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As the team gets oriented, they start to discover and track the tasks they need to do to build the project. It’s important at this early phase that they don’t create a master plan of parts that should come together in the 11th hour. If the team completes a lot of tasks but there’s no “one thing” to click on and try out, it’s hard to feel progress. A team can do a lot of work but feel insecure because they don’t have anything real to show for it yet. Lots of things are done but nothing is really done.
Instead they should aim to make something tangible and demoable early—in the first week or so. That requires integrating vertically on one small piece of the project instead of chipping away at the horizontal layers.
We can think of projects in two layers: front-end and back-end, design and code. While technically speaking there are more layers than this, these two are the primary integration challenge in most projects.