SmartStart was having difficulty managing their operational and reporting data which lead to insufficient information availability. This information is critical for SmartStart’s ability to make managerial decisions, and thus needs to be real-time, accurate and easily accessible. IQ Business (IQ) was tasked with exploring solutions that could be customised or built relatively quickly, was user-friendly, inexpensive, and could integrate with other systems that were already operational within SmartStart.
After much research and analysis, IQ Business proposed the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system. The platform provides significant out-of-the-box features that will assist with a number of aspects inclusive of data management, reporting, scheduling, inventory management, notifications, approvals and workflow. However, these out-of-the-box functionalities required significant customisation, SQL reports as well as plug-ins in order to meet the specific needs of SmartStart’s unique business processes.
The development team had twelve to fourteen weeks in which to complete as many requirements as possible, with no defined scope of work set out. The team, which consisted of an Agile Coach, Scrum Master, Architect, Business Analyst and three Developers had their work cut out for them.
IQ started the project with a two-day workshop which included all the key stakeholders and user representatives. During this workshop we created stakeholder maps, entity relationship diagrams, project visions, user needs and an initial prioritised project backlog to clarify organisational roles and responsibilities, user roles as well as visions for the actual use of the solution to ensure that the outcome was properly aligned to the need of the client. We took the highest priority functionalities and broke them down into user stories with acceptance criteria.
The project was initiated with a Scrum Framework in order to deliver value quickly and get accelerated customer feedback to improve and refine the solution in an iterative fashion. However, six weeks into the project, the development team decided that it would be more beneficial to run this as a Kanban project . The Kanban process allowed for more frequent changes to the backlog of requirements as well as the prioritisation of these requirements. This change assisted in highlighting bottlenecks in the process and ensured everything was holistically visualised. The Work-In-Progress (WIP) limits assisted in ensuring that everyone within the project team worked and performed at a sustainable pace, considering the rest of the development process.
Assisted clients with defining a project vision
Created initial prioritised product backlog based on highest return on investment
Dedicated Scrum team including development, Scrum Master and Agile coach
Regular demonstration of working software and feedback from client
Value realised faster
Ability to adapt rapidly to changing requirements