A new way of collaboration: A 3-Day PI Planning in VR using Arthur Software

A new way of collaboration: A 3-Day PI Planning in VR using Arthur Software

In the ever-evolving landscape of software development, effective planning and collaboration have become essential for success. However, gathering large teams of 40 or more people in a physical space for a Program Increment (PI) Planning event can be logistically challenging and costly. Fortunately, advancements in technology have brought about exciting opportunities, and through the use of virtual reality (VR) and e.g. Arthur Software, teams can now experience a transformative planning process without the limitations of physical space.

In this blog post, we explore the benefits of conducting a 3-day PI Planning event in VR using Arthur as we did in one of our last projects. Such an event is of course preceded by planning. Here, too, we would like to offer you a brief insight. At the end of this blog post, you will receive an overview of the benefits of PI Planning using Virtual Reality as well as an overview of what you should consider in advance when planning a (PI Planning) workshop in VR.

Day 0: Preparation

One of the keys to successful PI planning in VR, is preparation and coordination with all parties involved. This includes classic activities such as thematic discussions and coordination, but also requires knowledge in the field of working in virtual reality. For an optimal transfer of an onsite workshop to an event in the virtual world, VR experts should be involved at an early stage.

Day 1: Setting the stage for collaboration

The first day of the VR-based PI Planning event focuses on building a strong foundation for collaboration among the participants. With the help of Arthur, teams are immersed in a virtual environment that fosters a sense of presence and engagement. The day begins with a system demo via MS Teams, where teams can showcase their work, providing valuable insights and updates to the larger group. These demos facilitate cross-team learning and create an environment of shared knowledge. Since these demos are a presentation without any interaction, we decided to use MS Teams as the presentation platform. Working in VR can be tough for some people in the beginning, so these sessions should have a dedicated benefit e.g., regarding the interaction during the meeting.

After the demos we switched to VR and the teams engage in retrospectives, reflecting on the previous increment and identifying areas for improvement. In the virtual space, teams can utilize virtual whiteboards and collaboration tools provided by Arthur to document their insights, fostering transparency and shared understanding. It quickly became clear that having an external person take over the moderation and documentation was a great advantage, as it allowed the participants to concentrate fully on the content of the event.

The day continues with discussions around the product vision and goals. Using Arthur’s powerful visualizations, teams can explore the product roadmap, key metrics, and customer needs. Through interactive presentations and discussions, participants gain a comprehensive understanding of the strategic objectives and align themselves towards a shared vision.

Day 2: Planning the next PI

On the second day, the focus shifts to the detailed planning. Participants gather in virtual breakout sessions, divided into smaller groups to work on specific features, epics, or user stories. With Arthur’s VR environment, teams can easily collaborate and brainstorm ideas, sketch out workflows, and define acceptance criteria on virtual whiteboards. In contrast to MS Teams breakout sessions, the participants in VR can easily switch from on group to another to have a little chat or discuss open points. VR offers a wide range of implementation options. It was therefore necessary to weigh up the options together with the VR experts in advance in order to select the most suitable ones. As this was many people’s first experience of working in VR, it was particularly important that an expert was available at all times to answer questions and provide suggestions.

During this day, the teams also receive valuable insights into the business context surrounding the project. For this session a switch to Microsoft Teams was useful to give the participants a little break from the VR experience. This knowledge empowers teams to make informed decisions during the planning process, ensuring alignment between the business objectives and technical implementation.

At the end of the day, the teams present their roadmaps to the larger group. Using Arthur’s virtual presentation capabilities, participants can showcase their plans, highlight dependencies, and clarify their intentions. This fosters transparency and encourages cross-team collaboration by identifying potential synergies and opportunities for shared resources. Due to the interactive possibilities in Arthur or in VR in general, the development teams gain a big benefit in comparison to collaboration platforms like MS teams. As you know from the »face-to-face meetings« it is a lot easier to interact, discuss and decide things when not only one person is able to speak at the same time.

Requirements elicitation and prioritization in VR

Day 3: Building a cohesive plan and reflection

The final day of the PI Planning event focuses on building an overall plan and addressing dependencies and risks. Teams gather virtually to discuss and align their individual roadmaps, ensuring cohesion and synchronicity across the project. Arthur’s VR environment enables participants to easily visualize and understand the interdependencies between different teams and features. Once again, it became clear that bringing together the individual contents is always a challenge, regardless of the location, which makes customized support in this step all the more important.

