It would come as no surprise to any business analysis professional that a software development company understands, supports and utilizes the strength of agile in building their business solutions. Founded in Australia in the mid-90’s, Sparx Systems has quickly become known as a leading-edge software development company and for its ability to provide innovative tools and resources to support their clients and advance their company and the community forward.
With a dynamic focus built on a foundation of customer service and innovation, Sparx Systems has built the agile mindset into the organization’s culture and to the delivery of the recognized products they provide to their global network of users. In an agile world, Sparx Systems embeds the agile mentality and tools in their organization to help enhance their company’s effectiveness, increase value to their customers and enhance collaboration and feedback across their company.
Sparx Systems uses the same tools and approaches they recommend to their clients. In fact, some may say the best way to describe their approach is that they take their own “agile medicine.” Sparx Systems utilizes Enterprise Architect, an agile collaboration solution, to support an agile approach in all of their initiatives and their software development.
As a software developer, Enterprise Architect allows Sparx Systems to “have an agile approach to our work,” explains Scott Hebbard, Sparx Systems Communications Manager. “For Sparx Systems, it is about elevating the experience and ensuring a continual feedback loop to respond to our customers. “We are an agile company and that means we can continually address the needs of our clients. This manifests in major version releases annually, providing support of the latest standards, frameworks and technologies.”
Enterprise Architect 13: The latest iteration of the enterprise modelling platform now includes support of BABOK® Guide v3 Tools & Techniques.
In 2016, Sparx Systems launched Enterprise Architect 13, an integrated modelling platform and agile collaboration solution. It offers users the ability to manage requirements and trace high-level specifications to analysis, design, implementation, testing and maintenance. Think of it as the one-stop shop for all of the organization’s needs. From elicitation, to modelling, to feedback and suggestion collections, Sparx Systems has developed a tool for today’s Business Analysis professional. Enterprise Architect allows businesses and organizations to not only model the architecture of their systems, but it also allows them to process the implementation of these models across the full application development life-cycle.
Collaboration and Connectivity
In a global, customer driven environment, collaboration is essential. “From answering support questions, testing, coding, analysis and marketing, Enterprise Architect allows the entire organization to use a single platform, including access from any Internet-connected device with a browser”, explained Scott.
Enterprise Architect is being used in organizations across the aerospace, banking, web development, engineering, finance, medicine, military, research, academia, transport, retail, utilities, electrical engineering and many more industries.
Even in the marketing space, Sparx Systems utilizes the power of agile to advance their brand, products and engagement. From events to assets to tracking insight and information from our customers, we are using Enterprise Architecture to create, adapt and provide solutions. “It is living and breathing,” explained Scott. “Everyone can interact and collaborate.”
Since 2000, there have been 13 version releases of Enterprise Architect. Each release is addressing the need to continually improve and adapt to a changing world. In 2017, Sparx Systems and IIBA released the Tools & Techniques for BABOK® Guide v3, a reference model of IIBA's A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide v3). The Tools & Techniques for BABOK® Guide v3 is facilitated by Sparx System's latest Cloud based deployment, Pro Cloud Server, whereby access to reference models and collaborative elements of Enterprise Architect are all available via any browser-based device with a connection to the Internet. Even adding the BABOK® Guide v3 into the tool showcased how the company uses an iterative approach as it represents the feedback from the business analysis community for the need to have access to integrated, globally recognized tools.
Ongoing Feedback to Drive Improvements
“We write, test, create, share, code, engage and support” all through one tool,” said Scott. Whether you are in the office or you are halfway around the world, with the new Pro Cloud Server, Enterprise Architect allows its internal teams to use the tool in the office and in the field. It means that the moment you receive feedback from a client, you can use Enterprise Architect to track, share and address the comments whether in the office or at the client’s location.
At the onset, Sparx Systems understood the value and differential that was required to support its users. Listening and learning were essential to help Sparx Systems understand the real problem and the right tool to develop. “We understood the key concepts, and we built that into the tool.”
In this new collaborative, productive, agile world, “you see the impacts instantly.” Sparx Systems not only builds agile tools, they live the agile mindset in order to deliver increased value to their customers.
“At Sparx Systems, we support lots of different approaches,” said Scott. But for Sparx Systems, agile has made sense from the beginning. “We take the best of agile and other methodologies” to enhance the value Sparx Systems provides its customers.