Pendennis Shipyard

Whilst being one of the largest and must successful yacht building companies in the country, Pendennis felt that they needed to improve their time tracking and planning systems and make them easier to use, thereby meaning that supervisors would better record and plan for use of workers.

Pendennis already had all of the software tools and systems needed for recording time in place, however they felt that they needed a custom front end on those tools to both make everything easier to use and to provide extra functionality where they felt it was missing. Initially there were several meetings with the Pendennis IT manager to understand both how they work, and what they were trying to achieve and the technologies they were using.

In this particular case, there was a preference by the client (largely for security reasons) to use their onsite Windows servers and have the software developed using C# and .NET.

The starting point is to write up our understanding of the project, and to design a solution with ideas for the user interface. This was then reviewed by Pendennis with adjustments made based on their feedback.

Next it was getting the infrastructure in place, including:

  • Project management tools for collaboration
  • Code repositories
  • Server configuration
  • Deployment processes

It was then a matter of breaking the project down into user stories and weekly sprints, focusing with a focus on what can bring the most immediate benefit to the users of the application. This planning was done as much as possible with the Pendennis IT manager and their administration staff. The aim was that as user stories are completed, they are signed off by Pendennis and then deployed to the live system.

Time estimation can be difficult with software projects because as people seeing the software develop they often want tweaks or to slightly change how something works. In this case we were very fortunate that their IT manager had a good appreciation of how software development works, and was able to work with is closely to suggest ways of doing things.

In this particular case, we were able to deliver a complete working system to the Pendennis in approximately four months. Key to success on this project was very close collaboration with the client, with one point of contact who was able to interface with all of the project stakeholders and feedback to us with what is required.

Being a multi-million pound turnover company, the control of costs and accurate invoicing to the client is a key requirement and a large part of the IT function. The project was delivered on time and on budget largely due to the ability of n-Coders to understand the problems involved and present suitable solutions. A well documented design and implementation process meant that there was virtually no downtime in switching between the two systems.

Throughout the whole process there were regular meetings providing feedback about how the system was progressing. When change was identified as being needed n-Coders were able to provide solutions effectively.

Simon Hooper

IT Manager

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