Schools in Hessen have been relieved of day-to-day administrative burdens thanks to the LUSD database application tool. But stakeholders were keen to facilitate greater levels of agility and flexibility in its future development. Together with Avanade, Department Z.6 of the Hessen Ministry of Education (HKM) established modern, fast and straightforward processes based on Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS). Objectives included faster implementation times, greater user satisfaction and a shift in attitude toward agility and cooperation.
“Our cooperation with Avanade really impressed us on all levels and in all respects. It wasn't just that a few things worked; we built up a close relationship based on trust. We see ourselves as a team, and that's how we operate."
Avanade identified SCRUM as a process framework and TFS as the ideal option for supporting the agile process. The desired "shift in attitude" had to be achieved on the process side, guided by Avanade’s expertise and mentorship. This meant abandoning the former method of major go-lives for improvements and modifications and the associated testing, stabilisation and approval procedures which occurred only twice a year, and replacing them with multiple shorter and smaller cycles. The “sprints” involved in this approach entail a continuous process of testing and development.
Users now benefit from the faster implementation of improvements, and Hessen has the agile yet stable solution it wanted, based on powerful process/application lifecycle management and supported by professional tools. Results include:
• More transparency. A holistic process and application lifecycle management based on a central tool, provides maximum transparency for staff involved.
• Shorter release cycles. There is optimal support from TFS and SCRUM for planning, development, testing and distribution as a foundation for faster implementation of improvements and change requests, leading to increased user satisfaction.
• Higher quality. Defined processes, integration of quality control from the word go and tried-and-tested tools help guarantee high quality.