Project and Product
Before the summer vacation 2012, the executive board of the company decided that a new product should be developed and marketed. They have forecasted a great demand for a new generation of remote control for Set Top Boxes (STB). The time line is fairly ambitious; a first release of version 1.0 should be launched in December 2012 at the Valla Software and System Expo (VSSE).
The ProductThe system does not exist today and should therefore be designed from start. However, the aim is to use some framework and build the system based on that. This is one of the tasks that the R&D department will consider in the beginning of the project.
The aim of the system is to help operators offering their end-users the next generation remote control. It must be easy to use and configurable so that it can fit several different operators' need, i.e., this is a general product that is not targeted for one particular operator.
There are two main criteria on the product:
- The system should consist of different modules, e.g., graphical user interface, hardware operation, all the different services etc. The list can be very long. Hence, the main input for version 1.0 should come from the reference customer (see below).
- The product is sold as an app which the end-users download from a repository for mobile devices, for instance iStore or AppBrain.
Reference CustomerThe product is only at an idea stage. Therefore, good customer input is essential in order to set up the right requirements. Furthermore, since it is a new product, the company needs a good reference customer to be able to sell the product in the future. The CEO has managed to sign a contract with Zenterio AB in Linköping. This department has signed a contract consisting of a pre-paid pre-study, where our company should deliver a plan and suggestions of the product. If Zenterio accepts the pre-study, they will order the system, which must be delivered no later than December 2012.
Zenterio has long since realized that a major problem of the STB platform is the woefully lacking input devices, and renowned usability experts agree that traditional remote controls are lacking in several ways. The recent development of smart phone and web pads provide new opportunities to enrich the TV ecosystem. Common tasks such as searching, browsing through lengths of information and navigating the environment are generally considered cumbersome using a remote control, but company research indicates that this can all be achieved more efficiently on modern devices.
During the past year the company has exentended the platform with a simple HTTP- and socket-based API that can be utilized to control the STB. However, efforts to build a satisfying UI based on this technology has stalled. Thus it has been decided to utilize an external contractor to continue the effort.
This arrangement with a reference customer gives several advantages. The customer will:
- pay for some of the product development cost.
- be our first reference customer for future marketing.
- give us good requirements as input, which enable relevant features.
Customer contactThe project leader at Zenterio is Emil Hernvall, who is assisted by Mohamed Abu Baker. They will also create a reference group at the company, where input and requirements can come from different users.
All customer meetings must be arranged by setting up pre-booked meetings. Further correspondence can of course also take place via e-mail, but you should agree with the customer about how these procedures should take place. You will receive contact details from the CEO.
Product RequirementsIt is the P&S department's responsibility to organize, collect, and assemble the requirements for the product. The are many different stakeholders who can be the source of requirements (or potential requirements), where the most prominent are:
- The reference customer
- The CEO
- Competitors (by studying what they are offering)
In an utopian world, there would be unlimited resources to produce and deliver products. However, in the real world, this is of course not the case. In this project there are many critical resource constraints, such as the available time for the customer, computer resources, budget, calender time etc.
Since we have signed a fixed price contract with the reference customer, the executive board has decided that the amount of time that we are allowed to spend on the product is limited. A corporate decision is made that each engineer in the project should spend approximately 160 hours on this project, including everything (project meetings, document preparations, implementation etc.) Since this project requirement is very important, it is up to the department managers' to collect time reports from employee and report this before each company or department meeting.
Page responsible: Kristian Sandahl
Last updated: 2012-08-26