Agile Application Development

Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs

Scope of work
As part of our Operations Support and Maintenance contract, Zolon provides ongoing technical and analytical support, software maintenance, and modernization of CA applications. Zolon is currently developing six mission-critical applications for CA: Consular Affairs Domestic Support Suite, Consular Workload Statistic System, Automated Cash Register System, Automated Cash Register System — Record Services, Consular Affairs Legislation Tracking Application and Consular Shared Tables.

Our solutions
Using Agile Scrum Methodology, our solutions begin at the sprint planning stage, where our development teams review the product backlog and decide the subset of user stories that will be included in the next sprint. These decisions are made by direct negotiations between the team and represented by the Zolon scrum master, the project manager and the product owner.

Product backlogs of the applications are tracked using configuration change requests in ClearQuest. Zolon follows the central CM processes for all enhancement requests. We ask the stakeholders which CCRs they will approve for a release, and we participate in planning meetings with database engineering and enterprise architecture groups to plan the future direction of and enhancements to our applications. Zolon employs several techniques to incorporate bugs into development sprints. Depending on the severity and size of the fix (function points), we mix bugs with the stories or spend every fourth sprint fixing them.