Spathe Systems Kicks off Glo Project
J4 has the requirement for an application-based tool called the Global Logistics Overview (GLO) that will enable the Joint Logistics Enterprise to rapidly develop concepts of support, send a near-real-time demand signal to suppliers, and identify gaps and seams for global operations to either allow them to be closed by J4, or communicated to strategic leaders. Key to this need is an application that captures all of the necessary criteria for a mission and store these data points in a central database to enable machine learning and AI. Spathe Systems has been chosen to build this application based on their experience with the J4 initiatives and understanding of Agile software development.
A critical part of Agile Product Development is initial application design and backlog creation. In a recent Liftoff event, the Spathe Systems team conducted a two-day session where multiple government and commercial stakeholders and internal team members met to analyze the goals of the GLO project, document the design of the application, and create user stories around the necessary features of the product. A successful Liftoff achieves alignment across all team members by establishing a clear, shared understanding of what the project involves, why it exists, and builds momentum going into the Development phase.
The session began with an overview of the Project Charter and a review of the current state of how SOF mission data is captured and required materials are calculated today. The team then walked through each step of the process and captured the User Needs, or what the end user would require at each step. From there we proceeded to decompose each of those needs into specific User Stories. This included anything from how the Operator would log into the system, what data will need to be ingested from external sources into the app, to how we will convey the needed equipment and materials to the appropriate organizations responsible for securing those items. The end result was a populated backlog of all of the required deliverables for the GLO Application. We also made thoughtful, strategic decisions on which of those features were needed for a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) and which ones could be placed on a longer-term roadmap. Inherent to Agile Product Development, we understand that some of these features might change, or some may be added or removed as we begin building the app, but we now have a defined starting point from which to begin executing.
As a final step, the team broke into groups centered around each team member’s core competencies, Front End/Back End development and Database Architecture, and began a deep dive into technical solutions for the documented design. The “how” is just as important as the “what”, and this session allowed the individuals closest to the work to collaborate on the best way to develop the application based on the requested needs. Armed with all this information and planning, the Agile project team can immediately begin building the application to the customer’s expectations.