Achieving maximum effectiveness and benefit from your investment requires commitment from every level of your organisation. It also requires people experienced in implementations with expertise in your industry.
A Professional Services team with many years of implementing Atex systems will be allocated against the agreed project plan to provide a combination of industry, software and technical expertise. Atex will also appoint a Project Manager to act as a focal point between the two organisations to ensure successful delivery of your solution against a robust and predictable plan.
Atex is flexible in its project planning approach to cater for the variety of engagements it encounters but fundamentally works against proven Deployment methodologies.
Atex uses agile methodologies to focus on customer business values. In most instances the agile methodology is Scrum, which prioritises customer’s most important requirements in a list called 'backlog'.
Normally the project organization and selection processes stipulate the formal rules, responsibilities, and communication routes within a project. However, independently, there are further proven success factors that should influence the process and way of work:
- The product owner makes the priorities in the project and owns the backlog. This is a resource from the customer or third party.
- The Scrum Master is an Atex systems architect who is responsible for giving the delivery to the product owner. Rather than plan, instruct and direct, the Scrum Master facilitates, coaches and leads.
- A team of application specialists who works in short iterations (i.e. sprints) delivers production ready solutions with demos every week for a strong feedback loop.
Agile Software development
Agile software development is a group of software development methodologies based on similar principles. Agile methodologies promote a project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation; a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organisation and accountability, including a set of engineering best practices that allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software; and a business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals.
Scrum is an agile methodology used by Atex that includes a set of practices and predefined roles. The main roles in Scrum are the "Scrum Master" who maintains the processes and works similarly to a project manager; the "Product Owner" who represents the stakeholders; and the Team which includes the developers. The team (usually 5-7 persons) typically includes cross-functional skills with respect to development.
During each sprint, typically a 1–4 week period (length decided by the , the team creates an increment of usable software. The set of features that go into a sprint comes from the product "backlog", which is a prioritised set of high level requirements of work to be done based on the client requirements for the project.
These backlog items constitutes the project deliverables and should be prioritised in cooperation with the client in order to develop the most valuable and useful functionality. Which backlog items go into the sprint is determined during the sprint-planning meeting. During this meeting, the Product Owner informs the team of the items in the product backlog that he wants completed. The team then determines how much of this they can commit to complete during the next sprint. During a sprint, no one is able to change the sprint backlog, which means that the requirements are frozen for that sprint.
At the start of every day there is a daily scrum meeting that lasts 15 to 30 minutes to discuss progress, clarifications, issues and the current days work. The target will always be to complete that Sprint in the period. Resourcing will be allocated to maintain progress. Consistent progress to the end point is the target.
After a sprint is completed, the team demonstrates the use of the software and there is also a meeting called the “retrospective” used to monitor and to improve predictability for the next Sprint.