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Westhouse

Procurement Process Controll

Westhouse Consulting GmbH

The application

OnCircus Enterprise keeps you in control of your procurement process. The application helps human-resource managers find and hire the right people for the contracts or the full-time employment.

It also helps them organize the whole procurement process, helping the various company departments (project management, legal, HR) work seamlessly together while searching for the right people and hiring them.

It generates the detailed reports about the hiring process, and guides managers through hiring process. It also helps them to manage contracts, extend contracts, etc.

The project

Our cooperation with Weshouse started in April 2011. We started with the NDA and the analysis of the current project.

After providing the estimates for the next phases of the development, we have agreed on the project scope, signed the contract and started the project development.

The challenges

At the beginning of every project, it takes some time to adjust the teams and the communication channels, so it usually takes some time to speed things up.

It usually helps, when the project team members and managers can meet and discuss the project overview and also outline the future plans. And we did just that, even though it was a few months after the project kick-off.

The challenge was to analyze the current code and to adjust our actions to work with the existing application architecture on one side and to enhance it and fix errors on the other side.

So it took some time to analyze the current application and learn how to use the current architecture to work in the new environment.

The challenges were mainly:

  1. To keep the communication clear. There were many changes in the specification, and the specification was not complete and clear, as the Westhouse’s client was requesting more features and changes.
  2. Documentation. Because of the changes, the specification and the code even had to be changed several times. However, the change process was supported by the tools (Jira issue management software) as well as by the phone and Skype discussions about the project changes.
  3. Project workload. It is difficult to assign and keep resources dedicated on one project, when the project has variable time needs. When people have to switch between completely different projects, it takes them some time to adjust and be productive. We strive to keep people 100% dedicated on one project, to make sure the project has full support and attention.
  4. Deployment. As the deployment for the Westhouse’s client was not under our or Westhouse’s supervision, there were some challenges to find and debug the errors. Also, the deployment of the fixes is in this case not as easy. Furthermore, we had to track and deploy fixes on the live system (used by the 100s users), which is always a challenge.
  5. Refactoring, code changes. The current application’s architecture had its limitations, and we had to address the new client’s requirements all under the time pressure. There is still a room for more improvements for the optimalization of the application’s architecture.
  6. Different workflows. There are different workflow versions for different clients in the application, so every change in the system must be carefully tested and deployed, because there are complicated dependencies between various workflow levels for various user roles.

Overall, and in spite of the various challenges, the project is progressing well. Westhouse is now installing a new application for a new client.

Used technologies

PHP, MySQL, Zend framework, ExtJS, Apache, email/smtp integration.


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