Aug 28, 2015

An Inside Look at How Kepware Builds and Supports Product: Part Two

Posted by Ben Boucher

In last week's post, I introduced four teams that were impacted by Kepware's shift to a new development philosophy and internal structure. Today, I'll describe our two remaining engineering teams and detail how our separate but synchronous development efforts impact Kepware's product release schedule.

Engineering Solutions

I like to call this team the cowboy division of Kepware. These engineers are tasked with working high priority issues in a short time frame and have personalities that match. Engineering solutions tackles customer problems that are escalated from technical support and require an engineering solution. Because these are short turnaround-time efforts, the scope 081A4548-b must be kept very narrow, targeting the minimal changes necessary to produce a software patch or—if possible—an alternative approach using an existing solution.

Sometimes, projects hit Engineering Solutions but prove to be either too large an issue to be rectified in a narrow scope or that are feature enhancements representing product improvements requested by one or more customers. To ensure these projects receive attention, we have created a Continuous Improvement queue.

Continuous Improvement

One of the challenges faced in advancing Kepware’s product line is in prioritizing large scale projects that add support for new devices or technologies versus incremental improvements. The solution to this is to generate a continuous improvement (CI) backlog where we can prioritize feature requests submitted by customers. By focusing on applying an engineering team to CI at all times, we ensure that customer requests receive attention in a timely manner.

Product Releases

With all the development efforts being applied to long-term projects, patches, and continuous improvement, a dedicated effort to merge all that independent development is necessary to ensure stable software. Leading up to a scheduled product release, we bring all development into a single software build. At that point, our QA department launches into a weeks-long effort to regression test the product and works with development to resolve any problems they find. At the end of that process, we have a product that Kepware is proud to include as part of our robust and reliable communications platform.

Conclusion

Integrating communication and collaboration into our culture has increased visibility into the work being done by these departments and into our customers’ needs. Kepware’s success is tightly coupled with our resulting ability to move in a unified direction to build products our customers will love. 

Learn more about our leadership and software solutions by reading the Kepware Corporate Brochure.

Read the Corporate Brochure