Over time the current best practices if unexamined run the risk of becoming “okay practices.” This is one of the reasons why the majority of MathWorks customers update their software roughly every 2.5 years.(1) While there are many metaphors for doing this the one I would choose for you will depend on where you are at…(2)
- Bootcamp: Are you new to Model-Based Design? In this case the review is an intensive ‘hit all the major areas’ to bring you up to speed as quickly as possible.
- Tune up: If you have been following a Model-Based Design process for a number of years then it is reviewing the major processes as well as focusing on any rough spots you may have detected.
- Refresh: Like the tune up, you are experienced with Model-Based Design but you are starting a new project. This gives you a ‘clean slate’ to bring new processes into play.
Before you get started, define a set of objectives (the “must have” and the “nice to have” improvements) as well as a time line(3) to complete the changes. From here, there are multiple paths forward.
- Bring in outside resources to bootstrap the process.
- Review the outstanding literature on current best practices.(4)
- Consult with people who have joined your group from other companies.(5)
- Review internal issue logs: find out what problems you been having and look for ways to address them.
Once you are done
Ok, really, once you are done
Before starting, the baseline objectives were set. Once those have been achieved, work should focus on the development of your product. Incremental improvements should be made over time but the focus should be on your core product. Rest assured when the next 2.5 year cycle comes around you can make your next round of improvements.
- There are two primary reasons for software updates; getting access to the latest version of tools (including new and improved features) and the chance to review existing workflows.
- One of the aspects of working as a consultant is that you are in a constant state of learning; every new customer brings new challenges and gives you another chance to examine how and what you recommend.
- Generally 3 months to complete the main work of a version migration is common; there will be some lingering tasks that involve the use of new technology which could push the total time out to 6 months.
- In reading this blog you are already doing this one!
- Note, as a general best practice when an outside person comes in this is a great chance to learn what other companies are doing (though take everything with a grain of salt, the other companies process may or may not have been good)