C, GitLab, Jira, Confluence, Xray
2019 - long-term

The Client

Our client is a German producer of industrial vehicles with a long-standing company history. Each vehicle has a built-in control system that manages its operation. For several years the systems’ software development process was of a limited nature and ran to a minimum extent. Our client implemented the process a few years ago for the specific needs of the product. The toolkit had also not changed over the years.

The Challenge

With the help of the Scalo engineering team, the client decided to build a completely new control system that integrates the emerging technologies of industrial IoT, like smart sensors, IoT communication architecture, machine learning algorithms and energy-efficient components.

To enable the company’s continuous product improvement in terms of performance and new functionalities to be embedded, the scope of Scalo’s engagement included designing not only the system’s new architecture, but also a new software development process.

The client was interested in implementing the V-Model software development process, and notwithstanding a limited amount of expertise and experience, decided to cooperate with the Scalo team. The V-Model was to provide the client with the necessary traceability and an easy-to-use design environment.

The Scalo team helped to build a well-defined and fault-free process to optimize the work of the client’s engineering team. The goal was also to allow for the future system’s process refactoring. Another idea was to create a link between software engineering and other engineering areas to support the project management process and collaboration between teams.

Another challenge was connected with providing consistent communication between the software and hardware engineering areas. Indeed, during the project, our team not only cooperated with the client’s software department, but also with mechanics, hydraulics, and electrics specialists.

The Solution

Unleashing the full potential of redesigning the old software development approach required the creation of a consistent group-wide process based on industry standards (V-Model) and good practices. This part was handled by the Scalo Project Management team.

Furthermore, the new development process required the introduction of a set of proven tools (GitLab, JIRA, Confluence, Xray, etc.) to support configuration and quality management. The Scalo Software Architect was responsible for moving development tasks to JIRA and the existing project wiki to Confluence. The new tools were expected to be available from then on at all the company’s locations to support multisite collaboration.

As previously mentioned, part of designing the unified development process was the creation of a new model of cooperation between software engineers and the client’s other engineering areas to facilitate consistent communication and knowledge exchange between different divisions.

The Effect

The newly designed software development process fulfilled the requirement and expectation of consistency with the client’s other processes.

To sum up the outcomes, some of the project challenges still lie ahead, but nevertheless new business opportunities have already been observed by the client, the most important of which are:

• the improvement in the overall quality of the software,
• automation that leads to increased consistency and efficiency of software development process verification,
• the unified process and common tools that support the communication of multisite teams and a collaborative approach,
• the increased efficiency of project management activities (planning, task assignments, time tracking, reporting, projects, and monitoring testing metrics),
• all the company’s engineering departments taking advantage of the unified process of software development.

A professionally designed software development process makes a difference. By improving and optimizing critical processes, we have boosted our client’s competitiveness as a producer of modern, sophisticated industrial vehicles. As a result, further benefits are expected from cooperation with Scalo.

See also

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