code de développement logiciel sur mesure, Analystik

Software suites, a panacea for rapid IT development!


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Are software suites a panacea for rapid IT development or not? In other words, should you continue with custom development using a pure programming language such as C# and Java or move into “Power” mode as Microsoft suggests with its Power BI & Power Apps suite of development tools, and similarly Salesforce with Appex? These business solutions are sometimes made of a set of softwares, or they were born by the development of a new custom application that has grown rapidly followed by a sprawling development such as Salesforce which today covers all business needs surrounding CRM, and more, if you consider MuleSoft. These software solutions are powerful, and they claim to greatly accelerate the software development process!

At Analystik, we have always considered it a best business practice to put your Business Intelligence into your own proprietary code; and thus, remain independent from any external control over this precious commodity. More than a development model or a working method, it is our business philosophy!

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Feuille de Temps eMalaya pour RS&DE

The essential role of Timesheets for your SR&ED credits


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The essential role of Timesheets in obtaining SR&ED credits could not be emphasized more strongly as the CRA has been multiplying technical audits in recent years.

It should be noted that a timesheet software is an essential tool for any service company. Even more, experienced managers consider their Timesheets as the cornerstone of their business.

More than ever, time management and billing issues are one of the main obstacles to the growth and profitability of service companies. It is one of the most important business functions, as essential as payroll, accounting or project management.

 

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gestion du temps maison et objectifs de Projet TI

How do you ensure meeting clients’ expectations in a software development project?


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Generally, according to managers, software development projects are all urgent, but the reality is that some are more urgent than others!

Typically, in agile mode, we talk about 3-week sprints following sprint 0 which is the initial “definition” sprint. However, we are encountering more and more situations where the client requires Agile+++ development or, if you prefer, projects that require accelerated Agile development… very accelerated!

We’re talking about one, two or three very short sprints (one or two weeks maximum) with well-defined deliverables and expectations.

Are the demands unrealistic?  Was the planning deficient? That’s another story… One thing is certain: in Agile+++ mode, there is no room for “red tape”, we want competent resources that collaborate with each other and are motivated to deliver!

And how does all this get executed?  So, let’s start at the beginning.

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équipe de gestion de projets

How to justify the gap between the initial estimate and the actual Project?


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How can you justify the gap between the initial estimate and the actual Project when almost all projects developed in the last decade have been done in Agile mode, which is a good thing because short delivery cycles are implemented, which implies a better communication with the Customers.

This management approach works like a charm with IT people who understand the impact of this management philosophy in terms of cost, time, and scope on a project: fixed time and cost with variable scope.

Plan Management vs Value Management

However, while developers and IT teams have a good grasp of the subtleties of Agile, this is far from always being the case for other Managers and Senior Management for whom, everything should be fixed: time, cost, and scope!!!

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le rendement de votre Équipe de Développement se compare-t-il à la performance du Bitcoin

How can you evaluate the performance of your IT Development Team?


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How can you evaluate the performance of your IT Development Team?

The question is worth asking and not easy to answer; how can you evaluate the performance of your IT development team with certainty?

Evaluating the performance of an IT Development team is not as easy as it sounds. The fact is that IT projects vary greatly in scope, budget and schedule; in this context, it is difficult to compare!

In this post, we will not discuss “mathematical” methods such as the “function point” (FFP) method that allows you to evaluate the necessary load associated with a development in terms of points.  This evaluation gives constant results, what changes is the number of hours required by the development team to program a function point. Unfortunately these methods are not very common.

We will talk about some of the basics…

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embaucher des ressources TI à l'interne ou une firme externe: le dilemme de tout projet TI

Hiring internal IT resources or hiring an external firm: the dilemma of every IT Project


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Hiring internal IT resources or hire an external firm: the dilemma of every IT Project and a key decision for the Project Manager.

It is true, a new IT Project always calls for a fundamental decision from the Project Manager: should I hire internal IT resources or hire an external firm?

Every IT Project is first and foremost a Management and Logistics challenge. In the sense that each IT project brings its own challenges, its own customer requirements and, at the same time, its own needs in terms of expertise and resources.

The Project Manager must first clearly define the nature of the IT development project to match it with the expertise of his Development team.

 

The Challenge of IT Resources Scarcity at the Dawn of the 21st Century

The magnitude of the Software Development Project Management and Logistics challenge should not be underestimated. In fact, many companies have been involuntarily slowing down their growth in recent years due to bottlenecks in their internal processes, mainly because of resource scarcity.

