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Mingle Case-study with National Health Services (NHS)
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Mingle Case-study with National Health Services (NHS)

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The Information Centre at National Health services (NHS) turned to Mingle ...

The Information Centre at National Health services (NHS) turned to Mingle
because they liked the user-friendly interface, especially the virtual card
wall. In just a few months, this team not only vastly improved collaboration
and project visibility, but they implemented Mingle as the foundation of
their iteration and release management process.

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  • 1. CASE STUDY mingle R NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES (NHS) Agile Project Management Mingle Benefits Information Centre Software Teams Use Mingle Collaborate to Improve Easy-to-Use Interface Development Workflow Mingle’s user interface recreates the card wall experience in an online environment. Utilize Tool to Introduce Engineering Best Practices This shared space available to all team Executive Summary--The Information Centre (IC) provides vast amounts members, provides visibility into the movement of work from development of healthcare information for the National Health Services (NHS), through to deployment. England’s public healthcare system, and its development group has numerous teams working on various projects. One development team Improved Collaboration was looking for a way to improve collaboration. They turned to Mingle With Mingle, development teams can work because they liked the user-friendly interface, especially the virtual card directly with business stakeholders wall. In just a few months, this team not only vastly improved collaboration throughout a project, from recording and project visibility, but they implemented Mingle as the foundation of feature requirements in a story card to their iteration and release management process. showing overall development progress. Managing their projects in Mingle allows team to show consistent and predictable By relying on Mingle, the team was able to show business stakeholders product progress to business ongoing product development, making them a more integral part of the stakeholders. overall development process. Soon other IC development teams and business managers wanted to use Mingle for project management. Within Engineering Best Practices eight months of their initial trial, more than 60 people on 11 teams were Mingle reduces tedious tasks such as using Mingle for some part of their project management process. This manually determining project status, rapid, organic growth of Mingle has allowed the IC development group to which provides more time for each team to focus on software delivery rather than the successfully establish engineering best practices that help their teams software tool. With this emphasis on produce high-quality, consistent software delivery. production, teams more easily adopt engineering best practices. For more information about Mingle The Customer The Information Centre for Health and Social Care (IC) is a health information organization created by the Department of Health and is CALL: under the authority of the National Health Service (NHS), the public +1-312-543-2599 healthcare system in England. The IC is the country’s leading authority for U.S. and Canadian customers health and social care information. It provides statistical information to the +91-80-4064-9703 NHS by collecting, analyzing and converting healthcare data into useful International customers information, and then making that information available to different EMAIL: audiences including healthcare providers, patients and members of studios@thoughtworks.com Parliament. The IC also produces reports that are critical to the formation of national healthcare policy. Located in Leeds, England, the IC employs www.thoughtworks-studios.com more than 600 people, including information analysts, developers and project managers. Copyright c 2009 ThoughtWorks, Inc. All rights reserved. | www.thoughtworks-studios.com
  • 2. CASE STUDY The Challenge collaborate with others on the project. Also, the card wall was not a dependable planning tool. Cards would fall off and The IC generates important statistical information from it was difficult to keep the wall up as a permanent planning thousands of data sources including the NHS patient structure. The team wanted an online project management administration system and healthcare providers throughout tool to help improve collaboration between their business England who are employed by the NHS and work in NHS- stakeholders and product development. With this tool, they run hospitals. The information generated by the IC is critical hoped to increase communication, collaboration and to day-to-day activities, such as helping a patient find an software delivery productivity. available doctor, as well as tracking larger societal issues, such as healthcare problems related to an aging population. The Solution The development group at the IC works on up to 60 software This first team at the IC to use Mingle was seeking to projects at one time for both internal and external improve collaboration. With Mingle they were able to audiences. They write all the analytical tools and software recreate the visual appeal of their card wall by using that the IC information analysts use to analyze and report Mingle’s virtual card wall, which includes automated settings healthcare information. They also build web-based products to move cards through the development process. While the to deliver this information to external audiences such as team greatly improved their collaborative efforts, they hospitals, doctors and the general public. quickly realized Mingle’s greater value as the foundation of their iteration and release management process. Working with Mingle, the team now has one shared repository where everything from product ideas to completed work is stored Mingle provides us increased visibility to see our and is accessible to all team members. workflow through the entire lifecycle. Now we can focus on product development, rather than focusing on Soon after downloading the trial version, Mingle become an our project management tool. Plus, we spend less essential part of this team’s daily development process. time on reporting. Instead we can easily reuse Mingle’s Since they were experienced with Agile practices, the team development artifacts to create documentation relied upon Mingle for their iteration planning meetings compliant with PRINCE2 methodology. where they reviewed story cards and played story poker to create estimates. By tracking their work in Mingle, they --Nick Porthouse knew they could only accomplish 70 story points per IT Development Manager iteration, so they planned their bi-weekly workloads Information Centre for Health & Social Care accordingly. Next, the team met with their business stakeholders to review their planned iteration. Two weeks later, they delivered software that had been fully tested and met all quality criteria. Each IC project is managed by a four-person team, with many people working on various projects. Each project is different, and each team works in its own way. Most are Improved collaboration and communication - using continuous integration and a test-driven environment. Planning their web portal project in Mingle allowed the team Some teams are closely following Agile principles, while to vastly improve their interaction with their business others remain on the waterfall method. stakeholders, bringing them into the project early and often to discuss its progression. The team’s business analyst One team that was building a specialized web portal for worked with the stakeholders to create story cards, which service commissioners at hospitals was seeking a better served as their build documentation and release workload. way to collaborate with its members. This Agile-mature team On a weekly basis, they used Mingle to show the was conducting two-week iterations and executing product stakeholders ongoing product development, greatly releases for their web portal every six to eight weeks. increasing project collaboration and team communication. The team was located on different floors in the IC offices and Time-saving project management tool - relied upon a physical card wall for project management. For the web portal project manager, Mingle reduced the This required that the team traverse the building to level of tedious work, such as manually asking developers Copyright c 2009 ThoughtWorks, Inc. All rights reserved. | www.thoughtworks-studios.com
