Software Development At My Organization, An Article
June 15, 2010 Leave a comment
I was asked if I would be willing to write an article for our organization’s newsletter. I didn’t mind. I’d like to share the newsletter article I wrote with the readers of my blog…
Software Development is an important piece of what is happening at Presstran every day. You can see this by looking at the applications that are used and relied upon at Presstran every day, including, NCR, Weld Inspections, Part Manager, Production Sheet Scanning, Training, Lot Making (Kanban), and many others. We are continually improving these systems as well as creating new solutions that add value and automate other areas within Presstran.
Built on experience, we’re getting better at helping you solve problems by using technology. Many of our projects we’ve developed for Presstran have also found their way to other divisions. As part of this unified effort, I’m also championing a “Subject Matter Expert – Software Architecture Team”. We’re doing some exciting things. Currently we have myself, and developers from the Cosma Group Office, Formet, Drive Automotive, Modatek, Presstec, and Integram participating. We’re coming up with standards and guidance for software development within Cosma.
We try hard to make sure there is a solid ROI for any software project that we take on and therefore we do an upfront analysis of requests to change existing software, add new features, or create entirely new applications. We have a Unified Development Process that we follow to determine the process we take in regards to implementing a new solution. The Unified Development Process was developed by the Cosma Group Office with participation and review from Cosma International (and Magna) divisions, including Presstran. It follows industry accepted guidelines along with the realities and culture of our business.
In determining which projects or requests will have the highest priority we look at a number of factors. Typically the higher priority requests have the following attributes:
- A clear business stakeholder who understands the request from the business standpoint, and who will take responsibility for the request from a business perspective
- Built on top of a defined business process that is properly defined and working successfully
- Request clearly indicates how the proposed solution solves the problem
- The proposed solution will have a solid ROI (Return on Investment)
- The request uses technology to make things easier, save time, or add capabilities that were previously unavailable
Although it’s important to look at the projected ROI of a project at the beginning stages of a project, it’s also important for us to audit the results of a completed project. Routinely we will contact project stakeholders to get an understanding of how well a solution we’ve implemented is working for them or to understand the actual value being realized in the completed project. Sometimes there are clear indicators that allow us to successfully measure how successful a project implementation has been and the value added. Other times it’s difficult to measure, but it’s something we’re trying to get better at.