Case StudiesDTS-Food-Assurance

Agile lets DTS Food Assurance implement a clear vision for their LabWare management software and stay competitive in the fast changing food testing industry.

THE CLIENT

What drives the LabWare team?

  • Delivering easy to use functionality to decrease the training requirements for new staff.

  • Streamlining processes to increase productivity.

  • Automating tasks so the staff can focus on the science, not data entry.

DTS Food Assurance is Australia’s market leader for food assurance services, with the largest food microbiology and chemistry laboratories in Australia along with extensive inspection and certification scope.

The LabWare development team are responsible for maintaining and enhancing the software that manages their entire sample analysis process.

As a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), LabWare provides end to end management, from pre-registration before a sample arrives for testing, through to reporting and invoicing.

This software is vital in the day-to-day work of analysts, and also for management staff across four different business units.

The LabWare team struggled to organise, prioritise and manage the hundreds of user requests, maintenance jobs and projects they faced.

There was no single place to hold all this work, and no visibility within the department or to the business of outstanding work or where their valuable time was going.

THE
CHALLENGE

"We had an internal request system that had over 250 open requests..."

Without a solution, DTS couldn’t effectively implement their vision for LabWare, to focus on the improvements that would increase productivity and maintain a competitive advantage. Instead, the team was driven by individual end user requests, with no oversight of the value or importance of the work being done.

Recognising the value of Agile

When DTS Food Assurance came under the Bureau Veritas umbrella as part of their joint venture with AsureQuality, the .NET team in Bureau Veritas was already working with softsolutions to manage workload and were very happy with the outcome.

The LIMS and IT department management were able to see the results for themselves in that team and easily determine that an Agile approach would also be suitable to manage changes within LabWare.

THE
TRAINING

softsolutions implemented their Premium Agile-as-a-Service training package with the entire LIMS/LabWare team and manager, including 14 in-person workshops, the full 12 months of Sprint Reports and live, weekly support sessions.

LabWare end users and other stakeholders were also introduced to Agile concepts and the Scrummunicate tool they use to submit requests and watch progress.

The team’s favourite moments

  • Planning Poker and a brand new approach to estimating work, for a better overall picture without a huge project plan document.
  • Using real, current projects to start putting new techniques and ideas into practice immediately.
  • The engaging, interactive style of training.
  • The team building opportunity (no trust falls required!) as they developed their team’s social contract.

THE
DIFFERENCE

Agile has given DTS and the LabWare team new visibility and control over what gets done.

Individuals

Track where they spend their time and organise their day more effectively.

Know the status of any piece of work at any time, even if they aren’t working on it.

LIMS
Department

Clearly sees the amount and priority of current work.

Understands at a glance whether their current output is greater than incoming requests.

Easily reports on the time spent on particular features or types of work.

DTS Food
Assurance

Has constructive conversations around prioritising and structuring work.

Sees transparent progress against all requests, directly within Scrummunicate.

Gets realistic delivery schedules.

Can implement an overall direction for continually improving LabWare.

Agile also enhances DTS Food Assurance’s competitive advantage by prioritising urgent requests and responding faster to changes in the market place, which can happen very quickly in the food testing industry.

“Without softsolution’s training, we would be in the same abyss where there was no authorisation of what needed to be done, no overall picture of what needed to be done and the work was prioritised based on the “squeaky wheel”.

Agile has provided an accurate picture of the amount of work and priority of the work and allowed us to have considerably more constructive conversations with the business around structuring blocks of works for delivery and visibility of the work in progress.”

Leanne Murray, ISM – LabWare Team Leader – Pacific Zone
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