The purpose of the meeting initiated by me is to discuss the situation and together we will try to find the way to the successful completion of the project. I believe that with joint efforts we will be able to catch up with the work and win the client again.
In order not to waste your time, I will be as brief as possible, but I think it is important to clarify some basic points to work well together.
From my experience so far, I know that you are the most important part of the project and if there is any dissatisfaction or demotivation among you, good results cannot be expected. I also know that trust between us (me and you) is just as important. That is why I want to win yours and I will work hard in this direction.
I come from a company with another business. There I knew the matter in detail, which helped me a lot, but I hope to enter this new field for me very soon. In this regard, I rely very much on your help and thank you in advance for it.
For my part, I want to assure you that you can count on my support and assistance. I will try to be as clear and detailed as possible in the guidelines I give and the tasks that are on the agenda, but if there are ambiguities or I miss something, do not hesitate to ask me or correct me, because in the discussion the answers to the most -complex questions.
To begin with, I suggest that we sit down together tomorrow and discuss the shortest deadlines we can offer the client to complete this phase of the project. Let’s get to a real date and keep it. We are trying to regain our image ☺
Regarding the communication with the client, we will continue by e-mail, as before, so that everything is documented. Please copy me to all your emails. I will do the same in emails that concern technical issues. Our internal communication will be direct, but I would be happy for you to include me in your Skype group. We will exchange key things such as tasks and deadlines by e-mail. This will avoid misunderstandings.
Yesterday I suggested to the director to hold weekly meetings with each of you. He accepted the idea and tomorrow we will meet with A and B. This makes it pointless to gather the team every week. Our joint meetings will be monthly and short. On them, we will discuss only the “cornerstones”. Of course, we can do 10-minute brainstorming every day.
You already have in your mail the draft action plan I have prepared, which I ask you to look at and discuss at our meeting tomorrow.
The project manager presents the project
As a project manager, it is my responsibility to present to you the new project we will be working on.
Let’s start with the fact that the product is already ready and developed. We just need to use this ready-made product and further develop it by including the functionalities listed.
Let us also clarify that our company is engaged in both IT – software development (IT department) and the production of physical product
Suppose we have these 2 departments and a finite number of suppliers of materials for the production of the product.
In general, I think that the requirements in the scope of the project already give a pretty good division of the different projects. Here are my thoughts:
It is about developing a physical touch screen for the product, on which the graphical interface can be subsequently visualized. This touch screen must be maintained by the ‘motherboard’ of the product, as well as match the requirements for functionality and usability. This is a separate project, not so much dependent on other projects, but naturally consistent with them.
It is assumed that the project will be developed by the machine manufacturing department, with a large involvement of the IT department – to ensure that the products of both parties will be compatible.
Scrum or Kanban project management
In my opinion, Kanban should be used in this project – given the specifics of the tasks and possibly because the employees are narrow specialists, I do not see why they should use Scrum. This is just a ‘production line’, the elements for the touch screen itself just need to be produced (according to the limit for WIP work in progress tasks).
Strategy: a design and analysis phase must be envisaged – preliminary study of the requirements (technical and functional), development, installation and test. This is very reminiscent of Waterfall, but I think that when it comes to the work of the team that develops the elements, you just have to make sure that the elements are made and ready – the idea of a production line (Kanban). As for the project, viewed at a slightly higher strategic level, it can be divided into different stages or phases: analysis phase, development phase, testing phase, etc. But to include all this in one ‘cycle’ for each element of the touch screen, I think is stupid. Not every wire can be tested on its own.
On the other hand, we can say that the touch screen is an ‘upgrade’ of already existing hardware – the already made machine has some kind of preliminary monitor.
All other points in the scope of the project relate to some type of software that should run on this hardware and can generally be viewed as a single project (eg graphical interface and operating system) with possible improvements to additional applications and remote management. However, this is a very big project. We divide them into micro-projects:
This part of the project will be created by the IT department. As a project manager and knowledge in Agile I want to offer to work with Scrum, because the requirements for the interface is something that changes quite often, adds functionality in the development process, and so on. It is also something that can be divided into small ‘portions’ / menus and buttons that can be tested and delivered separately.
Strategy: The Scrum team meets at a meeting at the beginning, where they are introduced to the functionalities that are required. Tasks and product backlog are agreed upon, with the active participation of the Product Owner. Scrum sprint planning then began. At the end of each sprint, a demo of the Product Owner and stakeholders is presented. Finally, the entire product is completed and handed over to the Scrum Product Owner, who provides it to the end-user (possibly the people who will develop the operating system and maybe a third party, independent of those listed here).
I would imagine that the original machine also has an operating system, and this is just an upgrade of the existing operating system. This project should be one of the first, if not the first, as it dictates both the functionality and the hardware for which it is developed. The project with the operating system is completed first or is developed in parallel with the graphical interface and touch screen project.
Scrum will also be worked on here, but the project is much larger than the graphical interface. There are just more people interested and there will be too many inputs and more tasks to complete within the timeline of the GUI. There should be a collaboration with the designers of the washing machine (there is a connection with the hardware), also with the end-users, who will dictate everything from what functionality and how fast the washing machine is to how graphically things will look and how user friendly the product will be. Here we are by no means talking about overlapping with the work and tasks of the graphical interface, there just needs to be a small team of stakeholders to give a timely input and have a look at all this – each in his field.
This team is not involved in the development of the interface, but the product of the team will suggest what can be further developed as a graphic design and how to structure the menus, etc. (Rough example – how many times to click to get to the function you want to use).
Defining an operating system is of great importance for what hardware things will be used for and what possible licenses or protocols (in the technical sense of licenses and protocols, but not only!) Will be needed to be able to be placed on the market.
The app store assumes a certain software architecture (iOS). Apps not supported by Apple are not available in the App Store, on top of that some of them require a license or ‘approval’ from Apple themselves (the code must have passed various security tests and meet Apple’s pre-approved standards, etc. .) before the application can be uploaded there. We can already see that there is a 3rd player in the project here, whose approval may ultimately be decisive for the success of the project.
I accept the possibility to install additional applications as an upgrade, an additional function to the originally developed operating system, with its adjacent graphical interface. This can possibly be considered as a separate stage, after the completion of the main project – provided that the lack of these additional applications does not violate the originally agreed product (if they violate it, then there is some error in planning and negotiating what is required).
Framework – Scrum, this is again a small IT project. Some of the basic software may need to be rewritten to be able to develop this particular ability to install additional applications.
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Using Scrum or Kanban frameworks to create the project
The control of the machine is related to both the hardware and the software. It is necessary to specify exactly how the remote control will be – whether it is just with remote control, or with some application, how the devices will communicate (protocol – NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth …).
Eventually, sensors will have to be installed on the devices (product development department), maybe the remotes will be made by another company? The software or operating system will also need to be further developed for this. The final product does not seem like something very complicated, compared to others, but from a pure management point of view, there will be teamwork between individual departments, and maybe even with suppliers. Depending on what exact solution is finally approved, it can be assumed that it is either Scrum or Kanban.
I think this project is just some functionality that may be part of basic OS development or application development, but it’s something you might have to wait for – judging by market demand, it shouldn’t be something which is super sought after, so it is not a priority.