Continuous Development
Jan 11

Continuous Development

Are the development benefits being realized?

Some clients have described the ERP production environment as a graveyard for development ideas. What they mean, is that some development ideas are being executed, but the benefits are never being realized for the business. There are a couple of common reasons why:

  • Development idea is executed, even though there’s no real business case behind it
  • Definition of the change fails
  • The original need for the change gets lost during development
  • The end result differs from the definition – the error is not detected during testing

Problems of doing irrelevant developments:

  • Strategy-aligned developments are slower if resources are used on the wrong things
  • Changes that do not align with the strategy can be harmful and shatter the architecture
  • The investments do not bring the desired benefits

Development should still be agile. The business case shouldn’t be too bureaucratic. There are different levels of continuous development. The truly small, but meaningful developments need to be undertaken and not lost in bureaucracy.

Continuous development process

Here is an overview of the continuous development process:

  • Collect all development ideas.
  • Handle the development ideas.
  • Plan and schedule the development version-project.
  • Select the correct development ideas in the version.
  • The version is implemented and tested
  • Make the necessary regression tests.
  • Deployment
  • Get the benefits you are looking for in use.
Projecttop vip area - continuous development - process
Projecttop vip area - continuous development - small development release projects

Small development release –projects

The structure of the continuous development is as follows. Development ideas are collected in” the development idea box -project”

The releases of the small developments are planned in advance. This helps the business to understand, as new development features are to be expected. Repeated construction helps to improve the development.

projecttop-vip-area-Continuous-development-compare-schedules

You will get a good overview of the small development releases, when you open the Big Picture -view from Projecttop. When you create new development projects, you can compare the schedules.

The development CR-activity

New requests for change will be created for a project created for the collection of development ideas. An activity is defined by the organization to know where the business area is concerned.

Projecttop vip area - Change management - the development cr activity
Projecttop vip area - continuous development - business case form

In order to ensure the importance of the development proposal, a business case form is required.

List of open development proposals

You can track Development ideas from the Observatory-view. Place the filter in the type field as a “Development CR” Mark the Exclude ready-field, if you don’t want to see the ready ones. You can save the layout and share it.

Projecttop vip area - continuous development - list of open development proposals
Projecttop vip area - continuous development - mass change function

Move the development ideas for the release to where they need to be implemented. You can do changes one by one or use the Mass Change -function.

Projecttop vip area - continuous development - workflow

Workflow for the continuous development

The development workflow can be configured as needed. Here’s an example:

Status Description
New New development idea created.
Need specification: The process expert defines the change
Specification ready: The process owner check definition
Need a work estimate: Ask for a work / cost estimate.
Work estimate given: The Process owner check estimation
Decision needed: Go/NoGo decision
Approved for implementation: Approved for implementation, release selected.
Building / running: Building, implementation running
Ready for testing: To be tested by the process expert
Fixing: To be fixed if an error occurs
Tested OK Tested OK
Accepted for implementation Accepted for implementation
Implemented ok Implemented ok, can be closed.

Test preparation

If the change is a small and an easy-to-test change, you can do a test case inside the activity. Just click “Start testing” and write the test case. This is the way to do it because then the entire process of testing stays simple.

Projecttop vip area - continuous development - test preparation
Projecttop vip area - Change management - adding test cases

If several test cases need to be tested in the change; then they must do their own activities. Add test cases by clicking Tools and Add the dependent activity.

Testing and acceptance

The fact that you used Projecttop in a change management process is now rewarded. The tester uses the entire history of the change; every comment and document. This ensures that the change is in line with business requirements.

Projecttop vip area - Change management - testing and acceptance

Reporting

You can track the progress of the project in real-time from the Gantt view and the dashboard.

Projecttop vip area - Change management - reporting
Projecttop vip area - Change management - reporting data

Jyrki Autio

CEO of Projecttop He’s often hired to save projects that are far behind schedule, are going over budget, or aren’t meeting quality standards. He also commonly trains people in specialist and consulting companies that sell project management or software development services.