The event concludes with a PI retrospective, where teams reflect on the planning process, capture lessons learned, and identify areas for improvement. Especially several feedback for the planning itself and the new experience using VR were very helpful for improving future plannings. It was exiting so see how much people were happy and motivated to use a new technology and how this improves the team performance in several ways. Of course, there is room for improvement, like every new method or technology every team must evaluate how this can be used in the most efficient way. Most of the mentioned points regarding improvement are related to the fact that the majority of participants were using Virtual Reality for the first time. Topics like get to know the hard- and software are crucial for a successful planning.

Project plans and dependencies can be discussed even more intensively within the team thanks to the interactivity in VR

Conclusion

Conducting a 3-day PI Planning event in virtual reality using Arthur software offers numerous benefits for large teams. By embracing VR technology, teams can overcome the logistical challenges of physical gatherings and unlock new levels of collaboration and efficiency by reducing travel costs. With immersive experiences, powerful visualizations, and interactive tools, VR enables teams to align their efforts, plan effectively, and address potential risks. As the world continues to embrace remote work and virtual collaboration, leveraging VR technology in PI Planning becomes an exciting opportunity for organizations to stay ahead in the fast-paced world of software development.

PI Planning in VR – key points at a glance

Main benefits

  • Travel cost savings
  • Better time management through elimination of travel time
  • Competitive advantage for organizations to stay ahead in the fast-moving business world
  • Increased efficiency and better collaboration through immersive experiences, powerful visualizations, and interactive tools
  • Strengthened team spirit through collaboration in VR
  • Improved team performance through interactive involvement of all team members

What needs to be considered in advance?

  • Concept development incl. preparation and coordination of all persons involved in close cooperation with VR experts
  • Selection of workshop design and methodology in VR
  • Technical onboarding of the participants
  • Moderation and documentation, ideally by an external person, so that all participants can focus entirely on the execution and added value in VR
  • Support and advice for workshop participants when it comes to realizing their ideas and wishes

Contact us at any time if you have questions about this or if you are planning a PI Planning event or a similar event in VR and wish to receive support. We will be happy to accompany you through these steps and beyond!

AI Center of Excellence

AI Center of Excellence

In a world where artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming the centerpiece of business innovation, the question for many CEOs and executives is: How do we navigate this complex field to identify the most promising use cases and maximize the benefits of AI? The answer could lie in a so-called Center of Excellence – a specialized hub within your company that not only coordinates but also serves as a compass in the dynamic landscape of AI.”

An AI Center of Excellence, or AI CoE for short, is a crucial building block for companies looking to implement artificial intelligence. This blog post sheds light on the importance and possibilities of such a center.

What is an AI Center of Excellence?

An AI CoE is a central unit within a company that is designed to manage, coordinate, and support AI initiatives. It is a hub for expertise, best practices, research, and resources. The CoE ensures that AI projects are identified, planned, and executed effectively and in line with business objectives.

Why is an AI CoE important?

  • Strategic alignment: The AI CoE helps link your AI strategy to business objectives.
  • Improving business efficiency: The AI CoE promotes coordination between all stakeholders to realize process improvements.
  • Knowledge concentration: The AI CoE pools expert knowledge and promotes the exchange of experience and skills.
  • Risk management: The AI CoE supports you in mitigating risks associated with AI projects.
  • Promoting innovation: The AI CoE promotes innovation through research and development of new applications.

What does the AI CoE do?

  • It reduces concerns in your organization.
  • It promotes open communication within your company.
  • It involves all areas in the promotion of innovation in your company.
  • It provides the framework for continuous improvement.

An AI Center of Excellence is a structured, efficient, and low-risk way to implement AI projects while promoting innovation and growth. With a well-thought-out approach and the right implementation, an AI CoE can become the linchpin for successful AI initiatives in an organization. If you would like to know what steps are required, please contact us without obligation.

We will be happy to support you!

Further information: Our AI Solutions and Services

aiMan meets OpenText Aviator on OpenText World 2023 in Las Vegas

aiMan meets OpenText Aviator on OpenText World 2023 in Las Vegas

Las Vegas was hosting the OpenText World 2023, where OpenText showcased the new Aviator AI product line, which will be released for the Documentum platform later in 2024. In the middle of the glittering buzz of this exciting event, aiMan, our AI-driven end-user assistant had the opportunity to introduce himself and catch the attention of customers and partners.
In this blog post, you’ll find out more about aiMan and how it takes the OpenText Smart View Client to a new level.

OpenText Aviator

The first step of bringing AI power to the Smart View client interface.

Documentum Smart View is a modern ECM client that features a user-friendly, tile-based interface that follows OpenText’s design principles. The current version focuses on standard tasks such as searching, viewing and document import. Leveraging the capabilities of artificial intelligence, fme’s aiMan extends the Smart View functionality to shorten search times for end users, relieve your helpdesk team and fostering greater user acceptance of your DMS.

