The Background

zAgile founder Sanjiva Nath has worked as a VP of Engineering for many software companies the past 20 years. He is an expert in Enterprise Information Management (EIM), distributed engineering projects, and semantic web technologies.

The Problem

While working with many disparate organizations, cultures, technologies, process maturity levels, paradigms and application domains, Nath had never encountered:

  1. Effective and comprehensive integration between tools used throughout the software engineering lifecycle representing all stages from business case to product delivery

  2. A mechanism for defining and automating custom software engineering processes and workflows

  3. The ability to easily get reliable qualitative assessment of a project's progress at any point in time

  4. A mechanism for capturing knowledge related to activities that occur throughout software engineering lifecycle.

Therefore, Nath set out to solve the problem for himself as well as for others who had been similarly affected in their careers by these issues. The statistics on software project failures, as reliable as they can be, are staggering:a survey by Tata Consulting in 2007 estimates the losses in hundreds of billions of dollars each year. And the problem is further compounded by the increasing trend towards distributed development and off-shoring (global investment of enterprise application software outsourcing grew by over 60% between 2002 and 2007). The hundreds of billion dollar problem will only get bigger.

The Solution

The zAgile vision recognizes that the solution needs to address four fundamental areas of a software engineering environment:

  • Product: What are the product’s various components, and how are they combined to create the product? How does one component’s delivery affect another?

  • People: Who has gathered the market requirements? Who had specified the features and behavior of the product? Who is building, testing, and delivering the product? Who is buying and using the product?

  • Process: What are the methodologies being used to create the product? How are the methodologies ingrained into the organization’s processes, tools, and applications?

  • Project: What are the characteristics of the project to deliver the product?

Nath determined that an elegant solution is achieved through a combination of EIM and semantic web disciplines.In particular, the subset disciplines of Enterprise Information Integration (EII) and Master Data Management (MDM) would provide the fundamental principles to integrate information of the software engineering lifecycle, while semantic web technologies would provide the vehicle with which to achieve the goals. None of this has been achievable before zAgile’s innovative solutions because semantic web technologies were not yet mature enough. Furthermore, real-world semantic web based applications have not yet become commonplace, largely because the application domains have been too broad and thus too ambiguous to constrain for a workable solution. Until zAgile, no one has ever attempted to apply semantic web technologies to such a well-defined domain as software engineering. Finally, this approach provides a completely open architecture which enables the integration of any tools and applications. Such an open architecture has not been of interest to the large tool and application providers, as they have historically been primarily interested in integrating only their own toolsets. With zAgile products, customers finally have an abstracted level of integration for their whole software engineering environment, no matter the tools, processes, and geographic distribution of the team.

Delivering Success

zAgile products unify the software engineering environment by enabling organizations to achieve:

  • Cohesion

    • Provides a portal, connected to all tool repositories, with automatic status updates for your projects

    • Provides a single point to define the organization’s methodology and then automatically publish it to a Wiki or other applications

    • Reduces time for information discovery with unified search across all tools, Wiki’s, and applications

    • Open: Provides connectivity between any tools, proprietary or open source

  • Collaboration

    • Reduces complexity within an organization, unifying software delivery teams

    • Synchronizes information amongst your tools and applications

    • Instantiates your organization’s methodology to Wikis, tools, and applications

    • Delivers real coordination to a distributed team

  • Confidence

    • Provides a community and mechanisms to leverage and share industry best-practices for methodologies

    • Delivers dashboard with predictable insight into your projects

    • Signals red flags, allowing teams to react immediately to fix any issues

Try zAgile products today, and see how you can achieve cohesion, collaboration, and confidence with your software engineering delivery environment.