ThoughtWorks

Raquel Alegre - 8th July 2022

and

Vel'Afrika

Help Vel’Afrika, a South African company, realise their current mission:

 

Make African-made products available worldwide

in the next 3 years through their online platform.

 

 

Summary

Phase 1 of the project: Vel’Afrika is focusing on expanding to Europe. This will include the following changes to be delivered in 4 months:

  • Add a product reviews feature to their existent online platform

  • Integrating new payment methods (at least Bluesnap and 2CheckOut)

  • Integrate with a shipping partner that delivers to Europe

  • Test for performance, reliability and scalability

  • Assumptions

 

  • Delivery model:
    • Agile ways of working

    • Teams
      • Distributed teams structure
      • Roles and responsibilities

    • Epics & User stories

  • Time estimates

  • Project costing

Agenda

 

  • High-level project plan
    • MVP
    • Priorities for Phase 1

 

  • ThoughtWorks internal governance and metrics
    • Progress tracking

    • Budget

    • Risk management

 

  • Vel’Afrika external governance
    • Reports

    • Communication

  • Customer support and returns are not part of this case study as they are not included in Phase I
  • Vel’Afrika not familiar with Agile methodologies

  • Need to be mindful of costs

  • Epics and User stories have been discussed, with some priorities indicated

General Assumptions

  • Working online platform already has existing functionality for:
    • Customers to create and manage accounts and buy products

    • Sellers to create and manage accounts and offer products

    • Customer have a shopping basket where products are saved

    • Customer can choose to checkout their shopping basket and use a basic payment functionality that doesn’t include Bluesnap or 2CheckOut 

  • Vel’Afrika has already chosen a shipping partner that covers Europe. This delivery partner has an API the online platform can query in order to submit orders and do delivery tracking.

  • Relevant parts of the codebase have been shared to analyse current platform’s performance and produce a more accurate estimate

Assumptions - Functional Requirements

  • Language supported: English only

  • ThoughtWorks will follow the current platform’s UX/UI style

  • Scalability:

    • Vel’Afrika has already estimated expected growth:

      • 4x Total number of customers: 2500 -> 1000

      • 2x Total number of sellers: 100 -> 200

      • 5x Total number of products: 1000->5000

  • Online platform runs on a cloud server and has some maintenance and monitoring tools in place. It has been reported to be slow, but has never been tested for performance, scalability or reliability

 

Assumptions - Non-Functional Requirements

  • Iterative incremental delivery in cycles

 

  • Mindset: 'be agile' instead of just 'do agile'
    • Close collaboration

    • Continuous improvement

    • Embrace change

 

  • Benefits:
    • Continuous delivery of value

    • Adaptability

    • Speed

    • Cost reduction

 

  • Agile frameworks:
    • Scrum

    • Kanban boards

    • SAFe

Agile Delivery Model

1

Review backlog and priorities

3

Implement using different techniques

 

5

Apply feedback and prepare for release

2

Decide what to work on during current cycle

4

Demo progress to Vel’Afrika for feedback/acceptance

7

Retrospective, Inspect&Adapt

6

Deploy to production

Test-Driven

Development

Continuous

Integration

Pair

Programming

Code

Reviews

Agile Delivery Model - 2-week cycle

8

Gather user feedback to incorporate at next sprint

  • Closer to European market
  • Experience on e-commerce tools

  • Experience on integration with shipping providers

Team Barcelona

Team Johannesburg

  • Closer to Vel’Afrika
  • In-person meetings
  • Experience on platform reliability, performance and scalability

Distributed Teams at ThoughtWorks

 

Teams composition

  • Product owner: responsible for maintaining the backlog of tasks and representing Vel’Afrika on our day to day work, e.g. priorities
  • Agile teams: software developers with different specialities and levels of seniority that carry out the software development work led by a team lead
  • Quality Assurance: tests functionality and quality of deliverables
  • Project Manager: organises work, responsible for timely delivery, keeps track of progress and helps unblocking agile team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team at Vel'Afrika

 

Vel’Afrika will provide a team with the following skills:

  • UX/UI designer: provides mockups for addition of new features in the application

  • DevOps: expertise with cloud computing and deployment of releases

  • Business Analysis

    • How the European market is different from the existent African one

  • Marketing

    • Advertise new releases to Europe-based market and gather feedback

    • Identified targeted groups of European customers to offer first access to the MVP and gather feedback

  • Tech Lead/Architect: guides the integration in the current online platform

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assumptions:

  • 6-hour days, 5-day weeks, $100/hour (regardless of seniority or role)

  • Maintenance is not required

  • All activities required to develop software (e.g. implementation, testing, deployment, meetings, backlog refinement) are included in the time estimates

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project costing

ThoughtWorks internal Governance and metrics

Objective: ensure the alignment of Vel'Afrika project with ThoughtWorks overall goals

  • Progress tracking and reporting

    • Activities agreed for current sprint and % completed

    • Team members keep time sheets to better understand how we are utilising budget

    • Budget burndown/burnup charts - are we over/under spending?

ThoughtWorks internal Governance and metrics

 

  • Team members’ capacity report - Total/Assigned/Available capacity
  • Defining OKRs for each new feature, e.g.:

    • % increase on number of new user accounts created in Africa and Europe

    • % increase on number of products bought in Africa and Europe

    • % increase on new sellers and where they are based in Africa

    • % website availability during last cycle

  • Risk management

    • Likelihood, severity and mitigation strategy

Vel'Afrika external Governance and reporting

Objective: ensure the we are on track to deliver Vel’Afrika’s goals at any given point during the project

  • Reports

    • Activities agreed for current sprint and % completed

    • Weekly report on % of budget used and mitigation strategies if we are under/overspending

    • Agreed OKRs

    • Update on risk management

  • Communication

    • Available via email and chat

    • Always invited to sprint events, expected to participate at least during the demo and feedback review sessions

Thank You!

Questions?

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By Raquel Alegre

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