• Gathering Information - Time and Materials

    Time and Materials

    This is a continuation from our Fixed Bid post.

    It could be argued that time and materials is the best approach for both sides. If the agency or developers know what they are doing, it should be easy to come up with a budget and time line that could be met within that budget. You can break down the hours into buckets that allow for shifting of the time to keep within budget. Agile will allow the agency to demonstrate progress and ensure that the client is kept in touch with their project. Why doesn’t everyone just start with Time and Materials? I think in reality most developer/agencies are doing this under the guise of fixed bid. The following takes place: Client engages with agency. Agency agrees on the scope of the project. Client expects the scope and cost to remain the same. The scope changes, the agency doesn’t say anything. Finally, the agency says that they need more money for “X” feature and are now months into the project.

    The best approach is to define stories within the Epic(s) and assign some effort to what it will take to complete the story. If the story is well written the details of the feature are inherent because of the outcome of the story. Let’s go over an example.

    Story: I would like to get 2 burritos and 2 chilitos from Taco Bell. Looking at this as a developer I want to discover some things. I need to know where the Taco Bell is. I need to know how I am going to get to Taco Bell. I need to know if I will have enough money to pay for the Taco Bell and finally I need to if it will be open when I go there. There are of course a 100 different things that could be involved but these cover the main points and the reason we use a story is so many of the obvious things don’t have to be detailed.

    Our discovery finds the following: I will use my Scooter to get there. I have $10 which will be more than enough money to pay for it. Taco Bell is open until 2am so I will leave early enough to get there. The scenario can run deeper but you get the point. We don’t have to define what is in a chilito and what is a scooter. These things are assumed in the project.

    The key to a successful project using the time and materials model is good reporting and a clear budget. The advantage is we have a fluid environment to work in where things can get done. The con’s are that it will be easy for anyone to derail the process.

    The information gathering is partially done upfront and partially done during the project. (The more upfront the better!)

    For next time I will write about "Sharing with a team"

  • Acquia/Magento partnership: content and commerce combine

    Editors note: This blog post was first featured on and was originally posted on November 3rd, 2016

    Acquia and Magento Commerce have joined forces to integrate Acquia’s digital experience portfolio with Magento’s commerce and fulfilment solutions.

    This integration of open-source content and commerce solutions is intended to enable global brands and merchants to take control of the customer journey and deliver highly personalized, content-rich experiences across every touchpoint.

    “Acquia and Magento combine the best attributes of open-source development — agility, speed, innovation and security,” explained Acquia CEO Tom Erickson. “Together, we’re putting the power back in the hands of merchants and brands to allow them to control every pixel of the experience throughout the customer journey.”

    The partnership is promoted as offering B2B and B2C merchants:

    • Personalization at scale: Contextually optimized real-time experiences across the entire customer journey, regardless of device or channel
    • Speed to market: Rapid deployment and management of content-rich commerce experiences
    • Empowered marketers: Allows marketers to own the customer experience and collaborate more closely with merchandisers
    • Flexible integration: Unlimited flexibility to meet any market need or technology configuration

    Magento Commerce CEO Mark Lavelle commented: “The combined power of our respective technologies and our thriving global ecosystems will allow our customers to drive unbridled innovation, engage consumers like never before, and pave the way for the commerce experiences of tomorrow.”

    To enable the solution, Acquia and Magento will integrate the Drupal CMS and Acquia Lift solutions for personalization with Magento’s commerce and order management products to unify content, commerce and context across the customer journey.

  • Issues with EE 1.14.3 / CE 1.9.3 and Malware Cleanup Recommendations

    This email provides updates on remediating sites impacted by the recent malware attacks and issues with newly-released Enterprise Edition 1.14.3 and Community Edition 1.9.3 software.

    Malware Remediation
    New malware strains impacting Magento sites have recently emerged. On Monday, we shared recommendations for identifying impacted sites and protecting your clients from future attacks. Today, we are posting another article on how to remediate a site that has been compromised by malware. You can find the article in the Security Center at Please review it with your team and share it with your clients.

