Workflow fits the bill
- By Colleen Frye
Not all teams are alike, so the solutions they may choose to enhance
collaboration can be as varied as the teams themselves. For software developer
Intuit, a workflow process management engine fit the bill.
Daniel Bright, manger of engineer services at Mountain View, Calif.-based
Intuit Inc., said there is a lot of good teamwork that occurs within groups, but
the 20-odd development organizations ''have always worked somewhat in their own
silos. They're doing a good job, but now we're starting to do a lot of
cross-department work; we're doing distributed development and starting to feel
the pain points associated with that and with having a variety of tools,'' he
One of the groups Bright manages is the corporate tools team, whose charter
is to select and deploy a common set of development tools. Rather than looking
for an all-encompassing suite, Bright said they took a best-of-breed approach
with the aim of getting one win at a time. Senior management told them to pick
the best tool and ''don't worry about price.''
First on the agenda was a common defect-tracking system. Bright assembled a
virtual team to put together the requirements. Four vendors made it to the short
list: Rational, Segue, TeamShare and Siebel. The group selected TeamShare's
TeamTrack, which is at its heart a workflow process engine.
''We focused on a workflow process engine. When you've got a collaborative
software development environment, you're crossing boundaries and it's difficult
to enforce ownership and accountability,'' said John Keller, director of product
management at TeamShare Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo. ''You can take advantage of
escalation and notification engines to make sure things get addressed.
''We're also offering a best-of-breed strategy,'' he added. ''TeamTrack is
typically not the first application deployed in a development environment, so it
is open and can integrate with all applications existing in the environment.
TeamTrack is the glue that ties together these different apps without doing
duplicate data entry.''
That is a perfect fit with Intuit's strategy. ''We wanted a defect tool that
was open and could create integrations with other tools,'' said the firm's
Bright. ''I was also happy it was all Web-based and we don't have to do client
installs on thousands of desktops.''
See the related story Can IT developers work
together? by Colleen
Colleen Frye is a freelance writer based in Bridgewater, Mass.