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What could be improved in your business to keep you relevant and profitable?

Perhaps you don’t know, but you think your competitors might.

What would your customers or employees find most use for today? A new way to pay? Easily accessible data that can be acted upon? A more pleasing and user-friendly design for your most-used service?

Microsoft Partner - Silver Application Development Gold Cloud Platform Crown Commercial Service Supplier

Introducing: The Razor Sprint

The Razor Sprint is designed for people who believe technology can enhance their business. If you want to make a change and take action, rather than just think and talk about it, Razor can help.

We get the right people in the room, without distractions, and produce meaningful prototypes, tested on real data, to help you decide what to do next.

This is a sprint through a single project. A proof of concept, developed in isolation, where you can remove the shackles and take risks. The Razor Sprint is quick and has a clear and singular focus.


What is it?

The Razor Sprint will get your organisation up and moving forward. Today’s digital economy is all about speed. Moving forward with technology has its risks – risks to security, risks of compatibility, risks of making the wrong choice – but sitting still is the greatest risk of all. We will create a safe space for innovation where, together we can challenge the status quo, make quick decisions and take action.

First, we understand and gather the problems and challenges. We then explore the possibilities, refine and select the best opportunity. Then we build something tangible and test it in the field.

A meeting room at Razor HQ

At the end of the process, there is something you can see working. This might be a working machine learning model that predicts potential fraud or pricing, a bot that can answer common customer service queries via multiple channels or a mobile app that can be used by customers to identify your products.

The process provides clarity on the possible, the return on investment and, ultimately, the confidence to take a leap with technology. When we take that leap, we stand to gain in the long run and open ourselves to new opportunities. A leap doesn’t have to be huge. Marginal gains right now can give a return for years; they set us on the right path and who knows where that could lead?

If you’re ready to take a step out of your comfort zone and ahead of your competition, spare some time to sprint with Razor and see what we can create together.


How do we do it?

You are probably asking, how we can do this? The answer is, that its possible due to a number of factors.

Firstly, Razor invests heavily in R&D, the team are always on the cutting edge of technology. We bring this knowledge from the whole team to each Razor Sprint, to accelerate the delivery.

Secondly, we use commoditised cloud technologies to accelerate our delivery. There is no reason to build everything from scratch, when you can leverage the existing platforms and technology, it’s how you combine them, where the real magic happens.


If you’re ready to take a step out of your comfort zone and ahead of your competition, spare some time to sprint with Razor and see what we can create together.

A black Sharpie marker pen.

Phase 1: Challenge – Yourself, others and the status quo

To start with, we bring a level of ignorance to ask the important questions: where, why, who, what? We also ask why not? Let’s challenge each other and ourselves and provoke different thinking.

Do you want to build a car? No, you want to get to your destination! Is that even the right destination? Let’s start with wheels, we’ll need them! Will we? What about wings?

There is also a blindness to what is technically possible. What may have been impossible or very difficult only months ago is now more attainable. The most dangerous phrase in business springs to mind: “We’ve always done it this way”.

Activities & Outputs

  • Observe how things are done and conduct contextual enquiries. Challenge everything, ask those obvious questions, without fear.

  • Identify all the problems that need to be solved. Give teams the freedom to be critical and get it up on sticky notes for all to see. We discuss them together, group them and explore them. How common are they? How severe?

  • Work through the problems to analyse and prioritise. How do we make sense of our world?

  • Document the current process of the identified problem. We use tools such as User Story Mapping and Value Stream Mapping and challenge each step. Lay it all out for everyone to see and understand so we can get to the root.

  • Agree what success looks like and how it can be measured.

The Razor Difference

  • We recognise the biases people carry with them and we challenge individuals to think differently about the business, their customers and themselves.

  • We have the technical expertise to speed up understanding and analysis of key problems and bring answers on what is possible and what is realistic without stifling creativity.

  • We bring a fresh perspective. You have the knowledge to deliver more and better value to your users. We help unlock that knowledge with challenging and creative thinking.

  • We align everything we do with your business objectives and strategies to ensure that whatever we do is exactly what is needed.


Phase 2: Select – A project to build

Having challenged our biases and broken down our options, we explore solutions. We have everything laid out before us and it’s time to make sense of it all so we can choose a great project to take forward.

We figure out which problems present the greatest opportunity if resolved, and how much effort each would take. Elements that support each of the opportunities, such as the existing systems, ease of integration, security and data concerns, location, access and speed are assessed.

Together we select a project to take into the next phase. A plan is then developed that clearly defines what is to be achieved, the metrics that will be measured and steps on how it will be achieved.

Activities & Outputs

  • Look at technology, old and new. How has it been deployed by others? How can it be used in this case? Can technologies be combined? We can start to build a business case.

  • What problems have others faced? Analyse together how we can learn from others’ mistakes. We become a customer and have a go. Smart people learn from their mistakes; really smart people learn from others' mistakes!

  • Quickly brainstorm what the new solutions could look like and challenge the status quo.

  • Sketch out interfaces and journeys for everyone to see. On paper, on the wall. We use the sketches to drive out conversation.

  • If the challenge relates to data, then articulate the questions that need to be answered. Define what data is required and discuss.

The Razor Difference

  • We will have made a mess. Razor will cut through the complexity and the clutter and help teams make sense of the options.

  • With our experience, we bring clarity on accessibility and usage of existing systems which may impact the project at later stages.

  • We know how to cherry pick a challenge to tackle and how to extract it with a clear and complete plan based on insight.

  • Often a simple solution holds more value than a complex one. We bring balance by helping people think big whilst remaining realistic and pragmatic.


