The close Track 1 morning sessions, Turismo de Portugal brought a success case of the innovative School Management Solution (SMS).
This was not the average case study presentation: it was a true celebration of success with agile!
Hugo Sousa, IT Director for Turismo de Portugal, shared the stage with other 4 project stakeholders,and started the session by playing a video that introduced Turismo de Portugal, their business and needs, sprinkled with live testimonials and images of the School Management Solution being used. You can check the video here.
Hugo explained they evaluated several packages available in the market (both commercial and open source). Their conclusion was that they would either be forced to buy a package that included too much functionality they didn’t need or want; or buy a package that used relatively obsolete technology and would be very difficult (and costly) to adapt to their specific needs.
So, at the end of the day, they decided to build it from scratch. Many said they were crazy, but the team knew that building it was the right thing to do – and today they proved they really make the right decision.
Francisco Neto, from Normática, described the challenges they had: breaking away from manual and paper based processes and create a system to manage 16 schools, and be used by 1300 resources (including teachers and staff) and over 3000 students.
The main objectives? To create uniform processes that all schools would follow, to automate manual tasks to improve productivity and reduce lead times, and to optimize all processes during the whole analysis and implementation stages.
For the longer term, their vision is to increase the quality of educational services and the student’s satisfaction levels, improve the tourism offers in Portugal, and increase de demand for tourism and hospitality education in the country – and all of this with a strong focus on the environment and sustainability.
Here are some stats about the project:
- An agile methodology was used, with 6 sprints of 3 weeks;
- They chose 3 week sprints to ensure a bigger throughput of functionality for each sprint demo;
- They created around 30 applications and components, with +500 web pages and 220 database tables;
- To accelerate the development, they reused 5 pre-built components including “Resources and Meetings Management”, “Email Services” and “Charting”.
João Fernandes (one of the School directors involved in the project) said that originally information was coming from several sources and in different formats. With the launch of a centralized and shared new School Management System, they immediately attained process alignment.
Also, by segregating users by pre-defined profiles, they improved access to the right information for each user, as well as security. According to João, the administrative, financial and pedagogical areas where the ones that most benefited from the launch of the new system but “there is still a lot of potential to explore in this system!” he added.
Maria João, another School Director, presented a couple of slides showing the differences between the processes in 2008/2009 and what they look like today: the key takeout is that everything that once was managed with paper, has now migrated to the new web-based application.
Not only paper and waste are gone, but the whole organization became more “productive” – today they actually handover some of the responsibilities to the students. For example, students are responsible for managing their information and submit their absences in self-service. Another great example is that students don’t have to travel to the school they want to join for the enrollment process – they can do it in a school closer to them, saving time and money and simplifying the whole process.
To wrap the session, Hugo asked the audience if they remembered the chart that was presented during Paulo Rosado’s keynote yesterday (the example of a company who delivered 10K function points in less than a year.)
“That was OUR chart. Those were OUR numbers. That represents all that we’ve accomplished” he said proudly. After thanking the entire team he added “We chose the right technology, and in only 4 months we were able to deliver all of this!”
The session ended with even more celebration as Mike Jones (VP of Marketing at OutSystems) handed two Agility Awards to Turismo de Portugal and Normática, for such an innovative and successful agile project.