Feature Planning Workshop
A feature planning workshop is essentially a brainstorming session. At a bare minimum, the group will consist of the developer’s team manager and the person leading the project from within your own organization. the presence of other developers, software users and other stakeholders could also add value. During the workshop the identified requirements are captured in the form of user stories and prioritized.
Estimate and Schedule
After the feature planning workshop, the developers estimate how long each user story will take to implement. Work is divided into one or two week cycles (iterations) and resources are allocated accordingly. You should then receive an estimate and an iteration schedule.
Weekly/Fortnightly Demonstration and Planning Meetings
Once the project is given the go-ahead, you may want to meet developers again to plan the first iteration cycle – that is, to define goals for the iteration and to clarify, detail and re-prioritize features. The development team will then go away and write the code and tests while all the time collaborating with you to make sure they are building what you want.
At the end of the iteration, developers should demonstrate the completed features for that iteration. Then you can provide feedback and proceed to plan the second iteration in more detail. The process should keep repeating itself until the application is complete.
Once all the iterations are completed and you are happy with the result, the developers should deploy the final version of the application to your server. But the relationship should not end here – make sure they are there to support you if needed.