App development project became the start of an agile project approach at Daman

Daman is a digital agency specialising in the pharmaceutical industry. As Daman had a limited timeframe to develop a new app for one of the Danish administrative regions, the company wanted to work in a more agile way than had previously been the case. In order to get off to a good start and ensure that the agile mindset was maintained throughout the project, they were assisted by an agile coach from Plan A Projects.

“We contacted Plan A Projects because we wanted to start working in a more agile way with our projects, and we needed someone with substantial experience to help us on the right track,” said Andreas Dam, CEO at Daman. “I also think it’s exciting that Plan A Projects incorporates positive psychology into their project management model. As a manager, it’s important to me that the project team is happy, and Plan A Projects’ model helps make working together on these projects a fun and positive experience.”

Someone to lend a hand

“Our project manager, Jens, had gone on a three-day course about agile project management at Plan A Projects, but hadn’t tried working with agile projects in practice,” explained Dam. “Which is why it seemed appropriate to bring them on board, giving Jens someone who could lend a hand.”

Jens Jakobsen, the project manager, agrees: “It’s been great having an agile coach who could help us get going and who could answer all the questions that popped up along the way.”

New team with limited agile experience

The project Daman was working on was about developing an app for one of Denmark’s administrative regions. The region wanted an app that could function as a support tool for people who had been hospitalised for heart failure and who had to regularly register and report different facts about their health to the Danish health services. The project team was comprised of Jens as the project manager, two user interface designers and two app developers. The two app developers were subcontracted from an external app development studio, meaning that it was a team that was not used to working together and where most of them did not have much practical experience working with an agile approach.

Training and agile coaching

“Ole from Plan A Projects began by training us on how to use their agile project management model so that the whole project team had a common understanding of how we were supposed to work together,” said Jakobsen. “He also worked as an agile coach throughout the project and made sure that we stuck to the model instead of falling back into old habits. It’s worked really well.”

Project owner involvement from the beginning

“Having Plan A Projects attached to this project has had a huge effect,” said Jakobsen.

“For example, they insisted that the project owner – our client – had to be present at the initial planning meetings together with the whole project team. It was a brilliant idea because it ensured that she became aware of what would be complicated to do and what would be easy to do. That way it became easier for her to prioritise where to invest our resources so that she could get the best possible product out of the financial and time restraints the project had.”

Good use of resources

One of the reasons Daman wanted to start adopting a more agile approach was that they wanted to become even better at meeting their clients’ expectations and needs. The new project model has equipped them with a number of tools they can use going forward. As Jakobsen explained: “This whole mindset with involving the client so he or she can help us figure out which parts to scrap as or when needed has been really useful. All in all, we have learned to utilise some interesting new mehodology and found ourselves challenged on how to best utilise our resources and raise the learning curve early on in the process.”

Well-prepared for future agile projects

“I feel very well-prepared for the agile projects we’ll be starting up going forward. I’ll probably still be using Ole as a sounding board the first few times, especially during the planning stage and if I encounter any challenges along the way where it would be good to get expert advice. But now we have lots of new ideas on how we can go about doing things, and it is going to be exciting to implement these into our next project,” Jakobsen concluded.

Facts about Daman’s app development project

The entire project took approximately 4½ months, counted from the day Daman began its initial analyses of what the client wanted to have developed to the day the project was completed. Users also tested and tried out the app in this period, and the way it was used was analysed by Daman together with their client. The client has been very satisfied with the project, and preparations are currently underway to set up a new project to carry the app into phase 2.

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