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Posted: 9/12/2012
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Global Kinetic Software Development Firm Banks on Visual Studio 2012

Global Kinetic recently started using Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012 to develop a major project for a financial organization. These products enabled its developers to collaborate on the project easily and provided transparency to the client, which helped build trust and ensure the project stayed on track.

Business Needs

Global Kinetic is a software development firm in South Africa that specializes in the financial industry. It has also developed applications that have been spun off into separate companies.

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* With Team Foundation Server 2012 our client has a real-time view of our progress and can check on the project status anytime.  *

Martin Dippenaar
Managing Director
Global Kinetic

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Global Kinetic has been using Extreme Programming since 2002 and now uses Scrum for its Agile software development process. The firm typically uses products like Git, Version One, or Subversion (SVN) to manage their projects and to align with customers’ internal development processes. However, the lack of integration between these products led to problems for the developers. For example, “Because our existing project management software is not integrated, sometimes a business analyst will unknowingly change specifications while a sprint is in progress,” explains Martin Dippenaar, Managing Director, at Global Kinetic. “This delays the development process because the testers will generate bugs on the updated specifications, and we have to pause development and go back to figure out what happened.”

Global Kinetic was about to start a new project for a large international finance company. Dippenaar had recently been introduced to Team Foundation Server 2012 and how well it integrates key aspects of application lifecycle management (ALM) and thought it could help with this large project. Although the client normally uses SVN, it wanted this project kept separate from its other development projects to preserve confidentiality requirements. The client agreed to use Team Foundation Server 2012 after Global Kinetic provided a demonstration of its capabilities.

Solution

Global Kinetic set up the Team Foundation Server and initiated the new project in February 2012. “The installation and configuration were simple,” notes Dippenaar. While the project is primarily being written in C#, some mobile components also require Android and Xcode. Global Kinetic set up Team Explorer Everywhere to manage and backup all of the project code in a single repository. Team Explorer Everywhere provides the tools and plug-ins required to access Team Foundation Server from Eclipse-based environments. It is also leveraging the built-in Scrum 2.0 templates shipped with Team Foundation Server 2012.

Staying on the Same Page

Global Kinetic uses Skype to conduct its daily Scrum with the client. The client team connects to Team Foundation Server and views the same dashboards as the development team. “We have our daily Scrum and the status of every aspect of the project is clear to the client team. They can see the burn down chart and what’s planned for each sprint,” explains Dippenaar. “In addition, they can manage the backlog and even export the data to a familiar tool―Microsoft Project.” Integration with Microsoft Project ensures the client’s traditional project planning processes are aligned with the Agile development process.

Developing in anIntegrated Environment

The addition of the Team Explorer - My Work window facilitates development because it enables developers to track all work items, work in progress and code reviews that need to be completed. Global Kinetic developers are using the Suspend and Resume capability to reduce the impact of interruptions by saving their current views when they have to change tasks. When they need to get back to programming, they can instantly resume their work and exactly where they left off.

Global Kinetic frequently uses the new processes for requesting and completing code reviews. Code review requests appear in the My Work tab and then are opened in provisional windows that automatically close upon completion of the review, which keeps the environment organized. “With Visual Studio 2012 we and our client have gained a full audit path for code reviews and code changes,” says Dippenaar.

Benefits

The transition to Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012 was straightforward for Global Kinetic and provided immediate benefits to the development process. Dippenaar estimates that they have increased the work completed in each sprint by 10 percent. The project has gone so well that the client has already introduced a pilot program to adopt Team Foundation Server 2012 for its internal development projects.

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* Visual Studio 2012 has improved across the board in many subtle ways and these improvements lead to dramatic reductions in the effort and costs required for development.  *

Martin Dippenaar
Managing Director
Global Kinetic

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Improved Transparency Builds Trust

The fact that the client can look at the same dashboard as the development team provides transparency and builds trust. “We like that they can see what we checked in and observe the source code,” says Dippenaar. “It builds confidence because with Team Foundation Server 2012 our client has a real-time view of our progress and can check on the project status anytime.”

Faster Development with anIntegrated Environment

Integrating the development environment with the ALM tools has helped Global Kinetic develop the project faster. “Before we did not have an integrated environment for things such as our backlog, bug tracking, or Scrum tools. Moving between those applications and Visual Studio takes time and leads to mistakes,” notes Dippenaar. “With Team Foundation Server 2012 we don’t have to use different tools. Our results from our Agile processes have improved tremendously.”

“Visual Studio 2012 has improved across the board in many subtle ways and these improvements lead to dramatic reductions in the effort and costs required for development,” says Dippenaar.

Simplified Project Management

The dashboard in Team Foundation Server makes project management easier. Since the reporting is updated in real-time as the work is done, project managers can react quickly. “When you look at the sprint you can see each person and how they are doing in terms of assigned tasks,” says Dippenaar. “The moment you start slipping, you can see it and start to manage it.”

Because of the integrated Agile planning and tracking capabilities, problems are easy to identify. “When you are running Scrum teams you are always looking out for complications. The ALM integration within Team Foundation Server 2012 gives us a complete view of everything which not only helps us with pinpointing the problem, but leads to faster problem-solving. Maybe we need another developer, maybe we are waiting on a third party or our client for something,” says Dippenaar. “The problems are not as obvious when you are using multiple tools, so it requires more effort to manage a project.”

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview



Organization Size: 50 employees

Organization Profile

Global Kinetic delivers scalable backend systems and mobile applications primarily for the financial industry. It is based in Cape Town, South Africa.


Software and Services
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Ultimate 2012
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server

Vertical Industries
High Tech & Electronics

Country/Region
South Africa

Languages
English

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