, and maintain the systems and services we build. We use nimble user research and design practices to get a functioning product into users’ hands as quickly as possible.

At Nava, research is integrated into the creative process. We holistically synthesize our data directly into our prototypes, which we iterate based on ongoing discovery with users. Qualitative and quantitative research methods continuously inform our decisions.

Agile software development

Our development teams practice agile software development to release working software quickly. This helps us reduce risk by breaking down delivery and deployments into smaller pieces of functionality released more frequently. This also allows for more thorough testing before each release, increases transparency to our stakeholders, and shortens the product feedback loop to allow for more responsive course correction relative to user needs.

We also make use of a shared execution framework – typically scrum – to enable the team, including our primary stakeholders, to effectively collaborate together to regularly deliver working software. Nava’s engineering organization places heavy emphasis on the consistent delivery of quality, useful working software relative to needs.

DevOps

Nava’s approach to DevOps is rooted in forward-thinking architecture, automated tooling, and robust production support. Our work is informed by deep expertise in iteratively modernizing large-scale, tightly-coupled systems and building loosely-coupled, performant, modular architectures to replace them. We use automation wherever possible to enable a quick, reliable, and frequent deployment cycle, including automated testing and deployment, backed by infrastructure defined as code so it can be peer-reviewed, transparent, and flexible to secure changes. And when we send highly performant services to production, we also provide the tools and capabilities to effectively mitigate issues.

Documentation

Content can have a major impact on product usability and user adoption, as well as internal business processes and team productivity. We employ human-centered design (HCD) thinking and best practices to write content that is relevant and easy to understand. To ensure that content is found and used, we employ product marketing practices.

Delivery

Delivery is at the heart of our process. We develop an open and comprehensive delivery framework and training program to engage development teams, business owners, and support agile delivery.

Measure for success

Nava’s approach to end user satisfaction is supported by defining and capturing both product and process metrics. These two functions ensure that we are building the right solutions for our users.