8760, Inc., is a small company located in Birmingham, AL. Currently, 8760 is comprised of about 10 employees. Since 1996, 8760 has helped utility companies leverage technological and regulatory changes to their advantage through the use of InsideAgent®. InsideAgent® is the most widely used product for exchanging mission critical data over the Internet between deregulated gas and electric utilities and their trading partners. 8760 approached the UA MIS program last spring about developing the newest version of their InsideAgent® software. This project is a continuation from last semester with the goal of completing the second half of the application while making corrections to the first.
To do this, we are using an agile methodology with two to three week iterations, during which we plan, analyze, design, build, and test each new piece of functionality. This has allows us to be more flexible with our project and make quick changes based on client feedback. It also allows for work to be split equally amongst group members, making each member an expert on a certain piece of functionality. This allows our team members to focus on what they do best or what they would like to learn, which is very important due to the nature of our project.
The majority of our project has been highly technical in nature. We have been developing a C# MVC3 application to suit the needs of 8760 and its clients. Our application provides decision-makers within manufacturing companies the capability to save money on their electric bills as well as limit machine downtime. We have recently completed the first deliverable of our application and are actively testing it at a local manufacturing plant.
This has been a valuable experience for many reasons. One of the most valuable lessons, however, has been managing scope. Due to the small size of 8760, we have worked primarily with the CEO and his board of directors. When meeting with them, we have had to manage their expectations and focus on what our team could accomplish within a limited timeframe. We are tentatively planning on wrapping up development for our project by the end of March.