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1,000 Journals in 9 Months

A hybrid project approach completes a migration project ahead of schedule

Challenge

To develop SAGE’s new publication website and migrate more than 1,000 journals from their previous vendor’s system to Literatum in 9 months—shortened from the original 12-month schedule shortly after the project’s kickoff—without changing the project’s scope, increasing the size of the Atypon project team, diminishing the quality of the site’s design, or eliminating any platform customizations.

Solution

To meet the new deadline and balance the priorities of accuracy, quality, and speed, the original plan of attack was modified:

  • The Waterfall software development and project management model—a linear, sequential, premeditated approach—was blended with the Agile model, which permits more rapid software development and multiple, simultaneous project review cycles. Waterfall, initially proposed for the entire project, was employed only for the content migration and the integration of SAGE’s third-party technologies while Agile was employed for the new site’s development.
  • Migration teams composed of SAGE and Atypon staff were divided into tracks, each of which dealt with a single aspect of the project—journals, articles, eCommerce, profiles, and so on—and proceeded with development independently to avoid idle time.
  • Initial site design mockups of the user interface were replaced with working prototypes of the site that included both interface and user experience design. SAGE was able to review and approve the deliverables while Atypon’s front-end developers continued to make adjustments, reducing review cycles.
  • A collaborative management approach empowered project leads and solution architects to make changes to project plans typically limited to program managers while the program managers maintained overall project control.
  • The schedule of daily, weekly, and monthly calls between Atypon’s and SAGE’s project teams was strictly enforced. Reports were structured and templated, and transparent communications tools—Smartsheet and JIRA—centralized information distribution. Together these tactics made it easier to monitor progress closely and meet milestones on time.
SAGE journals website home page
SAGE journals website, interior page

Results

The interactive review process, optimized engineering and solutioning resources, and streamlined, parallel workflows reduced iterations and shortened review cycles without sacrificing accuracy. SAGE’s complex migration was completed three months ahead of schedule—without descoping functionality or expanding the Atypon project team. Based on this success, Atypon will be adopting this hybrid development and project management model for future large-scale projects.

“I think many people doubted that this development project was possible. It must be an industry first to have delivered a publishing platform, with such content and complexity, in this amount of time.”

John Bright SJM Program Manager, SAGE Publications Ltd.

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