1. Determine The Need
What is it that you need to program AR for?
What is the problem you want to solve? What do you need to communicate? How can you help your customers?
In short: What is your vision?
2. Describe your Vision
First without thinking too much, describe what you want to achieve and who you want to achieve it for. It’s your vision, be bold, you have the insights on what will be valuable to you but also the audience that you want to build this for. Keep your feet somewhat on the ground and keep it within a use case and break it down into use cases like one of the examples above.
3. Put a fence around it
Now it’s time to think of the things that will need to be considered. What’s the information that goes into it? Maybe it’s describing a process, maybe it’s bringing certain people together. Having some ballpark of a budget can help and a timeline even if it’s just the first phase all helps to make it happen.
4. Define it further
This is where you zoom a bit, get into the details of your build
- What will users be able to achieve by using it?
- What benefit does that bring to your business?
- What are your assumptions, do you need to prove anything first?
- What is the minimum viable product (MVP) for this build?
- Has anyone tried to solve this problem before?
You’d be wise here to check out your competitors and see what you can learn and create a point of difference
From there, you should ask the question: how can we do it better?
5. Find out who has the expertise
Someone is going to need to build the vision, right? But how do you decide who?
Maybe your business has people that can apply their knowledge. Look to your network and who can help you discover the right people.
But maybe, you’ll need to find the right people, which means a few more questions:
- Do you hire someone or do you outsource?
- What do these people need to have done to have the expertise needed?
- What are the key things that will help you choose between people?
6. What are things you will need to know to make decisions?
Now that you’ve found the right people, if you want to be the decision maker then you will need the knowledge to make the decision. Sometimes this is asking the right questions and goes back to what was defined in step 4.
Now an important part is understanding what a decision you’re making means and to do this you may need to take the time to learn. After all that is why it’s called making an informed decision and decisions often involve compromise so ask:
- Is there an alternative?
- Why is this option better than the other option
Having a plan saying what it is and what it will do and sometimes more importantly what it won’t do will keep everyone on the bus and moving towards the destination. This is called the scope of work.
7. Creating the Scope of Work for Augmented Reality
Whenever you’re collaborating with people inside or outside your organisation, it’s all too easy to miscommunicate or make presumptions that send a project off course. That’s why a scope of work (SOW) is an important document for any Augmented Reality project.
A SOW brings together everything from work details, to schedules, terms, and expected outcomes to not only define exactly what should be done on a project. But also to protect everyone from the dreaded scope creep where features, additions, and nice-to-haves balloon your project beyond what you’d initially planned.
Think of it like a map that guides the completion of the project, these are the must haves for any augmented reality scope of work.
- Detail: If it’s not on the SOW, don’t assume it will get done.
- Visualisation: Showing what you’re talking through pictures and storyboards go a long way in explaining your vision and also keeping your expectations in check.
- Definitions: Augmented Reality has many terms and phrases and making sure you and the team understand these is important. This goes back to knowing what you need to know and also making sure everything is defined within reason.
- Time for reviews: A SOW is a plan. But at their best, plans are just educated guesses. Make sure your timeline has space in it for reviews, as the reviews can often reveal things that mean a change in plan.
- What is success? Probably the most important aspect of an effective SOW is everyone understanding what success looks like. If it’s at all unclear what you want to achieve at the end, rewrite it.
Now a SOW can be a trap in itself, you can spend too much time and budget endlessly defining the scope. At some point you need to be comfortable that you have the plan in place and the right people to achieve it. The best thing to have understood is the augmented reality user experience or at least the augmented reality user journey and this is often defined by how the augmented reality experience triggers and tracks and this is defined by the augmented reality solution which can be called the augmented reality platform or the augmented reality toolkit or the augmented reality framework or the augmented reality SDK. Yes the pieces are all falling into place now right ! (If not then you got back to the start)