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Specsavers uses HP application lifecycle management to manage offshore work

Cliff Saran

Optician Specsavers has used HP’s application lifecycle management toolset to build a standard process for software development.

The company, which uses offshore development in India, has deployed HP’s Application Lifecycle Intelligence (ALI) and Agile Manager to improve collaboration between testers and developers.

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Jason Taylor, director of IT applications and quality at Specsavers said: "HP has enabled us to establish standards and processes across the application lifecycle."

When managing offshore development, the waterfall approach can often be a better fit because the project is very demarcated. Parts can be farmed out independently.

Taylor said the Agile Manager tool provides task management, which enables offshore application development to be managed even if the development work is agile.

"These sort of tools allow you to manage your outsource vendors in an agile way. They provide a virtualised version of Post It notes on a board. They allow us to manage the tasks the developers take on board," he added.

The HP ALM tools enable Specsavers to understand what is going on in the offshore software development houses in India. The tools also provide a consistent way, one stop shop for product managers, to see the progress of bug fixing.

Prior to using HP’s ALM software, Specsavers lacked a central defect repository. Taylor said people used Microsoft Word or Excel, or kept bug-tracking information in their heads. "We needed a quality centre and an ALM repository linking all the way through testing and defect resolution," he said.

Commenting on the use of the HP toolset, Taylor said: "Centralising a multitude of diverse capabilities has raised the robustness and quality of testing and improved collaboration. We are finding and eliminating more defects, and IT projects are much better quality when they go live."


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