A Discovery in progress with one of our clients

Phase 3: Build – An MVP

Having broken things down and picked out a project, we create something. This is a distraction-free zone. Right now, we won’t concern ourselves with the intricacies of integration or security. We focus on proving the concept.

If you've heard of a ‘Minimum Viable Product’ (MVP), well this is a ‘Minimum Viable Prototype’. It is our vehicle for learning, opening minds to what is possible and causing positive action that is the catalyst for a culture of innovation.

Your MVPrototype may be a simple interface to a machine learning model or automated bots to process purchase orders. Whatever it is, it will be focused on delivering the solution identified in the preceding stages. The output is key, so you can see the potential of what it can do and what it could become. Focus is key to the Razor Sprint. We get stuck in and solve one thing for you that can start a transformation.

Activities & Outputs

  • Based on the outputs from Phase Two, the Razor team creates something tangible, taking into account all of the work completed so far.

  • Work is completed in an ‘agile’ manner. Tasks are ‘time-boxed’ to ensure swift and efficient delivery. Expect to see something as quickly as a few days to a week following.

The Razor Difference

  • We accelerate the build by leveraging our vast experience, and an extensive catalogue of highly technical and cutting-edge projects supported by our R&D function.

  • We know how to keep the MVP manageable whilst ensuring we produce something which creates excitement amongst all stakeholders.

  • We strike a balance between planning and speed to give the team true agility. The build isn’t a straight line; we’ll help the team make quick decisions and go back a few steps to reassess if required.

  • As the output emerges, we stay open to new ideas that develop. What else could be improved? How else can we gain an advantage? We keep the dialogue open to further ignite a culture of innovation.


Phase 4: Test and validate – With users and stakeholders

With a working prototype in hand, we test with target users. We can demo the prototype in a controlled environment, allowing people to get hands-on and experience it. We can also run it alongside existing systems to prove the prototype synergises with other key technologies.

We will validate the success of these tests against the criteria we have all agreed in Phase 1 and be honest about the extent to which the prototype solves the original problem.

Then, we can start to think about the future. Is it scalable? How could the quality be enhanced with the next iteration? How challenging might it be to integrate this today? What would we change if we were to start again?

This is also a prime opportunity to show the leadership our work, to gain their feedback and guidance, buy in and direction, on the next steps to take.

Activities & Outputs

  • We will define the assumptions to test. What assumptions did we make in the development phases? Will people understand it? Can it cope with the speed of throughput? Is it clear and easy? Critically, does it add value?

  • Will it scale? Not just technically, but across the business.

  • Engagement with the wider team, especially those with first-hand experience of the area.

  • Capture and analyse results. Report on findings to different teams as required. What do the key users need to know to be inspired? What does the exec team need to know in order to measure the value of the process?

  • Define clear next steps. The process won’t end here. We have highlighted the potential outputs and inspired innovative thinking in the team. Now we can work with these outputs to detail the business case, security assessment or strategic roadmap development.

The Razor Difference

  • Razor pre-arms the business with information about the process and potential challenges. We know the pitfalls and help everyone be prepared.

  • We know how to capture and, critically, how to implement learnings. We have our eyes trained to spot the inefficiencies and opportunities for growth.

  • Our technical expertise means we can test the prototype with minimal disruption to existing systems whilst still generating real and useable data.

  • We know how to maintain the momentum created on the project, and we transfer this into positive action across multiple stakeholder groups.


Razor branded notepad and post-its.

The Razor Sprint is all about making a change and taking action – now. We break things down. We work from first principles to build things up again. We pick a great project to prove what can be done in a short space of time with the right attitude and the right experience on hand. And, we build something that people can see and feel, something which represents the possibilities for technology in your organisation.

Implementing new technology isn’t a neat and tidy process. There are systems to integrate with, data to manage, security to consider and a myriad of other questions and challenges.

It can be all too easy, however, to resist taking a step forward. The Razor Sprint lets you take a meaningful step in the right direction.

The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.

Seth Godin

We offer three options for the Razor Sprint: basic, essential and premium. Basic provides you with the minimum to explore and prove a concept. Essential advances the process and provides you with confidence, security and documented output, along with a clear understanding of the investment needed to realise the innovation and commercial viability.

The premium option takes the validation stage further by integrating the prototype into the existing processes. This may be running it alongside the existing systems to see how it would perform, or processing legacy data with it. This step can be broad as it completely depends on what has been created.

Feature
Basic

Essential

Premium
Engagement time frame 4 - 6 weeks 6 - 10 weeks 10 - 12 weeks
Explorative workshops & planning Yes Yes Yes
Build a prototype Yes Yes Yes
Security & data review No Yes Yes
Prototype integration No No Yes
Documented report No Yes Yes
Solution investment option No Yes Yes
Concept design No No Yes
Strategic roadmap development No No Yes
Business case development No No Yes

Let’s get started

The Razor Sprint can feel a little challenging at first but once the process gets started, the feeling soon changes into excitement, as the fog is lifted and there is clarity on the direction. That first little step in the right direction makes all the difference.

Are you ready to step ahead of your competition? Or are you going to wait until you’re forced to play catch-up?

The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

Peter Drucker
What we do
What else do we do?

From web applications, to bots, machine learning and computer vision. There is a lot we can do, what can we do for you?

Houses drawn on post-its
User Experience & Design thinking

We take the importance of people using technology seriously. User Experience & Design thinking play a vital role in how we understand and design new software.

Houses drawn on post-its
Discovery - Gaining clarity on where you are going

Not knowing where you are going can be disastrous for any business or project. Our unique Discovery process lifts the fog and provides the clarity needed.