Back in '94,
a couple of developers started a boutique consulting firm in the Valley called AgniRoth. It had a goal to offer
an expert level of consulting that was traditionally the domain of the Big Six
consulting firms, KPMG, Anderson, E&Y et al, at a much more affordable
Well, one project led to another, then another, and they kept getting bigger. The projects also started involving more and more diverse groups, like User groups, Marketing and Top Management. Word soon spread that they (Agniroth) did a great job, and larger Internet Consulting firms began partnering with them. Right about then, USWeb (now marchFirst), approached Agniroth with a monster project. By this time Agniroth was already using all the project management tools they could get hold of. But as this project went on, it became clear that traditional tools, viz., telephone, e-mail, Project Management applications (like MS Project), general-purpose office software (like MS Word and Excel) and Bug tracking software were grossly inadequate for managing the changing scenario of projects.
In fact, in 1998, while executing a medium-sized project, the Project Manager spent an average 3 to 4 hours every day, formatting/ reformatting documents and e-mailing them back & forth among different team members, several times a day, to track and resolve all the technical and business issues in a timely manner. The project went off great, but the flip side to it was that AgniRoth ended up spending a lot of extra hours on the project, including a three-month stint when nobody could even take a day off during the weekends. There had to be a better way!
So, in the succeeding months,
they put their heads together and created a knowledge base of the things that
made projects successful: Best Practices, Collaboration and fundamental
software engineering principles. Then,
they built a working prototype of what is now called SpeeDEV.
It was time someone injected some sanity and predictability into this
sometimes black art of software development.
A few months later, when AgniRoth started working on the next project, they were ready. This one was from a Fortune 50 client and four times bigger than anything they had done before. Moreover, it had an immovable launch date and was so business-critical that it was on the Management's radar. However, endless change requests, delays and unproductive management meetings kept jeopardizing the success of the project. There were serious doubts as to whether the project would meet the schedule. In spite of it all, they were able to pull a rabbit out of the hat. They had worked incredibly hard, and they did work several ungodly hours, but it was nothing like before. In fact, when it was over, the Users groups, the Marketing folks, the QA team and everyone involved in the project agreed on one thing: it could not have been pulled off without SpeeDEV.
It was still a homegrown version at that time. We took suggestions from actual users on how to improve it, conducted some focus group discussions and put an incredible team together to build what you see today -- a tried, tested, industrial-strength collaboration framework for distributed software projects. We hope you find as much value in it as we and our customers have found.