Managing Projects with Formality and Agility
Having worked on 100’s of application development and infrastructure projects within both Private and Public Sector Organisations over the years, the PRINCE2 methodology has helped us to manage client projects and deliver on time and to budget. However, our experience has taught us to use as much or as little as is necessary and don’t over complicate the paperwork when you don’t have to, for both the client and delivery teams. Some client/sectors/projects need full formality, and others need a lot less.
We use the Agile methodology to manage our “delivery work” and PRINCE2 to manage our “paperwork”. We have found that by combining these techniques we always get the best results for our clients.
We use our own developed product, smartPMO, to manage project artefacts and governance activities. This product allows us to track projects from kick-off through to go live, maintain documentation in a single easily accessible location, and ensures consistent governance is applied to all our projects.
We share with our clients a single version of the truth in relation to project scope/requirements, test coverage and defects. We believe that this facilitates true partnership working and allows teams to work successfully together.
Developing Solutions with the Agile approach
Often an overused and misunderstood word, Agile to us simply means “delivering business value frequently and consistently while adapting to changing business needs.”
Translating this statement into action means that Bridgeall will:
- Focus on return on investment from an early stage.
- Deliver working software early and often.
- Value customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
- Respond to change over following a plan.
Our clients benefit from incremental and regular releases of high quality features that match their requirements. Our close and regular communication avoids unwelcome surprises and sustains long term and effective relationships.
Development Management Tools
Bridgeall has long recognised the value that appropriate tools add to the development process and Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), now rebranded by Microsoft as Azure DevOps, is central to our Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) approach. We have used this and previous versions since 2005.
Azure DevOps is Bridgeall’s key agile development toolset and is fundamental to our project planning and management processes. We utilise Azure DevOps daily to manage the product backlog, task allocation and project burndown. The ‘Burndown’ chart function is used extensively by our delivery teams to manage and track progress (velocity) through each sprint and ensure the project remains on track. This functionality will be used in parallel with the overarching Microsoft Project plan to track progress.
For development of .Net solutions we adopt a Test Driven Development (TDD) approach centred on automated testing and once source code is checked-in it undergoes immediate unit testing as part of our Continuous Integration (CI) builds. Full system test builds that include all User Interface (UI) tests are triggered automatically if all unit tests pass. This avoids last minute and expensive bug fixing at a time when the solution should be going live.
Bridgeall Support Services are underpinned by our IT Service Management System which was founded on ITIL v.3 principles and is aligned with the international ISO20000-1:2011 standard. The standard covers all service management processes including key components such as Incident Management, Problem Management, Change Management, Root Cause Analysis.
Key aspects of this management system are integrated with our existing ISO9001 and ISO27001 accreditations which also documents support services provided in the context of quality and information security respectively. Through these standards and our day-to-day practices Bridgeall is committed to Continual Service Improvement.
The effectiveness of our service management activities are regularly examined as part of an internal audit programme with specific arrangements for carrying out audits, reporting findings and managing corrective actions. A management review meeting is held quarterly and an annual external audit is undertaken by UKAS accredited DNV GL.