Spanish Red Cross organisation, part of International Red Cross, is widely extended along Spain by means of different centres and local offices. A headquarters is in charge of providing the common services. There is a lack of quality control and standard procedures, that have resulted in a set of problems that makes the process development and maintenance very painful and difficult to trace.
The main objective of HEMATITES is to improve and make more efficient the development process at Spanish Red Cross through:
- minimising the development and modification implementation times by using new techniques and tool;
- providing complete testing and installation procedures of the software running at local organisation sites, by implementing well-established delivery and support methodologies;
- establishing traceability of modifications by standardising and automating documentation procedures.
The HEMATITES experiment will define and implement the procedures and methods to improve the three main critical areas: first, the design and development of the applications; second, the testing and installation of new applications and the modified ones; third, the procedures to gather modifications, claims and new application updates from the local organisations. The implementation of the project will be done in different steps:
First step or the Infrastructure Definition:
The development methods (Metrica, Merise based) will be defined, and staff will be provided with training. Testing policy, documentation, techniques, and modification request procedures will be also defined.
Appropriate tools will be selected in order to gather metrics and control the development. Besides, selection, testing, installation, training and use of certain development tools (4GL and groupware based) will take place.
Second step or the Experimentation in two baseline Applications:
This is the core of the experiment, since the standard methods, documents and tools selected in the previous step, will be applied in a real development. Metric gathering will be done to be compared with the metrics already existing from the previous assessment.
Two application types will be used as the baseline projects: an old application and a new application.
The old application is currently hard to maintain, but its criticality and importance make it highly frequently used and modified: the Refugee Economic Management. The re-development will be performed following the methods just defined previously. The new application selected is the Magazine Subscription, to be developed from the scratch applying the new development procedures.
Third step or the Conclusions and Refinement:
Gathered metrics will be the basis for the new Development Standards Manual at the Spanish Red Cross.
Dissemination activities will take place during this last phase.
EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE
The HEMATITES successful application will lead the organisation to greatly improve the financial resource management, the time decrease in serving and updating the existing applications, and thus, to make easier the work of hundreds of local organisations. As a result, an improvement of the use of public and private sources of funding is expected, providing a better service to the human community.
The intention of the management of the IT department of the Spanish Red Cross is to eventually achieve ISO 9001 as a goal, and although it is not considered inside HEMATITES as a project final goal, it will make this way much sorter and easier.