Development of handheld mobile applications for the public sector in Android and iOS using agile Kanban process tool
Abstract: The innovation progress for municipalities is currently going slowly. Today most of the communication, decision-making, delegation and service of process are still handled via letter mail or phone calls. Companies and municipalities are starting to comprehend this and see opportunities. With the technology that exists today it is possible to speed up the processes when citizens and municipalities comunicate with each other. By migrating from the old way of applying and filing different matters by letter mail to so-called digital e-services, the citizen can apply, complement and get info on how their matter is going directly on the web. Abou AB works with optimizing information handling for municipalities and has recently made it possible for municipalities to eliminate their tedious way of handling matters by traceable web communication. They have a vision to take this to a new level of easement to the municipalities and their citizens by offering these services in mobile phones as so-called apps. One of these contemplated services is to file error reports. The service will offer the citizen to send in a report with attached meta data such as photo and the location of the regarding matter. This will be done by the mobile phones built in hardware in form of camera and GPS. This master’s thesis will describe the work to develop a prototype for filing an error reports in mobile phones that support Android and iOS operating systems. The goal for this thesis work is to develop this prototype by means of a process tool called Kanban and investigate if the tool fits the situation properly. The situation is that two persons will work in parallel with slightly different projects. Also the quality and usability of the resulting prototype applications is asserted with qualitative evaluations that results in higher awareness of the defects and suggestions on how to reform and improve the application in a usability point of view. The actual implementation work was planned according to a slightly loose Kan- ban paradigm. Kanban is all about improvements along the way and the im- plementation phase is divided into smaller phases with sub goals and recurring process evaluations. Suggestions of improvement regarding the work processes is a result of this. A Kanban board that helps visualize the workflow is used to help team members and project owners to get a good overview of current situa- tions. Several adjustments were made throughout the project and the so-called lead times, the time it takes to complete a task, was shortened in average from the beginning of the project compared to the end of the project. Each phase in the implementation part of the thesis work resulted in different functionalities in the application. A phase was two weeks long and ended with a demo were the new functionality was demonstrated. Prior to each demo session everyone at the company where the thesis work was performed was invited. The participants in these sessions were encouraged to give feedback on what they saw to help increase the quality of the applications. The prototype applications resulted in a more easy accessible service to citizens. By cutting out the process steps that previously needed to been done on a computer the 1application contributes to the possibility of an increased democratization grade for the citizen. The investigation regarding if the Kanban process tool was a suitable aid in the implementation part of the project resulted in that it was suitable for the specific situation. By measuring both lead times and other activities that did not concern the implementation work and plot them in a diagram explained why some weeks did not have as high productivity as others. To assert the awareness and quality of the developed applications in terms of usability a so-called heuristic evaluation was performed. This qualitative eval- uation resulted in a set of usability problems. These problems were all graded into different priority to be solved and some was given suggestions on how to be solved. The main purpose with this evaluation was to find the problems and document them to possible future programmers if the prototype will go into production. The result of this evaluation has increased the usability of the application and consequently the quality.
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