Sunday, 10 February 2008

End of January beginning of February

Boy, how time flies, I can't believe it's the middle of February already and the year is moving fast. The team working on Altio have released Altio 5.1.4 which is probably the last release of Altio 5.1 before we release Altio 5.2. Just to make me even busier I spent the first week of February in Boston initiating our latest project for Paragon using PRINCE project management and building a system using Altio with a SOA architecture.

The project kick off in Boston went really well with the documentation being received extremely well so now all involved in the project know about:
  • the vision
  • the objectives
  • delivery gateways
  • quality plans
  • project tolerances
  • staff involved
All because we have a Project Initiation Document (PID), which while it was hard work to produce I hope will provide value through the project lifecycle by ensuring the project is delivered on budget and on time.

Some in the teams are horrified at the amount of documentation we are producing to start our new projects, while we're all keen to do PRINCE project management now it is understood I feel I have a lot of pressure for it to succedd as it's my idea.

Why is the organization adopting a formal project management technique? Well it's because we want to provide effective communication to all stockholders in projects and to remove as much ambiguity and as many assumptions as possible that are typically made at the beginning of the project.

For the people doing the clever work of writing code and delivery functionality there will be little change, we will continue to use Agile methodologies.

In the end it means people in the company can continue laugh about my Burndown charts as well as now laughing about delivery Gateways. Ultimately the quality of our software is improving along with the ability to better predict the delivery dates of our projects and if testers and developers morale is kept high by laughing at me I can't complain :-) .

While the project will be a major challenge everyone
is keen to see it succeed as it brings together everything Altio is about, a graphically rich and interactive front end with a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) at the back-end. When Altio 5.2 is released (due May) users will have the ability to make use of Altio's data mashups as well as screen mashups - we aim to really challenge the idea of what makes a RIA and set the benchmark high.

So Altio 5.2 is well on it's way to being delivered in May and will bring a whole new designer and set of controls... I will add more on this in a later entry.