  • 3. CASE STUDY to provide a status update. Because all the work in stored in Because Mingle can show consistent product development a central repository in Mingle, everyone can see the process, business stakeholders have begun to expect this movement of work from development through deployment. level of visibility and communication from all their product Mingle is a completely transparent system, so management teams. This push-pull combination has created a viral can quickly look at Velocity reports to see if the team is adoption of Mingle at the IC development group. Within going to meet their deadlines. For the developer, Mingle eight months, 60 people on 11 development teams at the IC provides a clear view of the work in the pipeline and can were using Mingle for various parts of their development create a sense of accomplishment when moving cards process. More importantly, by using Mingle each of these from one column to the next. As the cornerstone of their teams began to implement engineering best practices, development process, Mingle allowed the team to focus on allowing them to focus on improved software delivery. product development rather than focusing on the project management tool. The Results Better reporting and documentation - With the ever-increasing number of development teams at Because the IC is a government organization, the the IC using Mingle, what started as a solution to improve development group has to follow government-mandated team collaboration has grown into a rapid adoption of a methodologies of Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) highly flexible project management tool. By using Mingle, or PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2). teams now have better documentation, improved team Following Agile practices and working with Mingle can be relations, greater overall project visibility, less tedious work, accomplished within the PRINCE2 methodology. Since and the ability to show business members ongoing status of Mingle automatically collects information about the build product development. process, the team can easily extract information from the story cards to create all required documentation. With Moreover, because Mingle provides a common place for all Mingle, the team spends less time on documentation, to work, teams have become a more close-knit and allowing them to spend more time to provide appropriate, cohesive group, working to provide quality software. From high-quality software in production. the business side, managers are more engaged throughout the development process. Because they can see product Organic adoption of best practices - progress in Mingle, they are starting to expect other teams Since Mingle is such an integral part of the development to provide this level of visibility and interaction. And finally, process, users often keep the tool on their computer by using Mingle as the focal point of their development screens throughout the day. Other developers see process, teams are naturally adopting engineering best Mingle, are intrigued by the card wall metaphor, and practices that in turn help them deliver high-quality software want to learn how to use it for their projects. Although the products that meet market demands. visually appealing user interface was their first attraction, other teams quickly realized that Mingle could be easily installed and tailored to match their specific development Adaptive ALM needs. Teams are now using Mingle for everything from Mingle is part of the Adaptive Application Lifecycle defect tracking, to introducing new features into existing Management (ALM) solution from ThoughtWorks Studios. software, to product release management. Adaptive ALM enables each stage of the software development process by providing Agile tools that help an At the same time, people outside of development also organization quickly develop and release high-quality started to notice Mingle. For example, the manager for the software. Adaptive ALM includes Cruise for release web portal project shows his team’s progress in Mingle, management, Mingle for project management and rather than extracting the information and putting it into a collaboration, and Twist for automated testing. PowerPoint presentation. Instead, the manager goes into his project board meeting with Mingle on his laptop and reviews product progress in real-time. Copyright c 2009 ThoughtWorks, Inc. All rights reserved. | www.thoughtworks-studios.com
  • 4. CASE STUDY About ThoughtWorks Studios ThoughtWorks Studios is a global leader in Agile software development tools, and its products can be found in development organizations seeking sustainable Agile adoption. The company’s Adaptive Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution provides a platform for managing all aspects of software development, from requirements definition and project management to test automation, quality assurance, and release management. Adaptive ALM consists of the integration of three products: Mingle (project management), Twist (test automation) and Cruise (release management). Each tool is available as part of a complete lifecycle solution or as a stand-alone product. Backed by more than 16 years of experience in Agile delivery, ThoughtWorks Studios is the product division of the ThoughtWorks, Inc., the pioneering leader in Agile development. ThoughtWorks Studios has 200 customers in more than 20 countries, including 3M, Honeywell, BBC, eBay, Barclays, Vodafone, McGraw-Hill and Rackspace. The company headquarters is co-located in San Francisco and Bangalore, with offices in London and select cities in Europe, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit www.thoughtworks-studios.com Mingle, an Agile management and collaboration tool, provides a common workspace for all team members and an automated system of record for all projects. Mingle can adapt any existing workflow process and easily manages daily development activities. Offering true-to-life visibility into the entire development process for all stakeholders, Mingle helps development teams become more open and collaborative. Twist, an automated testing solution, provides English-like constructs, making the testing process more productive for all team members. As applications grow in complexity, Twist helps to more easily maintain complex test suites. These suites keep pace with application development and are held as long-living assets. Cruise provides both continuous integration and release management and can drive development and IT operations to collectively plan continuous product releases. Cruise offers deployment pipelines and a zero-configuration build grid, which simplify the release management process. Unlike open-source tools, Cruise scales to meet the needs of a complex development project with numerous dependencies. ThoughtWorks Studios CALL: +1-312-543-2599 | U.S. and Canadian customers EMAIL: studios@thoughtworks.com +91-80-4064-9703 | International customers WEB: www.thoughtworks-studios.com (ask for a Studios sales representative) SAN FRANCISCO | CHICAGO | LONDON | BANGALORE | BEIJING | MELBOURNE Copyright c 2009 ThoughtWorks, Inc. All rights reserved. | www.thoughtworks-studios.com