SKF is a large, international manufacturing company. We were hired in order to document and prepare the product specification of one of their customer inventory management software – Stock Profiler. After 7 months of work, to mutual satisfaction of both Product District and the clients’, project was successfully completed.
We were hired in order to offer one of our business analysts to work on the Stock Profiler project, which is SKF's client inventory management software. Our task consisted of complete testing of the software, documenting each of its functions, and making recommendations for potential improvements.
Software solutions such as SKF Stock Profiler are very complex and often consist of many different modules, user roles and access levels. In addition to complexity, one of the main challenges was the fact that our team had never worked on industrial inventory management software prior to participating in this project.
Many complex software solutions are not properly documented due to short delivery times, and when developing new versions, or replacing teams working on software, various challenges arise due to incomplete or even non-existent documentation. The goal of our participation in the project was to solve this problem - to create the entire documentation and write a product specification that would facilitate the further development of new software versions.
We started from a mere introduction to all the functionalities that the software offers, through both testing and interviewing the main stakeholders who use the software. At the heart of every product specification is an understanding of the functionality of the software being documented, and we have tried to gain it to the highest possible level, given the initial inexperience in this area of business.
After a comprehensive analysis and introduction to the software, we proceeded to divide and categorize them. In this particular case, we had categorization based on the user role, then based on the access levels and modules used. Changing each user role and most of the modules completely changed what function is available to the user and what is completely omitted, and that made the job far more difficult but also more interesting.
When we finally managed to complete the categorization, we started writing test cases that, depending on the algorithm, explain how each functionality works depending on the combination of different entries by the user. In this particular case, there were a lot of import / export options that generate different types of reports for the user, depending on the input and setting of parameters.
When all the test cases are completed and corroborated by diagrams, all parts are included in the document, which will help further software development in the future, serve developers as a product specification and also enable SKF to offer potential new customers software by submitting a complete specification, and a user manual that we also developed.
Suggestions for improvement, as well as a list of detected bugs were a desirable addition to this project, but not a "must have". However, when you go through some software in detail and test all its functionalities, one such document is self-evident and it was not difficult for us to generate a list of our impressions of how something can be improved, how to provide a better user experience and what to fix to keep the software running smoothly.