Protean Methodology

Taking two years to bring a product to market through a traditional waterfall development cycle with a large team isn't acceptable any more, but neither is delivering solutions for the enterprise that don't meet the true needs of your target customers from day one. We can help you balance those concerns through our innovative product development methodology.


We start every project by sitting with clients to collect notions. Notions are not specs - they are a set of ideas about what our clients believe the product should be and what they believe their customers will want.


Using these notions, we talk to a number of customers and conduct qualitative, open interviews. We are still not looking for specs, but for the real business problems and opportunities that, if solved, will deliver real value.


After our initial research is complete we create a picture of the Most Valuable Product. The MVP is a feature, or set of features, that is essential to maximizing the opportunity. Most importantly, the MVP is a product that customers will buy. We don't believe in building "minimal" products that fail this critical test.


At the same time we are defining the MVP, we also create a roadmap with other key features the product should ultimately have. The roadmap defines where the product is going and ensures the first release, the MVP, will be developed in consideration of the product's ultimate scale.


The first objective in development is a sole focus on developing the MVP and delivering it to customers as quickly as possible. Protea will recommend and manage hosting and other infrastructure necessary for performance, scale, security and compliance.

Continuous Agility

After the MVP is shipped, the product is continuously improved following Agile methodologies. Ongoing development time is commonly divided as follows:

  • 50% Development towards the Roadmap.
  • 25% Fast fixes. Immediate opportunities to improve function.
  • 25% Fast features. Immediate opportunities to add new functionality.

In the shipping product, the Roadmap and the fixes and features are prioritized by constantly communicating with customers and internal stakeholders. This feedback incudes:

  • Quantitative measures. Real results and measures provided by the customer or gleaned from monitoring how the product is used.
  • Qualitative measures. Frequent communication with customers and stakeholders to identify business needs and provide solutions.


To understand more about the basis of our methodologies please see:
  • Running Lean
  • Agile Manifesto
  • Rugged Manifesto