    Issues with Enterprise Edition 1.14.3 and Community Edition 1.9.3
    Several issues with our most recent Magento 1.x release have been reported. Some affect functionality critical to store operations and we are working on a new release (Enterprise Edition Edition that is tentatively scheduled for the end of next week. Magento is aware of the following issues:

    • Search results return all store products
    • Some integrations using Magento APIs no longer work
    • Bundled product prices do not update
    • Store-specific attribute labels disappear
    • Auto generated passwords do not work for some customers
    • Exceptions appear for stores with disabled breadcrumbs
    • Free shipping sales rules are not calculated correctly
    • PHP warnings occur with the session timestamp variable

    We recommend that merchants wait to upgrade to Community Edition 1.9.3 and Enterprise Edition 1.14.3, and instead apply the latest security patch, SUPEE-8788, which does not have these issues.

    If merchants have already upgraded, are experiencing issues, and cannot wait for the new release, the Magento community has created a module that resolves the issues outlined above. It can be found at Magento has not tested this module. If you and your clients decide to use it, we recommend you remove the community module and upgrade to Enterprise Edition or Community Edition as soon as they are available.

    Thank you,
    Wagento Team

  • Upcoming Magento 1.x and 2.x Releases Provide Critical Security and Functional Updates

    Get Ready to Assist Clients

    To help you better serve your clients, we are providing a preview of important Magento releases scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, 2016. This information should be kept confidential and should not be shared or discussed publicly until the release date.

    Enterprise Edition 1.14.3 and Community Edition 1.9.3 deliver over 120 quality improvements, as well as support for PHP 5.6. They also resolve critical security issues, including:

    • Remote code execution vulnerabilities with certain payment methods
    • Possibility of SQL injections due to Zend Framework library vulnerabilities
    • Cross site scripting (XSS) risks with the Enterprise Edition private sale invitation feature
    • Improper session invalidation when an Admin user logs out
    • The ability for unauthorized users to back up Magento files or databases

    The SUPEE-8788 patch addresses these security issues in earlier Magento versions. Functional update details and installation instructions will be available Tuesday in the Enterprise Edition and Community Edition release notes; a full list of security updates will also be published Tuesday in the Magento Security Center.

    Updates to Magento 2 software address the same critical security issues described above. Additionally, the releases make several functional improvements and API enhancements. New API methods allow 3rd party solutions, such as shipping or ERP applications, to use APIs to transition an order state when they create an invoice or shipment. Magento 2.1.2 now also includes PHP 7.0.4 support and Magento 2.0.10 and 2.1.2 are compatible with MySQL 5.7. A summary of improvements will be available in the release notes on Tuesday; all security updates will also be listed Tuesday in the Security Center.

    We strongly encourage you to work with your clients to implement these releases immediately, as attackers may target merchants who are slow to patch these issues. Updates should be installed and tested in a development environment before being put into production. Also, please use this occasion to do a security assessment of your clients’ systems in accordance with our Security Best Practices.

    Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

  • 2016 Magento Masters and Our Very Own Mentor

    At MagentoLive France, they announced the Magento Masters program to recognize top contributors in the Magento community. We are pleased to learn that our very own Brent Peterson was chosen as one of the 2016 Magento Masters!

    What is a Magento Master Mentor? Mentors are top contributors to the Magento Community who are highly active educating others and developing resources for them. They have proven expertise in building successful Magneto implementations.

    A little more about Brent and why he was chosen:

    Brent W. Peterson is the Chief Magento Evangelist and Agency Coach at Wagento. He loves to run, bike, and ski, in that order. He is often found at Magento events organizing running meetups with wife Susan. You can tweet him @brentwpeterson

    Brent was selected as a Magento Master for 2016 based on his 2015 speaking engagements on a variety of Magento topics from project management to kickstarting a Magento store, keeping the Mangento community in shape by organizing running events everywhere he goes and consistently helping the community by moderating, and answering questions on the Magento Forums.

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