Agility towards the Finish Line: Weiss Umwelttechnik - S!MPATI® Online

Kristin Becker Senior Project Manager • Technology Expert Agile & Lean

04/11/2021 • 3 minutes reading time

Large, complex projects often require various expert teams to work together. The agile organization of these inter-company, inter-disciplinary teams is a challenge that can only be overcome together. You need a cohesive and open mindset, transparency regarding aims and expectations as well as short decision-making paths so that new requirements and realizations can be reacted to flexibly.

About Weiss Umwelttechnik

Ergosign has been a partner of Weiss Umwelttechnik - the market leader for environmental simulation systems for industries such as the automotive, electronic and pharma sectors - for many years. We have already successfully completed many projects together, and we were invited on board for their latest project, “S!MPATI® online” too:

„As a market leader, we want to constantly develop our product portfolio and have decided to supplement our already high-performance management software for environmental simulations to include a platform-based cloud service. “S!MPATI® online” is a modern, user-friendly platform that combines various location-independent services for the management, planning and organization of tests as well as facilitating the automated creation of test reports.“

The Project

Ergosign has been supporting Weiss Umwelttechnik with its “S!MPATI® online” project since it began in mid 2018: it started off as a classic UCD (user-centered design) project with user research and scoping workshops. Together, concepts were validated and the visual design developed. In the meantime, product development was carried out agilely within Ergosign’s interdisciplinary design and development team together with cloud experts from tresmo, technicians from Weiss Umwelttechnik, the responsible project manager and the chief product owner. A strong, self-organized team quickly developed, designing and building on “Simpati Online” services together.

"Ergosign supports you in the successful implementation of your agile projects and guides you from project setup through to establishing a common agile mindset and tailored development processes, right through to delivering and further developing your product."

Kristin BeckerTechnology Expert Agile & Lean

Digital transformation is creating a constant process of change in an industrial context. The result? The number of technically complex projects is increasing, so more and more companies are placing their trust in the expertise of specialist service providers. This leads to more team arrangements where service providers work together with managers from various sectors.

Teamstruktur im Projekt
Team structure in the project

Test it. Heat it. Cool it. - Innovation ahead

Weiss Umwelttechnik’s solutions simulate various thermal and climatic conditions and are used worldwide in research and development as well as in the production and quality assurance of countless products.

“S!MPATI® online” provides companies with expanded software functions for test reports and test material management. Major added value is therefore offered by location-independent access to customer systems and the automated creation of editable test reports - including graph-based evaluations, written test documentation, test material images and corresponding system logs.

Big data and predictive maintenance will also play a key role in the future. In the long term, the producer-specific IoT platform - alongside the planning, management and analysis of environmental simulations - should integrate further services and products via an IoT gateway and the cloud.

Screen from project
Screen from project

Perfectly Paired

Large amounts of data transferred from test consoles must be documented, analyzed and managed in a user-friendly yet meticulously thorough way. The quick and simple transfer into a test report as well as templates for recurring data and test processes save test engineers lots of time.

As a facilitator between all those involved in the project, the design team must always critically question and verify new requirements and changes in order to consolidate them into one concept that increases added value. So all Chief product owner needs, as well as the individual requirements of the front-end and back-end team, are taken into account.

Agile Development & Project Management

Transparency and trust are the cornerstones here. An agile approach to suit the project is necessary, ideally combining the best practices of various agile frameworks.

The dual-track approach was a good option here. Designers use known UX methods to work on new concepts and designs based on user stories in close collaboration with the chief product owner as well as software engineers. Prioritized in advance, these are then directly planned into the next development sprint. The sprints are based on the Scrum framework and last 2 weeks, during which time concepts are implemented, retested from a design perspective and finally tested in terms of quality assurance. Product increments are therefore created within a short period of time; these are potentially deliverable and offer real added value.

Questioning processes, requirements and concepts is expressly desired. This increases the commitment and personal responsibility of each individual, while also creating a high level of trust among stakeholders.

Simply introducing agile practices like user stories, product backlogs and sprint boards and working to an agile framework is not enough. The foundations for all agile working are formed by the right mindset with corresponding values and principles such as openness, transparency, courage, focus, and the trust that each individual team member is giving their all to drive the product forward.

“The key to successful agile projects is the understanding of these values within the team, and a creative project environment where they can be put into practice.”

The basis of all agile projects is the mindset (BEING) on which every further process (DOING) is built.