Ultra Electronics Airport Systems Ltd

Ultra ElectronicsUltraCM

Change, Release & Configuration Management Consultant

Electronics Airport Systems is a major vendor in the worldwide airport systems (passenger and baggage processing software) market with its respected range of IATA-compliant Ultra * products running on a range of Wintel and Solaris based systems at airports across the world. They are expanding fast and represent a serious rival to the currently market-dominating SITA.

Our services were initially engaged to establish the development process requirements by interviewing existing developers and department managers, before subsequently designing processes to meet those requirements. The processes covered everything from the initial Prince 2 project brief and project initiation document (PID), through estimation, baseline naming standards and testing, right down to recording the details of every release made from the system. Once designed (in accordance with Prince 2 and ITIL standards) and documented, we prepared a presentation and led a number of workshops to ensure that staff at all levels were aware of the proposed process and made any tweaks necessary in response to feedback received; thus also encouraging a feeling of ownership across the user base.

We prepared a project plan using Microsoft Project which showed that the total effort required for the implementation was substantially greater than Ultra had originally budgeted for, specifically where Ultra’s own staff were concerned. We presented this plan to Ultra’s senior management and the additional staff resource was secured.

The tools (Serena TeamTrack and Serena Version Manager) had already been selected by Ultra’s senior management. We already had some familiarity with Version Manager, but sat down with a manual and learned TeamTrack from scratch before commencing the implementation. As part of the skills-transfer two members of Ultra’s staff attended a Serena training course and worked with us to develop the solution. This skills-transfer strategy ensured that Ultra would be able to be self-sufficient once the implementation was complete.

The solution itself, known as UltraCM, was a combination of TeamTrack and Version Manager linked through SourceBridge to development tools as diverse as Visual Basic 6 (VB6) and Visual Studio 2005. Ultra also maintained some source in VB3 and VB4, although this required a different working procedure as these tools were unable to interact directly with the CM solution.

Once we had successfully implemented the system we demonstrated it to Ultra’s board, department managers and developers. All felt that it was a success and looked forward to seeing it rolled out across the company.

We then wrote a 170 page user guide describing the process. The user guide covered every state and every transition within the workflow; describing in precise detail what should be done, what options were available and what decisions were required at every point. It described everything from how to state the requirements, through the risk-weighted estimation model, development tool interactions, baseline naming standards, test-scripts etc. Everybody who saw it was impressed with both its breadth of content and quality.

Keywords

Serena TeamTrack 6.6, Serena PVCS Version Manager 8.1 (VM), Serena SourceBridge, Prince 2, ITIL.

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