“Our collaboration with Accesa started in 2017 when we were looking for an IT Service Provider to support us with a full range of services for our software development needs. Since then Accesa proved to be a reliable partner and I would strongly recommend them for their structured way of working in managing the full product delivery cycle, professional approaches and technical consultancy role.”
Client background & business context
- Client Profile: technology leader, committed to innovation, with an extensive global network and unrivalled offering in particle characterization.
- Projects: the creation of four different software solutions for the company’s scientific devices:
Precise measurement tool for analysis of particle size and particle shape
The main purpose of this tool is to help the product quality improvement, reduce rejects and save labour costs, energy and raw materials.
The tool is optimized for finer samples measurements - from 0.8 µm to 8 mm. The tool comes with 3 subsets all with specific tasks and areas of use.
Particle analyser developed to comprehensively characterize dry, free-flowing bulk materials
The tool simultaneously measures both the size and the shape for particles and in combination with its optional product efficiency can be increased by high sample throughput due to the automated sample measurement.
The project mission is to provide services to assist the customer in achieving a modernized state-of-art interface concept targeting a better user experience for the company’s products. Considering the instruments’ specificity, Accesa addressed several technical issues throughout the entire development process, which would ensure quality and reliability.
- Code quality and performance optimization: due to the software “tangled code”, continuous improvements proved to be hard to implement. In this respect, additional features addressing continuous improvements of software functionalities and performance could only be done slowly and with high risk and cost.
- User Experience: Having an outdated User Interface lead to unfriendly user experience.
- Deprecated software framework: the software was using an end of Life MFC Framework.
We started the project in December 2017 with a 3-day Audit Workshop that allowed us to better understand the stakeholders’ high-level challenges and the need for improvement. The project was divided into 4 Milestones addressing code modernization, code optimization and concluding with the UI/UX final implementation.
Each milestone had one or more Discovery Workshops during which we mapped out the main features of the application, the general direction implementation, the delivery model that best addresses each phase and the way of working. Our chosen approach was a Hybrid-Agile delivery model due to its benefits in dealing with changes and input. Throughout the development period we also addressed a clear roadmap and a well-defined Time/Scope/Budget and Risk Management approach. To make sure we were on the right track as early as possible on the timeline, we agreed on delivering first a Clickable Prototype and a Minimum Marketable Product version.
Delivery was done in a co-leadership format iteratively driven. Respecting the roadmap, the Project Scope followed a decomposition process assuring predictability both in scope and in budget. Applying 2-week increments, allowed both the team, the Software Project Manager (from Accesa) and the Business Product Manager (from the customer) to take appropriate decisions in terms of priority and dependencies, while always applying risk management techniques to maintain predictability and proactively address challenges.
Every increment had a Demo session planned, followed by a User Acceptance Testing period, a regression phase and a Scientific Testing Period. The project is still ongoing, and the customer decided to expand for another 2 years in supporting software modernization for other products in their portfolio.
- .NET/ C#
The resulting product is an enhanced desktop application which allows the laboratory technicians to easily perform and compare measurements, ensuring fast feedback loops, as well as an easy to use, intuitive and modern user interface that provides a unique and pleasant flow-based user experience.
Another great advantage of code modularization is that it allows the company’s support/development teams to easily ensure maintenance. The improved code quality increases the application’s response time and makes new feature development easier and less time-consuming.