Application handover to a nearshoring project team
Plantyn has been one of the leading educational publishers in Belgium for over 70 years and is one of the leading providers of innovative and engaging educational content and services to schools in Belgium. It also supplies professional training information to teachers, school managers, educational inspectors and the government. Plantyn is part of Infinitas Learning, a European company that provides the education field in the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium with educational teaching materials, with a strong digital focus. In Belgium, it is the market-leading platform for digital education among secondary schools.
How to change the supplier of an already live application Plantyn was stuck developing its market-leading e-learning solution in Belgium. They had an already live solution, but the supplier was not able to improve it and they didn’t had an internal team to hand it over to. After our previous two successful projects, they had no question about wanting to continue developing the project with us.
By then, we already knew we could collaborate effectively in a nearshoring way, but here we faced a whole new kind of task:
- It was a live system - with all its risks
- With Dutch texts - not just in the translation files, but even in the code, in database fields, everything was Dutch
- With minimal documentation, in some cases without documentation - legacy system
- Plantyn could only delegate one Product Owner to the team
- Significant changes were required in the User Experience
- The entire CI / CD pipeline had to be developed in Azure cloud
- The operation and support of the system also had to be taken over
In working together, we professed the principle of gradation, so we:
- started with a handover, to understand the system,
- got to know the structure of the code and the database,
- inevitably learned a little Dutch / Flemish 😊, designed our CI / CD pipeline, and the whole release pipeline for continuous delivery,
- first started by developing a new feature that did not require modification of existing modules - just integrated with them, to ensure step by step approoach
- worked in Scrum, with the Belgian PO, but with our own team, and own scrum master,
- planned the error correction and conversion of the old modules more carefully, we left more time,
- we gradually made more and more refactoring in the old modules as well, meanwhile, we redesigned the entire front-end - based on UX tests and analysis to ensure a modern user interface.
Users in the 2020/2021 school year:
- over 38.000 teachers
- over 340.000 students
- online learning kits, classes with student assignments and results, year planner
- editing learning kits, licenses, curricula
- access for learning kits, assignments, exercises
We’ve worked more than 23,000 manhours on that project
Since August 2019 there were more than 30 releases and around 300 bugs fixed.
Today, we develop and operate the project completely alone - and since then we have taken over another one, and we had the chance to develop a green field project with them. In this project, Plantyn not only asked for individual experts, but also handed over the entire development team and the entire operation - ownership of the system.
In this case, effective cooperation was ensured by these characteristics:
- having a real PO - given by Playntyn, empowered, quorate and accessible
- delegating the Scrum Master by the development team - this is how it was best to help the team be effective
- supporting the work of the PO by an Analyst, who is - based on our best practice - the Scrum Master
- working according to Scrum - keeping all its ceremonies and good practices.
- operating everything on a cloud (Azure) basis - development environment, test and prod
- paying a lot of attention to the CI / CD process and the pipeline