Stories on this page are the outcomes of various community initiatives and interactions. Since the community is driven voluntarily, passionate Mindtree Minds decide the community objective, identify gaps, chart out a roadmap, leverage different techniques and intervention models that benefit other like-minded members. This also helps them network with each other, stay connected, make friends and build trust.
We did a community survey and found out that 23% saw a great progress in the way community initiative has evolved in 2011. 8% said the community activities have made a direct impact in their work/project and it was a life saver for them. 47% noticed a positive impact (personally/professionally) on themselves as well as others.
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Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS or simply OTS) software is a popular choice, vis-à-vis custom-built software as more solutions are being built to address common business needs. The community felt that the training, process and systems that are designed for custom development were often wrongly applied to OTS projects resulting in delays, cost escalation, incorrect solutions and missed expectations. Hence COTS practitioners, within the Tech Leads community, interested in improving project implementation were looking for a forum to create an impact beyond their projects.
Suppressing the urge to solve the superficial problems, series of events around OTS were planned. The community met over 19 events that were spread over 6 months. These were set out to create a repository of knowledge addressing all lifecycle stages of COTS projects starting from competency development to sales support to implementation and finally operational support. This was essential considering the diversity of participants from Enterprise Resource Planning to Web Content Management systems. Participants comprising of business analysts, architects, project managers, testers and developers brought their thoughts and experiences, in identifying the fine differences that exist in project lifecycle. These discussions helped in spreading the awareness, receive more ideas and inputs were documented in Konnect (tagged as “ots”) via blogs and videos.
The insights gained through the series of OTS events indicated that root cause of all the issues was in the processes adopted, for example, static processes that were in use were not scalable to the needs of current or future OTS projects, different OTS families needed different type of focus and finally emerging solution areas like cloud projects also needed to be addressed. Considering all of the above, a set of recommendations were created in a form of a deck that facilitates self-learning. It also had the capability to extract knowledge from project execution data and provide contextual recommendations to similar type of projects, almost like a person suggesting out of experience. The community can find these recommendations on Konnect, tagged as “ots2”.
The visibility created by the community on the OTS project implementation has led to inclusion of a session on OTS awareness and appreciation into Business Analyst onboarding program. In these sessions the campus Business Analysts learns the differences between OTS and custom development projects.
As a tactical solution, templates that could be used in OTS projects for estimation, requirements gathering and planning have been uploaded on Konnect. These are expected to provide interim solution until a much long term platform like Delivery Platform comes into existence.
In summary the outcome was: