Business challenge

When working on complex projects, poor team communication and lack of transparency can slow down your progress. What if there were a way for project management teams to collaborate more effectively?

Transformation

Flying Donut was created to enable project managers to work collaboratively, both on-site or remotely. The app harnesses IBM Compose to rapidly and easily build databases.

Results

Keeps

projects moving with instantaneous actions, updates and development

Enhances

communication between team members, lifting satisfaction and productivity

Enables

faster reaction to changing project requirements, helping teams stay on track

Business challenge story

Shaping smarter project management

Fast-growing, distributed companies often lack the transparency and simplicity required to drive effective communication – frustrating employees who work on complex projects. This was precisely the scenario that spurred the founders of Flying Donut to take action whilst working at a former company.

Ioannis Tzikas, Agile Coach & Software Technologist at Flying Donut, takes up the story: “At the time, we were working at a fast-growing multinational organization that required the transparency and communication of a startup in order to succeed. However, the worldwide distribution of project teams made this challenging.

“We were looking for a set of tools that would enable this level of interaction and communication but we could not really find one that would tick all the boxes and not require CIO approval. So we set out to develop a solution ourselves. In doing so, we realized that we had hit on something that could be used to solve the same problems for other project teams too.”
 

The Compose support team has offered very fast resolution time and we’ve experienced five-star reliability.

—Ioannis Tzikas,Agile Coach & Software Technologist,Flying Donut

Transformation story

Powerful, scalable database

The team created Flying Donut: a scrum-based, real-time collaboration tool that supports greater transparency and communication across distributed project teams.

Flying Donut uses IBM Compose to support its MongoDB and RabbitMQ applications. Backups, replication, and monitoring all factored in the Flying Donut team’s decision to use IBM Compose’s production-grade MongoDB and RabbitMQ hosting.

IBM Compose for MongoDB is a scalable database which features powerful indexing, querying and aggregation, and wide driver support. IBM Compose for RabbitMQ, on the other hand, asynchronously handles the messages between applications and databases, allowing users to ensure separation of the data and application layers.

The Flying Donut team selected MongoDB because of its de-normalized database design that is optimized for read operations. Ioannis Tzikas explains: “The MongoDB database is designed from the ground up to be versioned with a complex schema containing the majority of the information, thus making it possible for optimistic locking on a field level and quick fetch queries. This allows you to have multiple modifications on the same document at the same time.”

Flying Donut also leverages RabbitMQ messaging extensively, both at its back-end and at its front-end. The app uses back-end messages to trigger asynchronous events in back-end processes — updating stats, burn down charts, aggregated data, and more. The front-end messaging allows the client application to receive the events, which are filtered based on the available online users, and each user session receives the proper updates via WebSockets.

Flying Donut has designed both the front-end and the back-end of its app to work asynchronously and in parallel. Importantly, the app does not rigidly enforce best practices, but guides users through the application of the Agile methodology—allowing for greater project flexibility and better implementation outcomes.

Ioannis Tzikas continues: “The biggest challenge all teams face when adopting Agile is to actually be agile and not just practice agile. For this reason, we built Flying Donut from the ground up to include essential steps for running Scrum: know where you are in the process; take small, iterative steps towards your goal; adjust your understanding based on what you’ve learned; repeat.

“What’s more, Flying Donut helps to reinforce Scrum through a rich set of features. For example, the app’s ‘review’ feature reminds teams to provide feedback on each sprint — an action that many teams tend to skip once something has shipped.”
 

Results story

Flying high

The Flying Donut team has embraced the concept of continuous software delivery and frequently makes three to four upgrades to the app on a single day while keeping different versions of the back-end running at the same time. Because of the app’s asynchronous design, downtime is a rare occurrence.

The evolution of the Flying Donut app has changed how the team approaches development, too, as Ioannis Tzikas confirms: “Besides having extensive experience with developing and supporting high transaction volume applications, we had to develop new processes and adopt a DevOps mentality that would allow us to succeed in a more resource-constrained environment.”

With IBM Compose powering its app, the Flying Donut team is reaching new heights of success, enabling project managers worldwide to simplify, accelerate and streamline project management.

Ioannis Tzikas concludes: “We are a small team and try to spend all of our time building Flying Donut. We love the Compose user interface as it gives us a simple way to very quickly run database queries and maintenance operations. The Compose support team has offered very fast resolution time and we’ve experienced five-star reliability.”

About Flying Donut

Founded in 2012 by four Greek software developers, Flying Donut is a project management software solution which allows companies of all sizes to manage a wide array of projects. The company’s goal is to develop and deliver best-in-class software tools to support agile project management.

Solution components

  • Compose

Take the next step

IBM Compose is a cloud-hosted platform for building enterprise applications on open source database technologies. Offering a choice of the best in open-source software databases, ready to go into production within minutes to support web and mobile apps, Compose combines practically unlimited auto-scaling with practically zero administration. For more information and to try Compose, visit: ibm.com/cloud/compose

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