Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Grassroots - Idea to Launch - Part 4 of 4

App Redesign - October 1st week

Sakthi, our Designer made almost all screen designs and UI Implementation also started. Meanwhile, I was showing that to Design gurus in my circle, asking for feedback, ways to improve it even better.

I contacted Avis Manoj and explained about Grassroots and shown him the design. He totally loved the overall project idea (how can he not!) and decided to support us, more than I expected. He made his first sample design, Event Listing page.

From this
To this

After seeing the above transformation, we brainstormed and decided to redo the complete UI. That's a very major decision at this point, as it means missing all internal milestones and extended QA release to 1 week before App launch on Nov 19. But sticking to our policy of Better quality, we proceeded with re-doing of this new UI.

As for UI Implementation, big appreciation goes to Ram Kumar and Gopi Natraj for their excellent support in implementing this UI from scratch in such short time.

NGO Admin - Dropping resource again!

October 3rd week. The new front end developer, who joined September 1st week and shown good progress in first 2 weeks is way off track and couldn't deliver as promised, because of his personal problems. We are just a month away from Launch and now the NGO Admin works again goes to Hold.

I was hunting down for resources to get it to completion. Pulled in various people and initiated them in current code base. Parallely, Arjun pulled in his friend Aravind to develop NGO Admin from scratch in a PHP based template. Not wanting to take any risk at this point, I let couple of developers work parallely on same requirement to see who progress.

Aravind/Arjun, with their expertise in PHP accelerated NGO Admin development.

Out of this chaos, I found this super supportive Gem, Pooja Srivastava, who supported first with NGO Admin, then with fixing functionality defects in app and later become our Front end Lead, taking over every front end development from Volunteer App, NGO Admin to Master Control Panel.

Big applause to Ashok Jp, who after completing his 10 hour work day, supported to fix app defects in the last 10 days.

Last week Development

In last 2 weeks, we decided to drop more than 60% of planned features as most of them were partially done, not given to QA for proper testing. It's a clear decision to give necessity features and given them clean with good quality.

Because of last minute Design change and loads and loads of fixes, we were like working 18 hours / day in last 1 week and prepared the app for launch. Without even complete QA, we went to Launch.
Last Day (T-1) team work in my home.

Operations and Launch Preparation

Technical struggles on one side. Field struggles on another side.

Our field Commandos, Gowtham Shana and Sathish Kumar were taking care of college sessions, taking various measures to connect Volunteers into the system. More than all, they handles the complete Launch preparation all by themselves with absolutely zero input, support from me in last 3 weeks.

Grassroots Launch preparation is such a heavy weight task and none of us had any previous experience managing such a big activity all by ourself. From Venue selection, Chief guest selection, to inviting All social activists in Chennai, they ran Pillar to Post to make this possible, in grand way possible. I should also appreciate Darthy Rachel, Arun Prasad, Sakthi vel and numerous others, who co-ordinated with the Commandos in making the launch possible.

Launch

Official Launch post @ http://grassrootsapp.in/blog/2016/11/much-awaited-grassroots-goes-live/

As for Launch, Yes, There are big room for improvements, glitches, mistakes. Regardless of all this, I would say, its a grand success, given our little expertise and prior experience. Complete credits to the Commandos, Gowtham and Sathish.

Grassroots is not just an App. It is a Team, it is an emotion, it is a seed for Revolution. Islands of NGOs and Social workers, when connected together in a single platform is going to bring on massive social changes at an ever accelerating pace, than anyone can now imagine.

Grassroots, as an App and as a Team is a new born and now walking in 4 legs. It will take time to walk in 2 legs and grow. It will definitely fall down many times, because that's the process of learning. But it will always move forward, keep evolving and serving it's role, Connecting people for Social change.