Technology start-ups and mid-size technology organizations everywhere are struggling to attract, hire, and retain high-demand engineering resources. When these organizations do manage to attract candidates they typically can't afford to hire them. When they can afford the resources they struggle to keep them excited and engaged long-term.
Due to a growing demand for video solutions within prospective KnowledgeVision clients they need an economical solution for addressing their quickly growing product backlog and overall demand for the Knovio media platform. Intent Solutions Group was chosen to help accelerate the pace of research and development by transitioning its limited local team to a much broader integrated global development team.
Intent initially conducting a hands-on rapid advisory session where human resources, development processes, and technology architectures were all discussed and reviewed. This resulted in a mutually agreed upon growth and technology plan that would be used as a guide for the next stages.
The resulting solution consisted of the following key components:
CTO level support from a US based executive was provided with overall responsible for the mentoring and execution required by the growth plan. The CTO had responsibilities to implement or expand processes and procedures which would eventually be transferred back to KnowledgeVision team members.
Product Management related training and mentoring was provided to key KnowledgeVision employees so that they could better manage the overall team themselves and also so that they could effectively communicate key executives and customers about Product priorities, achievements, and work in process. The suite of Atlassian tools were leveraged in support of not only the Product Management function but in support of the entire Scrum software development life-cycle. An innovative planning board was developed and leveraged as an effective communication tool for Product Planning meetings with key stakeholders.
Technology Architecture for the Knovio platform leveraged a large Amazon AWS environment, a Java technology stack, and targeted mobile development platforms. A modern web application architecture was implemented and maintained utilizing a number of technologies such as EC2, S3, CloudFront, CloudWatch, SNS, SWS, Route53, Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS Media Services (Elemental) and selected AWS services
Early Digital Media services from AWS were leveraged and eventually converted to the Elemental Media Services for content creation and consumption.
Over a 2-3 month period three 5 person Scrum teams were formed, trained, and deployed into the new Scrum process with value being added almost immediately and steady state being achieving within a couple of sprints. These teams naturally folded into the standard Scrum cadence and have always achieved a high-level of quality and predictable velocity.
Development Operations (DevOps) processes and procedures were implemented as a way to achieve continuous build and deployment to Dev and QA AWS environments. The Intent Solutions way is to always automate everything and only revert to manual processes when absolutely necessary. The team took full responsibility for the complex AWS environment underlying the Knovio platform.
A Quality Assurance function was defined and implemented with an embedded QA focused resource embedded within each Scrum team. Starting with a large initiative focused on organizing and creating initial test cases. Overlapping the initial test case creation was the implementation of a Selenium based automation environment where 80% of test cases were automated.
For KnowledgeVision and the Knovio digital media platform, innovation and development is an ongoing process driven by success and client demand. Since incorporating the team at Intent, there has been a marked increase in product development velocity which has allowed the company to gain key footholds in strategic market segments.
The remarkable accomplishments below have resulted in an optimal and simplified application architecture ready for significant growth globally.