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Il faut constamment évaluer la capacité de vos ressources à livrer vos Projets TI

IT Project: the constant challenge of assessing the required capacity and expertise


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Every IT Project is first and foremost a challenge to evaluate the required capacity and expertise. Indeed, the Manager must constantly re-evaluate the adequacy of his Development team to deliver the next IT Project; both in terms of capacity and expertise.

Information technology tools and technologies play a key role in achieving the growth objectives of companies. More specifically, the automation of certain critical processes can generate a dizzying increase in productivity or a significant improvement in the quality of products and/or customer service.

Consequently, any decision in terms of IT development will have a major impact on the company’s competitiveness and profitability.

In this context, more than one IT Director will spontaneously turn to commercial software to meet the software development demand required to support the company’s growth objectives.

So, in many ways, it seems to us that this is an easy solution for the IT Director and we understand these reasons well:

  • The IT Director believes he can quickly fill a capacity gap with a tool that automates certain processes
  • The IT Director relies on a known and recognized solution to minimize the risk associated with a Development Project
  • The IT Director hopes that the implementation of the commercial solution will be done in a shorter time frame
  • The IT Director hopes to minimize his risk by using a solution already developed

While this all sounds very logical, we argue that there is another option that is just as viable and perhaps more profitable; that of the external software development firm.

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Gestion de la Relation Client dans un Projet de Développement logiciel chez Analystik

eMalaya or the Benefits of Projection in Project Management


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eMalaya is a Project Management and Time Sheet entry tool that calculates projections; that is to say, it accumulates the hours executed and the “remaining work” to be done of a Development Project. And this calculation brings a new perspective on Project Management for the greater benefit of Project Managers, Administrators and Clients; the knowledge of the true state of a Project.

IT Projects are almost always complex, involve many resources, and often take several months to complete. And over time, the vast majority of IT Projects will face potential pitfalls or new Client requests, both of which will result in schedule and cost overruns.

In this context, it is not easy for the Project Manager to monitor his Projects in real time and evaluate the performance of Development Team.

In order to get a clear view, the Project Manager must almost always collect project data from different systems. Moreover, the main Project Management software (DevOps / Jira) only looks to the future; that is to say, it only calculates the Remaining Work without taking into account the hours executed.

These different estimates will have important repercussions for all stakeholders of a Project: Developers, Managers, Administrators and Clients.

So how do you know where you really stand in terms of performance of the Development Team, the Budget (Billing) and the Schedule?  How can you get a clear real-time vision of a Project?  Is it possible to objectively evaluate the actual status of a Project; that is to say, to know precisely the actual hours executed by the Developers plus the estimated hours of work remaining to be done by these same Developers for all of their Tasks?

In fact, we are talking here about a new concept in Project Management; the Projection, that is to say the addition of the real time work done plus the remaining work to be done. Interesting, isn’t it!

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Sprint d'une Équipe de Développement d'un Projet logiciel

New Perspective on Project Management: Remaining Work (RW) vs. Projection


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Isn’t it time to offer managers a new perspective on Project Management that would allow them to adequately monitor Projects in real time and, in addition, to properly evaluate the performance of the Development Team?

The fact is that the Manager has to take up more than one challenge in the Management of Development Projects, software or other; the task is arduous!

Indeed, IT Projects are almost always complex, involve many resources, and often take several months to complete. In addition, to obtain a clear vision, the Project Manager must almost always collect Project data from different systems.To obtain a clear picture, the Project Manager must almost always collect project data from different systems.

Thus, almost all software development teams use two systems daily:

  1. DevOps or Jira
  2. Time sheet entry application

And almost all Project Managers and Clients complain about the same things:

  1. Lack of visibility on the degree of progress of the project(s)
  2. Lack of metrics
  3. Having to deal with cost and schedule overruns

What is a Projection?

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Gestion de Projet de Développement logiciel chez Analystik

3 challenges of Software Development Project Management


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The Services company faces more than one challenge in Software Development Project Management. Unlike a product company, a Service company must constantly match its sales to its ability to deliver.  The goal is to serve customers well while avoiding “non-billable” time.  Project / Production managers in a company generally face 3 main challenges:

  1. Capacity management
  2. Timeline
  3. Budget

Let’s analyze each of these challenges!

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Eliminating paper-based business processes; it’s now or never!


