SMOPs, Usability, and Software Mediated WorkflowsTM
We joke that software is just a SMOP, a “Simple Matter of Programming” as in: “we can do anything you want in the TIMETM System…it’s just a SMOP”. But it’s more than a SMOP. Product development is hard work and it’s more than programming (or coding, as it’s commonly known in the industry). It’s teamwork and Software Mediated WorkflowsTM. So much more goes into the development of the TIME System than just coding software.
For starters, we have Analyst Programmers, not coders, on staff. They are first and foremost Analysts and then Programmers. Our Analyst Programmers (APs) are highly technical and capable, always thoughtful about changes to the TIME System.
Next, our APs are not alone in creating excellent product development. Infian APs are part of a multidisciplinary, collaborative product development team. The team includes Infian Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), Client SMEs, Sales & Marketing, Quality Assurance (QA), Support, Implementers, and finally, Executive sponsorship. Simply stated, it’s only after the team carefully considers use cases, that is, requirements, and consults with various disciplines, do the APs design, code, test, and iterate. Sounds easy, right!? There is still much to consider to getting good product development.
A key ingredient in successful product development is usability. How easy is the product to use? Is the person using the product able to intuitively understand it? Is the user able to quickly use the product to achieve its intended functionality? Too many clicks? We count clicks. Are the buttons on the screen conveniently placed? We consider button placement. We consider colors. We consider most commonly used fields. We anticipate expected entries based on the person using the system. Whenever possible, we provide informed data to complete a field or display selectable, contextual responses.
Software Mediated WorkflowsTM is one of the most important features of the TIME System. Infian coined the phrase Software Mediated WorkflowsTM to describe our intent for what the TIME System can achieve. Ultimately, Software Mediated Workflows represent Infian’s approach to usability within the clinical context based on the focused effort of a broad multidisciplinary team where quality care for the patient is central and saving providers’ time is a driving force.
With Software Mediated Workflows, our users’ workflows guide our product development and, conversely, the TIME System guides our users’ workflows. A yin and yang or symbiotic relationship. Which came first…the chicken or the egg? In this instance, we know our users’ workflows came first!