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Employing Agile Development Methods

Employing Agile Development Methods

In order to achieve outstanding results one of the prerequisites for creating a stellar product is to build an effective team. Agile development is one of the best methodologies to create efficient, self-organizing software development teams, but how does agile work in practice? The article showcases how to build flexible and efficient team infrastructure, drawing on direct experience of creating a team for a GIS data processing center in Ukraine.

Agile development

Want to know how to create a working GIS infrastructure for mapping an entire country in just three months? Diana Kontsevaia, Boris Kontsevoi and Pavel Yalovol explain how they did it for the Ukraine.

Choosing a local partner

An international mapping company, no matter where it is based, needs access to linguistic and regional knowledge so it can collect accurate information. Teaching a team of GIS specialists the languages of every region is unfeasible, and finding and hiring people with the required knowledge may be inefficient. To access regional knowledge, companies will often opt to contract a local company instead, considering flexibility, cost efficiency and technical expertise.

Choosing the provider may be a bit trickier than identifying which region should host the new development center. Cost-efficiency is a big concern, but so are business-process maturity, administrative clarity and data security. Some business processes may not be as entrenched as in other countries and companies may need to find service providers with mature business processes. The cheapest providers will often lack some of the criteria of a mature business partner, which may cause problems, be more expensive and take more time further down the line.

In certain parts of the world, it may be hard to find people with the needed technical qualifications or to find a vendor that can readily provide the required level of technical expertise without additional training for its existing staff. It may be even harder for a foreign company to set up a development center, since it might not know the business environment and so take more time and waste money. Selecting a vendor with a flexible business model may then be the best solution to the many unknown variables in setting up the new center.

A working, flexible infrastructure

In our case, the flexibility of our business model is what allowed use to create efficient hiring, training and data-delivery processes. Under the remote in-sourcing model we developed, we created remote IT units to meet to our client’s needs and specifications. These teams, although located away from the client’s office, are integrated with its inhouse staff to ensure full control and quality of the product. We hired software engineers and GIS specialists based on the client’s technical and professional requirements who were ready to begin work on the project immediately. The first five GIS experts were also able to assist in training new staff, virtually eliminating any training costs for the client. The team was then able to grow according to the client’s needs and the scope of its projects, the data-processing staff eventually growing to over 50 GIS specialists in only three months.

Adding new features

Half a year later, our client wanted a new call centre that would manage GIS data coming in from its call operator network set up across the Ukraine and worldwide. Intetics set up a core team of production and delivery coordinators (PDCs) based in one location. Each PDC was responsible for verifying about 10,000 points of interest (POIs). This ensured all the call operators’ information was verified by reliable and trained staff so completely accurate. The call centre infrastructure now contains PDCs who cross-check data from more than 150 remote call centre operators, updating and verifying GIS data in over 20 languages.

Download full version of white paper to learn more how to build flexible and efficient team infrastructure, drawing on direct experience of creating a team for a GIS data processing center.

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