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ACE/NETC 2003. Leanne McGiveron Development Team Leader Marilyn Moore Web Design & Developer Agriculture Information Technology (AgIT) Purdue University [email protected][email protected] The Agenda. The Disclaimer AgIT’s Situation

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Leanne McGiveron

Development Team Leader

Marilyn Moore

Web Design & Developer

Agriculture Information Technology (AgIT)

Purdue University

[email protected][email protected]

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The Agenda

  • The Disclaimer

  • AgIT’s Situation

  • The Need

  • The Response

  • The Impact

  • The Future

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The Disclaimer

  • My background is in Adult Education and private sector business management, not computer science.

  • The jargon that you will hear is often my own creation or AgIT specific.

  • This is only one piece of the puzzle

  • This process has been developed specifically for AgIT for use with Purdue Agriculture and Purdue Extension faculty and staff; it has been modified from industry standards.

  • This process continues to evolve. Today’s version will probably change … as we continue to find additional items that we need to control.

  • The credit and success of this process rests with the AgIT Development Team.

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AgIT’s Situation

(The Environment AgIT Development is Working in)

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The Situation

  • Changing Development Environment

Unstructured Development Team (mid-1999)

Enterprise and Rapid Development Teams (mid-2000)


Development Team (mid-2001)

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The Situation

  • Changing Development Team

Four Members (mid-1999)

Four to Ten Members (2000)

  • Current

  • 3 Reoccurring FTE

  • 5 Non-Reoccurring FTE

  • 8 Students

Sixteen Members (2003)

???? Members (20??)

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The Situation

  • Changing Development Leadership

Department Head (1999)

Department Head & Operations Manager (late-1999)

Operations Manager & Rapid Development Team Leader (mid-2000)

Team Leader (mid-2001)

Team Leader & Assistant Team Leader (late-2001)

Optimal for 10

Team Leader & Assistant Team Leader Project Coordinator & Design Lead & Program Lead (mid-2003)

3 Week Integration

Still being tested & tweaked

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The Situation

  • Types of Development Projects

    • Application Development (new)

    • Infrastructure Support (released)

    • Consulting

    • Streaming

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The Situation

  • Growing Project Queue Application Development

Note: Beginning in mid-2000, AgIT works on 5-12 projects simultaneously; this does not include project queue.

Currently 43 in queue

Ran w/little to 0 in queue






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The Situation

  • Growing Number of Released Projects Infrastructure Support

Currently 78 Supported Projects

2 Supported Projects






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The Situation

  • Growing Number of Consulting Projects

    • Web Servers

      • 1999: 1 Web Server (Unix) & 1 Oracle Server

      • 2000: 2 Web Server (Unix & FMPro) & 1 Oracle Server

      • 2003: 5 Production Web Servers (3 Windows, 1 Unix & 1 FMPro), 3 Development & Testing Web Servers, 1 Oracle Server, 1 SQL Server

      • 200?: Integration into University Web Servers

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The Situation

  • Growing Number of Consulting Projects,cont.

    • Web Hosting

      • 1999: Primarily Purdue Agriculture Admin sites and CES sites

      • 2003: Available to Purdue Agriculture and CES

    • Server Access

    • Mentoring Program

    • Code Review

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The Need

The Need

(Issues that We Were - and Are - Struggling with….)

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The Need

  • Areas of Frustration

    • Scope Creep

    • Documentation

    • Client Follow through (lack of)

    • Testing

    • Maintenance

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The Need

  • Our primary needs

    • To gain Control over the development process;

    • To maximize effectiveness; and

    • To find and push all efficiencies

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The Response

The 1st Response

(Sometimes You have to Try Different Things)

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1st Response

  • 1st Response began in April 2002

    • Modifications determined by Leanne and Eric Adams (Assistant Team Leader)

    • Identified short term solutions

    • Required implementation at a moments notice

      We just did it!

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1st Response

  • Positioned Team to Maximize Efficiencies

    • Determined individual core competencies

      • Leadership  Politics, Run Interference, etc.

      • Developers are not Designers; Designers are not Developers

      • DBA responsible for all database development

Bottom line – each individual does what they do best;

reallocate other responsibilities to those who enjoy them.

Handout –Organizational Chart

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1st Response

  • Position Team to Maximize Efficiencies, cont.

