As any successful software product grows with the active customer base, demand for additional features and capabilities, in the form of new development requests, grows too. FrameworkLTC is no exception to this trend. Over past few years we have seen a burgeoning demand for new development requests from our customers. It was high time to put together a scalable, robust and timely process to triage the development requests and keep our customers informed about the progress of the implementation of these requests.
Enter Cross Functional Tiger Teams!
More than just a catchy title, these Rapid Response Teams have been formed to review, investigate and triage the current queue of DR’s and to expedite the process for the future. Breaking the silos of internal departments, these new teams formed by pooling resources from Product Management, Product Development, Technical Support and Quality Assurance will provide faster response to customer requests.
Each Tiger team has a champion from technical support who also acts as a Proxy Customer. This unique role provides an active link between customers and the development team and forms a closed-loop control feedback that helps development staff understand the implicit and explicit expectations behind each development request.
“Our technical support team members are best suited to represent our customers and share with our developers how customers would use functionality in their everyday workflows. These customer proxies can provide real-time feedback on how to improve and implement critical functionality by working closely with customers to understand their requirements, help test functionality in beta form, gather the feedback, and provide that feedback to our developers for a more efficient DR implementation process,” said Josh Lamont, Director of Training & Support, SoftWriters.
Improved DR Triage Process
The Tiger Teams will investigate, scope and mock up potential solutions for each DR by a well-defined iterative DR Triage Process.
As the teams start working to analyze the current DR list, our customers will hear from the Tiger Team Champions. These customer proxies will verify if the request is still active, and explore ways to implement it by configuration or best practice deployments. If the DR is deemed to need a code change to implement, the champions will work with customers to define the best possible solution. Once the requestor approves the technical solution, it will be scoped for time and cost. The time and price estimates will be reviewed by an internal pricing council. Approved estimates will be shared with the requestor for final go ahead. If the requestor approves the estimate, they will be informed about the potential delivery schedule. As the DR’s are picked up for implementation in the Agile Software Development Process, the Tiger Team Champions will be involved in the process to guide the development team. These customer proxies will be able to keep the customers up to date on the progress of the DR through its life cycle.
This improved triage process is expected to span over next few months. It will allow the Tiger Teams to understand the requirements fully and scope the work accordingly. Once the triage process is completed and the DR's approved by customers are identified, they will be rolled in our quarterly release cycle. We appreciate your patience and understanding in the meantime as the teams successfully complete this triage activity.
Stay tuned for hearing from the Tiger Teams!