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Eliminating paper-based business processes from your company may be one of the best software development projects to undertake in times of pandemic!  Have you thought about it?

We have written in previous posts that Digital Transformation is taking place on two main poles or towards two main goals, if you prefer:

From these two main poles a large number of Communication, Marketing & Sales and Development projects and activities are derived in organizations, but unfortunately, many of these projects and activities still rely on paper business process.

 

Paper-based Business Processes in Customer Experience

Being able to communicate in real time and at any time with Customers allows you to ensure Customer / Consumer Satisfaction and also, to benefit from invaluable Customer Intelligence.

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How do you identify your software development priority in times of pandemic?


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How do you identify your software development priority in times of pandemic as several companies are currently experiencing its repercussions.  As the Prime Minister said, some are “on pause” while others are unable to find the necessary employees to meet demands.

One thing remains though, what did not perform well before the pandemic, is still not performing well during the pandemic and will not perform well afterwards.  However, we will return to performance issues in a context of pandemic and economic downturn in a future post.

Of course, you could also embark on the Digital Transformation project, which we have already discussed at length in previous posts, or on an Agile Transformation project, i.e. the integration of Agility into the enterprise. These projects are certainly very worthwhile, but we have something else in mind for you.

Identifying software development priorities in times of pandemic?

For some companies, it will be a question of doing more with less, while for others, it will simply be a question of doing better?

Indeed, any IT manager will seek either a gain in productivity or a gain in performance.  However, there is a third path that is less obvious but certainly just as profitable, the path of Intelligence (not artificial, that is ?).

So, if your company is on idle, why not take advantage of this time to recover Business Intelligence? Such a Business Intelligence-oriented software development project, while requiring good thinking, will not sideline your critical applications. Moreover, whether it is Financial or related to your Customers, this Business Intelligence will prove to be an invaluable competitive advantage in the recovery.

Now, is Business Intelligence identified as a software development priority in your company? It should.

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Security and Enterprise Agility: Constraints and Solutions


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Security and Enterprise Agility do not usually go hand in hand. Also, the impact of security and compliance on Agility in today’s technological environment, which requires many companies to take such measures to ensure the integrity of their operations and preserve data confidentiality, should not be underestimated.

Definitely, the constraints that certain security and compliance measures impose suggest that Security and Enterprise Agility can hardly go hand in hand.

But, no matter how many developers there are in your organization, it is possible to do software development in Agile mode. Hundreds of writings praise the merits of this development methodology, so here are some of the most important points:

  1.       Better match between deliverables and needs;
  2.       Minimize the risk of slippage by splitting the project into “sprints” and these into “tasks” of short duration;
  3.       Better communication between the various project stakeholders;
  4.       Emphasis is placed on identifying and categorizing the functionalities that will have the most added value for the organization;
  5.       In the “cost, time, functionality” trilogy, the challenge is to develop as many of the most important features as possible in the time allocated, even if it means removing features, unlike the Waterfall mode, which emphasizes features, all features, even if it means exceeding them over time.

 

Plan Management vs Value Management

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The 4 fields of Enterprise Agile Transformation


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There are countless companies that have started their Enterprise Agile Transformation in recent years. With good reason, because no one would question the benefits of the Agile Method today; this is an obvious fact that is unanimously accepted in all sectors of activity.

So, contrary to what one might think, Agile is not the one who wants!

Not all organizations are ready for Agility considering that this implies giving more autonomy to business units and work teams and creating cross functional teams as well. Moreover, not all business leaders will necessarily welcome Agility with open arms.

Thus, more than processes, the Agile method calls for a work philosophy that encompasses both the personnel and structure of the organization.

The Agile Enterprise therefore calls upon a profound transformation of the organization. This comprehensive transformation will affect all facets of the Organization including Personnel, Organizational Structure, Strategy and Technology. That’s the path to a successful Agile Transformation.

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Why proceed with your Enterprise Agile Transformation?


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What is Agile methodology?  What are its principles?  What are the benefits of Enterprise Agile Transformation, turning your company in an Agile Enterprise?

The result of a search for continuous improvement in the software development process, the Agile methodology appeared at the forefront of ICT in the late 1990s in response to the excesses of major software development projects in terms of schedule, budget and quality of deliverables.

And this quest for continuous improvement in software development is in fact based on the search for added value for the company (project scope) and the optimization of the performance of software development teams within fixed schedule and costs as illustrated in the diagram below: 

Plan Management vs Value Management

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