The Dialexa team performed a research & discovery exercise with the aim of identifying ways to improve client communication and provide project visibility to team members, management, and clients. The result of this session was the plan to develop an application that would allow Dialexa to share progress with clients while streamlining communication and integrating directly with Dialexa’s development tools. This application has become known as 'Engage'.
Engage is a comprehensive application that allows the Dialexa teams to improve communication with clients. Featured with a real-time dashboard and native iOS application, Engage provides full visibility into projects and keeps users updated with the current status for each individual project. Using a combination of custom data along with integration with third party sources, Engage provides real-time information for projects that is available on a dashboard and a native iOS application.
Engage is comprised of three parts: the dashboard, the mobile application, and an admin portal. Users are able to login to the admin portal where they can connect their Engage account with third party sources such as JIRA Cloud. Once connected, Engage will pull all JIRA projects available for the user, and allow the user to create corresponding Engage projects. An Engage project combines the data retrieved from JIRA as well as additional details that can be provided by the user to generate a project card that displays macro and micro level information for the project.
Once projects have been added, Engage is able to track updates on the activity, schedule and overall status for every project, with the goal being to improve communication between team members and management, and to provide transparency on the status of a project with clients.
The Engage dashboard is a read-only experience that displays all configured projects in an organized fashion. Laid out in a masonry format, the Engage dashboard features scrolling project cards that display information specific to each project, and update every hour with the most up to date information.
A project card consists of configurable components that allow the user to customize how they want their projects displayed. A project can be configured to track active and upcoming sprints, version progress, bug information, and can highlight concerns on a project. In addition, the project cards always display the overall status of the project that is calculated based on the percentage of work completed over the length of the project.
Engage offers a native iOS application that allows users to interact with their projects on the go. The native mobile application allows the user to navigate through the projects they have set up on the dashboard with added functionality such an issue reporting and backlog prioritization.
The mobile application acts as an extension to the Engage dashboard and allows users to navigate into their projects and go into greater detail. Users can click into sprints to get an issue break down for the particular sprint, and go further into the issue to view issue details and comments on an issue. Similarly, users can also navigate into the project backlog and view issues in the backlog. In addition, the application allows users to prioritize their backlog by rearranging the issues in the backlog. This is ideal for teams working external clients and would like to provide collaboration in planning future sprints.
Finally, Engage mobile also offers issue and bug reporting. When working with clients, it is essential for teams to have a centralized location to track all bugs and feature requests. By allowing users to add issues and bugs into the backlog with the Engage mobile application, teams can have clients and stakeholders directly add feature requests and bugs into the JIRA system that is used to manage the project.
Engage Admin Portal
The Engage admin portal acts as the command center for the Engage applications. As a project lead or project manager, the user uses the Engage admin portal to configure all of their projects to ensure proper tracking. The Engage application currently integrates with JIRA Cloud and is able to pull in all software projects that the authorized user has permission to view.
As a project is being added, users can specify how they would like their projects to be tracked. Engage currently supports measurement by story points and issues. This measurement is used to track the project’s overall status which is based on the comparison of the time completed in the project and the amount of points or issues closed.
Engage is currently released as a beta application and is used in the Dialexa offices to provide updates into ongoing projects. Clients are also set up with the Engage mobile application to improve communication and provide visibility into active development. This has allowed the teams at Dialexa to provide clients flexibility into their projects and makes sprint planning sessions more efficient.
Clients now have tools available in their hands that lets them add features to the backlog and allows them to prioritize future work accordingly.
The Engage platform has become so popular we have even had some clients ask us to build a custom version for their own internal development operations.
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