    • Reorganized development team responsibilities to maximize efficiencies.

2 Project/2 Project Managers

1 Project/Leanne-50%, Eric 50%

Handout – Leadership Responsibilities

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1st Response

  • Documentation of Project Requirements

    • April 2002  Developed Architect Scope

  • Non-Functional Prototype (Wire Frame)

    • July 2002  Prototype MUST occur prior to any development

Handout – ABE Scope Website Example: Microscopy

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1st Response

  • Documentation of Development Process

    • August 2002 – First flow developed

      • 7 steps

    • October 2002 – Second, more in-depth flow

      • 9 steps

    • December 2002 – Third flow

      • 18 steps

Handout –Process Flows

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1st Response

We were gaining control

But, the more control we gained,

the more control we wanted

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2nd Response

The 2nd Response

(Sometimes You have to Try Different Things … Again)

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2nd Response

  • 2nd Response began in January 2003

    • Issues were identified during multiple team meetings; feelings were checked at the door; and we listed everything!

    • Identified long term solutions

    • Implementation occurs when a new project reaches a point where a solution is ready and can be integrated

    • Team consensus and buy-in

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2nd Response

  • Positioned Team to Maximize Efficiencies

    • Continued to explore individual core competencies; began to really push the efficiencies

    • Provide growth opportunities through management, research and coordination

      of projects

Handout –Team Structure

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2nd Response

  • Documentation of Project Requirements

    • March 2003  Modified Architect Scope to

  • Non-Functional Prototype (Wire Frame)

    • Continued requirement

Handout – County Template Scope

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2nd Response

  • Documentation of Development Process

    • Moved to a comprehensive Life Cycle

      • Information Gathering/Features and Design

      • System Analysis and Design/Logic Documentation

      • Programming

      • Testing

      • Delivery & Maintenance

Handout –Development Life Cycle

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The Impact

The Impact

(The Impact has been Far Greater than We Anticipated)

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The Impact

  • Control

    • When the programming begins, we can be confident that we have gathered all requirements; thus allowing us to fully focus on the product and not second-guess ourselves.

    • Major customer modifications can be better dealt with in a professional manner; eliminating any tendencies by staff or client for finger pointing. We have signed documentation to support our processes.

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The Impact

  • Control

    • Integration into a full team environment was a smooth transition. When new staff join the team, we are able to quickly and efficiently organize; new staff was developing on their first afternoon.

    • Interpersonal, team building, and communication skills continue to increase among staff.

    • The team is able to shift priorities and direction within minutes.

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The Impact

  • Control

    • Clients feel that they have a greater control over their project. This leads to greater interaction with the process, as well as more timely follow through.

    • We continue to see a steady customer repeat rate.

    • The client knows they are part of the team and that their ‘voice’ counts.

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  • Control

    • More positive acceptance of standardization (i.e., VSS, written documentation, etc.)

    • Faster integration into new technologies, as well as team assistance with the learning curve.

      • ASP.Net

      • SQL Server

      • XML

      • C Sharp

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The Impact

  • Control

    • We have observed lower stress levels, increased job satisfaction, decreased absenteeism, an individuals willing to put in the extra effort.

    • Increased team interaction is very noticeable; which leads to increased trust among members.

    • ‘Turfing’ among development staff continues to decline.

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The Impact

  • Control

    • When people feel that they have control, they are better able to organize their work; have a better understanding of the ‘big’ picture; and are more willing to work together.

    • All of this leads to our ability to provide a solid product to the customer in a timely basis.

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The Future

The Future

(We are Not Quite Done Yet ….)

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  • Integration into Purdue ITaP Resources

    • Co-Development of Projects

    • Servers

    • Security

    • Interwoven

    • WebSphere/J2EE

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    The Future

    • Continue to get our arms around other issues

      • Policies, Procedures and Guidelines

      • Standardization

      • Management of Consulting Project

        • Server Access Form

        • Web Hosting Form

        • Change Request Form

    Website Examples: Policies & ProceduresWeb Services

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    ACE/NETC 2003

    Leanne McGiveron

    Development Team Leader

    Marilyn Moore

    Web Design & Developer

    Agriculture Information Technology (AgIT)

    Purdue University

    [email protected][email protected]