Agile: Enhancing Internal Systems
A national wholesale insurance broker with 15 offices across the country asked B-Three to work with its in-house personnel to upgrade mission-critical internal systems. The client firm also asked B‑Three to use the project as an opportunity to train the in-house personnel in utilizing the Agile software development methodology.
The client company specializes in providing innovative solutions for hard-to-place commercial insurance accounts. Its proprietary internal systems are essential to the commitment it makes to its customers, expediting the quote process and policy service.
Following a comprehensive analysis of the requirements for its internal systems, the client firm made the determination to construct and maintain internal systems that would utilize current technology, while addressing current and near-future product development. Greater adaptability for future development would be paramount.
Within the framework of those broad goals, the analysis defined specific recommendations to be implemented. To make that happen, B-Three and the client firm worked together to arrive at a strategy based on the Model View Controller (MVC) architectural pattern. The three major elements of this strategy were:
- Convert the Business Layer, the Model Layer, and the Data Access Layer to Entity Framework.
- Continue to utilize the user controls that the client firm had developed, and extend the use of jQuery and Ajax to provide a more appealing user experience.
- Adopt a more object-oriented programming approach, thereby eliminating redundant code and making it more manageable to extend the design.
The development effort leveraged a distributed team structure, successfully utilizing multi-media tools to facilitate daily scrums, QA reporting, and knowledge transfer among the team, regardless of location. The B-Three team consisted of three full-time developers, augmented by the part-time involvement of a senior developer, a QA lead, and QA analysts.