The challenge

DMS installations often experience performance challenges over time. Besides affecting efficiency, they also cause users to waste valuable time searching for information. Users turn to the helpdesk team more often than necessary, which reduces DMS acceptance and compromises information transparency. The solution is not to invest more working hours, but to take a smarter approach.

The solution

aiMan Logo

With aiMan, fme brings an AI-driven end-user assistant to the content management world that provides real-time answers and integrates seamlessly with the Documentum Smart View application.

aiMan understands and answers verbally articulated search queries, assists users with workflow-related queries, can provide BI reports and offers user-friendly access to FAQs.

 

aiMan Screenshot 1

Picture 1: Query to aiMan

aiMan Screenshot 2  aiMan Screenshot 3

Pictures 2 + 3: Dialog with aiMan

The development of aiMan is based on a proprietary API service that contains the necessary logic to interact with the AI. Our AI, powered by Azure OpenAI GPT-4, has been trained using “few-shot-prompting“. Larger solutions will use “text embeddings” with Vector Databases and sophisticated prompting techniques. This means that aiMan is not only intelligent, but also adaptive!

Take a look at what aiMan already offers:

  • Conversational Search and FAQ access.
  • Conversational BI reports (planned)
  • Conversational Workflow information (planned)
  • Additional functionality can be designed according to your individual requirements

Benefits and results

Implementing aiMan in your DMS brings numerous benefits:

  • Reduce the workload of your DMS support team by using aiMan’s free-text dialogue. This allows your staff to concentrate on core tasks.
  • Increase user adoption of your DMS by reducing end-user search times. Satisfied users are engaged users!
  • Guaranteed information security: Because the Azure OpenAI service is a protected deployment of the model, your information remains inaccessible to third parties, ensuring high data security.
  • Always up to date – aiMan updates automatically and increases the value of your system for years to come.

Our offer

We want to ensure that the implementation of aiMan in your DMS is a complete success. Therefore we offer:

  • Requirements workshop for the collaborative definition of your requirements.
  • Preparation of the solution documentation and definition of the training content for the AI.
  • Seamless implementation of aiMan in your OpenText Smart View Client and setup of the local vector database for the AI.
  • Effective change management to ensure a smooth transition.
  • A Hypercare phase with continuous refinement of the training database.

Are you curious and would like to experience aiMan in action? We would be happy to provide you with further information and a demo of aiMan. Contact us – we look forward to working with you! The future of Enterprise Content Management is here, and its name is aiMan!

Download: Datasheet fme aiMan

A Quick Dive into the Alfresco Enterprise Viewer

A Quick Dive into the Alfresco Enterprise Viewer

In today’s digital age, businesses generate and manage vast amounts of documents and content daily. Effectively organizing, accessing, and collaborating on these files is crucial for maintaining productivity and efficiency. Alfresco Enterprise Viewer is a powerful solution that aims to streamline this process, making it an indispensable tool for modern businesses. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the Alfresco Enterprise Viewer, its features, benefits, and how it can transform your content management strategy.

What is Alfresco Enterprise Viewer?

The Alfresco Enterprise Viewer is a feature-rich document viewing and collaboration tool designed to streamline document management and enhance collaboration within the Alfresco content services platform. The Viewer offers a user-friendly interface for viewing, annotating, and collaborating on various types of documents, such as PDFs, images, videos, Microsoft Office documents and more. It enhances document accessibility, simplifies content collaboration, and accelerates decision-making processes within organizations.

Key Features of Alfresco Enterprise Viewer

  • Multi-Format Support: Alfresco Enterprise Viewer supports a wide range of file formats, ensuring that you can view and collaborate on different types of content, including PDFs, Microsoft Office documents, images, and videos.
  • Annotations and Markup: Users can annotate mark up and sign documents directly within the Viewer. This feature is particularly valuable for collaboration, as it allows teams to provide feedback, suggest changes, or highlight important information without altering the original document.
  • Search and Navigation: The Viewer includes powerful search and navigation capabilities, making it easy to locate specific content within a document or a large content repository quickly.
  • Version Control: Alfresco Enterprise Viewer helps maintain version control for documents. It tracks changes and revisions, ensuring that you always have access to the most up-to-date information.
  • Mobile Accessibility: The Viewer is accessible from mobile devices, enabling remote and on-the-go access to critical documents, enhancing productivity and flexibility.
  • Integration with Alfresco Content Services: The Viewer seamlessly integrates with Alfresco Content Services, allowing users to access documents stored within the Alfresco platform directly. This integration enhances content management capabilities.

