Posts Tagged ‘software development

17
May
11

Activities Involving a Localized Application

When comes to localize an application or website, most of us will think only on the contents to suit the local language.  In fact, there are lots of areas to take care of and there are factors to determine how much we can localize or change the application or website.

Basic areas to change:

  1. Labels
  2. Action Buttons
  3. Navigation buttons/links
  4. Client validation messages
  5. Error messages (static or dynamic)
  6. Quick links
  7. Input boxes

Factors to determine localizations/changes:

  • Field lengths – for the specific context, grids, table what is the maximum field length of the affected text to fit the local language’s text.
  • Layout of the page – if the context is too long, how it will affect the user experience.  Example on the main page, should it not be too long to allow the user to scroll up/down on the screen to read the contents.
  • Search capability – the application is able to search by the local language characters.
  • Sorting capability – the application is able to sort in ascending or descending order based on the local language.
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16
Aug
09

Agile Method for WMS solutioning – Dynamics System Development Method

With only the fixed time frame to achieve the required scopes for the project, we have to adapt a software development methodology, probably apply one of the “Agile Methods” to focus to deliver the WMS solution quickly and efficiently.  The one I am looking to adapt is DSDM (Dynamic System Development Method).

Why will I choose DSDM as my project’s software development methods?  A few points have been considered to adapt this method to the team:

  1. The solution has to delivered on time and on budget.
  2. The core functions (as based on the business requirements)have to be delivered quickly and the future features will be delivered in a regular/iterative intervals.

The activities to be planned to work towards the delivery of the solution, we have to decide and work out the plan on:

  • High-level business requirements are defined before going into the details during the course of the development
  • What functions we can consider for iterative releases based on user feedbacks.
  • Decision-makings have to be made rapidly through the team members instead of going through any management processes/red-tapes to get approved.
  • We have to consider to meet the business needs rather on the technical perfection or good product quality.
  • Collaboration and cooperation with internal users and Customers must be actively involved to ensure the success of the project.
30
Mar
09

Projects I have been working on…

As coming to a year of my service to my current employer (MNC logistic/transportation company), I have come to think about what are the projects/solutions I had been working on and tracking them into my portfolio for future references

Projects that I have done for last one year:

  1. Warehousing Management System (Desktop Application)
  2. Inventory reports
  3. Business Objects Reports
  4. Freight Management System
  5. Online Order Management System
  6. EDI Integration
  7. Web services
  8. Document Repository solution for scanned shipments’ PODs
  9. AS2 Gateway implementation

Starting my 2nd year of employment, the projects in the pipelines are:

  1. Web-based Warehouse Management System
  2. Electronic Proof of Delivery (POD) solution
  3. EDI ASN implementation
  4. Infrastructure Upgrades for Online Order Management Solution
05
Jul
08

Action Plans for Improvements

For the last couple of days, major issues have reported in the projects.  Late feedback received from Customer on the test results on the portion of the data feeds being proceed by one of the system has failed.  The analysis of the root cause of the problem is not due to version control of the program (we have 2 new patches released a week ago) but the requirement has not been properly understood and not even detected during the unit testing.  Feedback from the Customer that the issue has occurred on the very first day of our joint-testings and it has been there since then and no one, even our development team has realised on this.  The requirement document has been shared to them even weeks before the joint-testing and it has been reviewed and discussed even during the conference call with the teams and repeatedly checking constantly with the development team if they have any issues.  This is a very disappointing moment for me to see the poor integrity of the work our Development team produce.

In another project, we are supposed to migrate 2 new change requests to the UAT environment as previously communicated by our IT manager to the Customer yesterday.  When I reached out to them on the progress, the next thing they mentioned to me is to test out these 2 changes on our development environment to see if they are working properly.  First of all, I am shocked we are supposed to migrate them and not in the stage to test on them.  Reviewing the ways of working, we lack of the processes to create prototypes of the requirements to review with Customer on the understanding of the functions that should be working to and doing things on our own ways.  But again, unrealistic time lines/pressure from Customer do not allow us to have the privileges to execute these processes.  We need to have a body, from both organizations, to highlight the importance of methodologies in having concept reviews and good understanding of realistic time lines and requirement gatherings.  Right now, the Customer is unhappy with the solution we providing, with unnecessary recurrence of previous bugs and setup issues during the migration to Production.

Moving forward as the IT Program Manager, I am working on the action plans with the Management from the above incidents on the missing gaps and improvements to be made to ensure we need to do things in the right ways.  As such, for every new project/initiative I am working towards the following items in tracking we have the necessary information to ensure smooth transitions for future projects and minising foreseen impacts as described in the above two paragraphs as much as possible.

  1. Resource Plannings/road maps from each functional team
  2. Gap Analysis – Functionality/Business Processes/Data/Administration/Operational Support (IT/Business)
  3. Business Requirement Document
  4. System Design Document
  5. Test Plan
  6. Deployment Plan/Cut over Plan
  7. Service Level Agreement
  8. Online Files Repository server to archive all project documents

With the above in mind, we will have to take actions on defining the road maps, resources planning and business continuity plans to fulfill the remaining scopes for each project/solution to work on.  Again, I will need to identify  and make clear of the roles and responsibilities for each team member and no assumption should be made.  All doubts and clarifications are to be made known and if necessary, involve the management team in the correspondences so that everyone is aligned and agree to do what they are assigned to work on.

New challenges are ahead of me and looking forward to manage them 🙂

02
Jun
08

Unfinished Feasibility Study and Unrealistic Plans

It has been 5 weeks on the new job, getting myself familiar with the working cultures and the people I am going to work with. True enough, the project team members I am working with, do not really care about documentations and proper handover processes. Lots of the technical guides and user training materials are out-dated and no one is maintaining them on support basis. I am having hard time to go through each of the documents on the shared network folder to understand the solution that the project team is trying to deliver within the next 2 months from now.

For the past 3 weeks I had been traveling to the nominated countries for the workshops to understand the new business initiative, business requirements and “To-Be” processes that are to execute for them. During these periods, I was surprised to know none of the Customer’s regional team was presented with their fellow country’s counterparts! The next surprise I got is that we were doing reverse-planning of the project activities from the dates of go-live for those countries. In the process, I realized we are much very far-behind of the deliverables to achieve and lots of pressures from the business to get them done. But on the other hand, the SOP is not finalized and sign-off from the Customer as well and this is a critical milestone not to be ignored as it affects the system flows of the solution we are going to develop, and we haven’t yet complete a full draft of the System Requirement document of the Global solution, the proposed solution is still in implementation stage and customizations from the countries are to be done using this solution as the ‘foundation’. Realistically we are facing so many challenges and works in a short period.

Being understanding on the commercial factors that derives the other reasons for the short project’s schedules we need to get everything ready in 2 months’ time. The strategies I am working on right now are to understand what are the important deliverables to achieve to ensure each and every team member is able to get on with their works with minimum impacts, and constant communications with each of them before we are hit with any possible show stoppers. The other factors to look into is to get the sponsor’s agreement to understand what are the core functions to deliver and prioritize iterative development in phases.

09
Dec
07

Software Development Cycle – Importance of Business Requirement Analysis

In any software or web applications project, the most important phase of it is always to understand and analyze the business requirements to determine what processes are to be automated. This brings about the expectations for the delivery of the solution.

Sharing an extract from Siebel application’s development:

Software Development Cycle Overview from Siebel Application




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