Using SEMAT and Essence at Fujitsu UK

InfoQ Article - June 2016

Key takeaways in article:

  • What issues can SEMAT help address within an organisation.
  • What is the best way to train people in the use of SEMAT so that its understood and used.
  • Why are the SEMAT cards important?
  • How can SEMAT be applied to the Enterprise, Programmes and Projects.
  • How can the use of SEMAT be scaled out across your organisation.

The premise is simple – rather than starting every application development project from scratch, we developed a ‘lean’ approach based on re‐usable best practice methods, proven ways‐of‐working, and leading tools and solution patterns. Re‐use doesn’t mean one‐size fits all, but rather it provides teams with the flexibility to match the right methods and tools to meet the needs of each client project and thereby reducing risks.

Although Fujitsu could potentially mandate its own internal practices, it cannot mandate those used by its customers. Any solution had to allow teams to mix Fujitsu’s recommended best practices with those of its customers. In addition, not all projects start at the beginning. Customers may contract work to us at any point in the project lifecycle.

A challenge was to introduce a consistent, measurable company-wide way of working that didn’t restrict its people from using different approaches where and when required. It needed to ensure high quality delivery irrespective of the methods and practices used in the different projects. It also needed to have comparable measurement at a project, program and overall client level with scalable, repeatable training delivery for our teams.

By integrating using Essence to build a practice-based approach, Fujitsu has created a flexible, extensible, reusable collaborative framework that provides clear business benefits. Since working with IJI, project start up time has accelerated since teams no longer write a new process description and create a new development environment for each project. From projects of 2-3 people to exceptionally large 100–200 people projects, Fujitsu’s process can scale to support a range of projects and team sizes without the need to write different versions of the process.

Fujitsu continues to take on new and varied projects and the markets continue to change and evolve. Fujitsu is equipped with a process that is flexible and extensible that can be kept up to date with modern practices and can act as a basis for the long-term improvement of Fujitsu’s application development capability.

Software Engineering Method and Theory Organisation (SEMAT)

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