Results / Benefits
System Test and QA Defect Trendline
Industrial Logic helped MDS Sciex become excellent at delivering software safely, on-time and within budget, with the right functionality for their customers. And the skills the team acquired almost a decade ago have stuck. Today, the software delivered by AB Sciex (formerly MDS Sciex) is a major reason the company is the global leader in mass spectrometers.
Code: As Ken’s boss said, “The only truth is the code.” The team learned to only develop code where you need to develop code. Refactoring helped to ensure that their software can and will support changes in the future.
Michael Mah analyzed data from 2 projects done in the current method, followed up by three projects with the new Agile/XP method. The graph shows the astounding results. Defects were reduced by a whopping 75%.
“By listening to guidance from Industrial Logic, mission critical software applications similar to what MDS Sciex develops can anticipate reducing defects in their software by a factor of 4.”Michael Mah
Requirements: Working together with the technical marketing representative, tech writer, and usability people helped to build a product that delivered what the customer wanted. People learned how to write good stories, how to write good FIT tests, how to do test-driven development and how to do evolutionary design. And demonstration of the software to users avoided late surprises.
Process: Big “Ah hah”: They learned to build the architecture and requirements along the way. At each iteration, they could deliver the next set of requirements that were two iterations later. The team gave demos every two weeks, allowing them 2-3 options to solve a problem and discover which one was the best for the customer.
Environment: Creating an open office space and introducing pair programming allowed people the environment they needed to work together. They had permission to fail and an escape hatch if the experiment didn’t work. The team learned chartering and had a clear idea of the vision and mission of their work.
The teams did so well that Industrial Logic was asked to help with a third project involving legacy code for their flagship product. The results increased the safety of the code, finances, employee retention, and customer happiness.
The project’s only focus was automated testing, refactoring, and fixing bugs for months - no new features were introduced, and the team practiced continuous integration. Pair programming was a key factor, helping a group of depressed programmers feel safer and more in control of the process.
When the product finally shipped, Ken and team received letters from customers thanking them for the most stable product they had in years. By focusing on the reliability and safety of the software, they were able to delight their customers who realized they didn’t need new features. Stability rocked.
"If you are delivering software for demonstration every week or every other week, you've got to know what you are doing."Ken Delcol