Benefits of Using Alfresco Enterprise Viewer

  • Streamlined Collaboration: The Viewer facilitates real-time collaboration by enabling users to annotate and discuss documents within the platform. This reduces the need for back-and-forth email exchanges and speeds up decision-making.
  • Improved Document Accessibility: With the ability to view documents on various devices, including smartphones and tablets, Alfresco Enterprise Viewer enhances document accessibility, enabling employees to access critical information wherever they are.
  • Enhanced Security: The platform includes robust security features, ensuring that sensitive documents are protected against unauthorized access or data breaches.
  • Increased Compliance: The Viewer simplifies version control, making it easy to track changes and updates to documents. This is essential for compliance and audit purposes.
  • Saves Time and Resources: By centralizing document access and collaboration, organizations can save time and resources that might otherwise be spent on inefficient document management processes.
  • More information about the AEV can be found here: Alfresco Enterprise Viewer | Alfresco

Screenshot Alfresco Enterprise Viewer

Screenshot Alfresco Enterprise Viewer

Useful things to note when working with the AEV

As of right now, the Alfresco Enterprise Viewer is out of the box compatible with the Alfresco Share Frontend, and the integration into the Alfresco Digital Workspace must be done manually. As, the Enterprise Viewer is an enterprise product, the acquisition of a license will be involved in using the viewer. If you are interested in more technical details, like installation, configuration or developing with the AEV, you can have a closer look into the official documentation here: Alfresco Docs – Alfresco Enterprise Viewer

Conclusion

The Alfresco Enterprise Viewer is valuable addition to Alfresco’s suite of content services tools and offers a powerful solution for organizations looking to streamline document access, collaboration, and management. By leveraging its rich feature set and seamless integration with Alfresco Content Services, businesses can empower their teams, improve decision-making processes, and ultimately drive productivity and success. Alfresco simplifies document management and enhances productivity across the board. If your organization is seeking a modern approach to content management, Alfresco Enterprise Viewer is a tool worth considering.

We will gladly help you in making use of the Enterprise Viewer, in guiding you through the installation process or integrating the Viewer into the modern Alfresco Digital Workspace.
Please check out our Hyland Alfresco Portfolio and get in touch with us.

AWS documentation and service quotas are your friends – do not miss them!

AWS documentation and service quotas are your friends – do not miss them!

Who loves reading docs? Probably not that many developers and engineers. Coding and developing are so much more exciting than spending hours reading tons of documentation. However just recently I was taught again that this is one of the big misconceptions and fallacies – probably not only for me.

AWS provides an extensive documentation for each service which contains not just a general overview but, in most cases, a deep knowledge of details and specifies related to an AWS service. Most service documentations consist of hundreds of pages including a lot of examples and code snippets which are quite often helpful – especially related to IAM policies. It is not always easy to find the relevant pieces for a specific edge case or it might be missing from time to time, but overall AWS have done a great job documenting their landscape.

Service quotas which exist for every AWS service are another part which should not be missed when either starting to work with a new AWS service or to use one more extensively. Many headaches and lost hours spent to debug an issue could be avoided by taken these quotas into account right from the start. Unfortunately, this lesson is too easy to forget like will be shown in the following example.

In a recent project, AWS DataSync was used to move about 40 million files from an AWS EFS share to a S3 bucket. The whole sync process should be repeated from time to time after the initial sync to take new and updated files into account. AWS DataSync supports this scenario by applying an incremental approach after the first run.

One DataSync location was created for EFS and another one for S3 and both where sticked to gether by an DataSync task which configures among other things the sync properties. The initial run of this task went fine. All files were synced after about 9 hours.

Some days later a first incremental sync was started to reflect the changes which had happened on EFS since the first run. The task went into the preparation phase but broke after about 30 minutes with a strange error message:

A screenshot of a computer Description automatically generated

“Cannot allocate memory” – what are you trying to tell me? No memory setting was configured in the DataSync task definition as no agent was involved. The first hit on Google shed some light on this problem by redirecting me to the documentation of AWS DataSync.

A screenshot of a computer error Description automatically generated

which contains a link to the DataSync task quotas:

A screenshot of a computer Description automatically generated

 

Apparently, 40 million files are way too much for one task as only 25 million are supported when transferring files between AWS Storage services. A request to the AWS support confirmed as well that problem was related to the large number of files. I have no idea why the initial run was able to run through but at least the follow up one failed. Splitting up the task into several smaller ones solved this issue so that the incremental run could finally be succeeded as well. Nevertheless, some hours were lost even though we learned something new.

Lessons learned – again:

  • Embrace the docs – even though they are really extensive!
  • Take the service quotas into account before starting to work and while working with an AWS service. They will get relevant one day – possibly earlier than later!
  • AWS technical support really like to help and is quite competent. Do not hesitate to contact them (if you have a support plan available).