OUR UNIQUE, PROTOTYPE-BASED
DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGY

Effector®: Connecting business and technology
Benefits of the Effector® Platform technology based implementation methodology:

  • Iterative: In our experience, customers will only be able to accurately phrase their needs once a software tool has already been implemented based on their ideas. So, typically, it turns out too late if the given tool is not the most suitable one. To avoid this, our prototype-based methodology provides an opportunity for multiple fine-tuning throughout the process (as it features a built-in change management process).
  • Software development and implementation methodology: Although experience gained in various sectors, such as electronics and agriculture, was used in developing this methodology, what we have designed is not a collection of general recommendations (i.e. which are applicable to any field of specialisation), but a methodology to be used specifically in software development and implementation. The outcome is an efficient, traceable and flexible approach.
  • Project-based: The use of the Effector Platform creates opportunities for mutual financial benefits to the participants; however, it requires all parties to invest money and resources. Optimising resources, meeting deadlines, keeping financial frameworks and mitigating risks become a lot easier with the use of independent projects which can be created in this system. In addition, the use of Effector allows for the setup of a simple project organisation and task decomposition.
  • A collection of recommendations: we know that a number of unforeseen situations may arise during a project, and therefore this method is made up of recommendations which should be followed under specific circumstances. This methodology was developed based on our vast experience in introduction and testing, which allows the optimal planning and realisation of new implementations (i.e. with a favourable use of resources).
  • Scalable: It is determined by the participants based on the issue to be solved, which recommended components should be used – in addition to the required ones. In other words, this methodology includes optional recommendations, the use of which should be considered in light of the given situation.
  • Provides transparency: During Effector implementations, we have seen a variety of applications: from those having only a few screens to systems managing up to several hundred processes simultaneously. In order to ensure on-time delivery, the mobility of staff between projects is essential. Therefore, in the design of this methodology we preferred to incorporate components that allow for a clear overview of plans, tasks and their statuses at any moment of time.
  • Supported by Effector: Functions incorporated into Effector’s Development module support administration, record-keeping, scheduling of implementation tasks and task assignment related to this prototype-based methodology.
  • Fits into the Effector Partner Program: During the implementation process, specialised knowledge or experience going beyond the competencies accumulated by partners may be needed. Therefore, when setting up the project organisation, we also determined the roles to be filled by Oriana Kft.’s Effector experts so that our partners may effectively meet their customers’ expectations in the event of specific needs.

Description of the Methodology

This prototype-based methodology is a collection of roles, activities and documents. Role: A job with specific powers, duties and responsibilities, where the competent person carries out activities and creates documents in order to promote successful implementation. Depending on the scale of the implementation, a role may be filled by more than one person, or a person may undertake several roles, unless the relevant responsibilities contradict each other. Activity: A process step required or recommended by the methodology, whose execution will contribute to implementation conducted using the documents created when executing this step. Document: Any written material created during implementation steps. Documents include, among others, source codes, test protocols, project charters, delivery and acceptance reports, etc.

Activities

Preparation of a Feasibility Study

Optional. If the scale of a task or the known risks so require, implementation projects must be preceded by the preparation of a feasibility study. In preparing this study, the needs, environment and impacts of this environment are assessed, feasible versions are created and analysed, risks are determined and proposals are made to mitigate such risks.

Preliminary Assessment

If no feasibility study is prepared, a preliminary assessment is required (otherwise it is not necessary). During a preliminary assessment, to the extent required for preparation of a project plan, we collect the customers’ ideas about the system to be implemented.

Project Planning

Required. Project planning is carried out by the project leader, the development manager and the consultant jointly. During the implementation phase, the project plan may be amended as a result of changes occurring in the needs or other circumstances, so the plan must be continuously updated. In addition to the project plan, the project leader continuously monitors the costs and time spent in a plan vs. actual calculation. Project plans must clearly state deliverables, deadlines and available resources, and the document must also contain a task decomposition. Depending on the scale of the project, in the absence of an independent feasibility study, risk analysis, environmental impact analysis, etc. may be conducted during the planning phase.

Compilation of a List of Requirements

Optional (depending on the scale of the project, a list of requirements or a functional specification (or both) is needed). In cooperation with the development manager, the consultant compiles the list of requirements specified by end users or derived from the operating environment. This list should set out, in a manner that is intelligible for users, a list of criteria, serving as the basis for the delivery and acceptance procedure of the implemented application.

Preparation of a Functional Specification

Optional (depending on the scale of the project, a list of requirements or a functional specification (or both) is needed). In cooperation with the development manager, the consultant compiles a description of functions created to serve the known needs, and defines the layout and operation of screens.

Development of a Prototype System

Required. In this phase, the system functions to be implemented are parameterised and, if necessary, developed and tested. All major functions of the prototype system are identical to those of the version to be used in the production environment; the only difference is that it is populated with test data. By seeing the prototype, end users can check visually (‘tangibly’), during operation, whether the system implemented meets all the needs specified by them, thus they have an opportunity to request changes, which will take place in the ‘Fine-tuning of the Functional Specification’ phase.

Fine-tuning of the Functional Specification

Optional (only if the customer requests). This means a clarification of those parts of the system concept, as defined in the list of requirements or functional specification, that are still open or in question, including a review of the operation of the prototype. This fine-tuned specification complements and refines the functionality of the system to be delivered. All essential discrepancies determined in the following period, as well as any new requests which may arise, should be addressed in the framework of a change management process during the rest of the project, which might entail a postponement of the delivery deadline or a cost increase.

Finalisation of System Functions

Optional. With guidance from the development manager, based on the fine-tuned specification, developers and the persons in charge of parameterisation perform the determined changes.

System Delivery, Training of Key Users

Required. Following the creation of the system, with support from the development manager, the consultant verifies the proper functioning of the system by means of development testing. Subsequently, within the framework of a demonstration and training(s), the consultant delivers the system to the appointed key users. After system delivery and training(s), key users will be capable of individually testing the system functions. Trainings are practical and are facilitated in groups.

System Testing and Documentation

Required. In this phase, key users will test the operation of the system functions in a specific time interval. Test results will be documented and form the basis for fine-tuning of the system, which is performed by the developers and the persons in charge of parameterisation.

Preparation for Operation in Production Environment

Fine-tuning and Finalisation of the System

Required. Test results generated during testing will be consolidated and analysed by the development manager and the consultant. The aim of fine-tuning is to ensure that the system is capable of operating in the production environment; therefore, in this phase, all reported errors are corrected and operation of the software is further optimised.

Data Migration, Initial Data Population

Optional (only if the customer requests). The persons in charge of parameterisation migrate the specified data content into the final system environment created during the fine-tuning phase. Where necessary, additional master data and basic data are recorded by the the persons in charge of parameterisation.

Training of end users

Required. In this phase, with support from the consultant, end users will be trained by key users on how to put the system into use. Using training materials prepared by the consultant and eventually supplemented by key users, group training(s) are facilitated by key users to end users about knowledge relevant to the use of the system.

Putting the System into Use in the Production Environment, Transfer of Operation

Required. Go-live conducted in line with the project plan (i.e. when users start using the system) with support from the consultant, the development manager and the developer. Finally, the development manager delivers to the customers (or operators) the completed Effector system, which has already been tested in production environment.