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Process Analysis of Magor

Corporation
350 Terry Fox Drive, Kanata, Ontario K2K 2W5
Hassan Waheed - 2047990
Previous Academic Term - 2B
January 15 t h , 2015

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Name Here
Department of Management Sciences
University of Waterloo
200 University Ave West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada
Dear Name,
This report, entitled Process Analysis of Magor Corporation, was prepared
as my first required work term report after successfully completing the 2B
term of my undergraduate degree in Management Engineering at the
University of Waterloo.
Magor Corporation is a small start-up company based out of Kanata, Ottawa.
It was established in 2007 and has since notably advanced visual
communication technology over the internet. My responsibility as a
Verification Engineer was the testing and reporting of findings on
malfunctions in the software produced by the software developers at Magor.
The purpose of this report is to demonstrate how the internal and external
changes at Magor Corporation have allowed the company to develop and
improve over the past year.
I hereby confirm that I have received no further help other than what is
mentioned above in writing this report. I also confirm this report has not
been previously submitted for academic credit at this or any other academic
institution.
Sincerely,
Hassan Waheed
20479990

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Contributions
During my time at Magor Corporation, I worked closely with the
software development team, consisting of 8 developers; the project
manager, Mr. Jerome Nantel; and a Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Sherwin Sim.
This teams mission is to provide the highest quality video conferencing and
collaboration software to consumers worldwide. To accomplish this, the
software developers are divided to focus on individual aspects of the
software: the video aspect and the general stability of the software. I was
situated in the video laboratory with my boss, Mrs. Caroline Schammerhorn,
where we utilized approximately 20 powerful desktop computers, multiple
laptops and other miscellaneous gadgets to test the video software in as
many applications as possible.
With every new software release, the teams efforts were focussed on
providing bug-free and stable software while continuously working on new
features to improve the overall video conferencing experience. Release
periods of the software upgrades varied depending on new features and fixes
which were additional to the previously released versions of the software.
The main verification tasks in the laboratory were to thoroughly regress and
perform robustness checks on the latest software developed by the team at
Magor. Additionally, I was also responsible for: checking for updates on the
software, filing and documenting any problems/bugs found in the software,
communicating with the software developers to meet deadlines and
demands, attending meetings to discuss overall progress of the releases,
vocalizing general concerns regarding the software in those meetings, and
maintaining and updating hardware in the laboratory.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

My position as a co-op student verification engineer has contributed to


the overall improvement and development of the company as a whole,
through the work that my team and I have accomplished collectively. For
example, the knowledge that I have gained during the 2B semester of the
summer of 2014, allowed me to devise a new plan to help eliminate the lack
of communication between the Verification and the Development team,
where the Verification team and Development departments head would
meet at least once every week to discuss upcoming events and devise plans
respectively.
From a more broad perspective, this report will allow Magor
Corporation to see how key decisions made by the management, verification
and developing teams have allowed the company to reach their goals quickly
while also providing a high quality and user friendly software.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Summary
The main purpose of this report is to demonstrate how recent changes
at Magor Corporation have brought positive results to the company overall,
specifically highlighting actions taken by the Management staff as well as
individual employees. The scope of this report is to prove how these
changes have generated more productive and efficient employee work
through a comparative and process analysis.
The basis of this report is the analysis of each of the major software
releases through the comparison of three areas: bugs filed, bugs fixed, new
features added, feature fixes and the number of Bit Bucket commits (code
changes) that occurred during their respective periods. In addition, the major
internal changes that look place during the past year at Magor are
documented in this report as well, including: management changes,
verification ideology changes, hiring of co-op students, and more frequent
planning meetings.
This report supports the idea that the changes undergone by Magor
Corporation have benefitted the company tremendously. This conclusion was
reached through careful analysis of all of Magors activities over the past
year and its impacts on the overall company - based solely on the data
collected through the duration of my work term at Magor, and not on
personal opinion.
The recommendations made in this report should ideally be
implemented every few months, where Magor Corporation would review their
current processes and evaluate their progress. These recommendations will

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

allow the company to measure its productivity and bring the potential to
grow into a major player of the video conferencing industry.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Table of Contents

Contributions.............................................................................................................. 3
Summary.................................................................................................................... 5
Table of Contents........................................................................................................ 6
List of Figures............................................................................................................. 7
List of Tables............................................................................................................... 8
Introduction................................................................................................................ 9
Release Features...................................................................................................... 10
Bug Fixes.................................................................................................................. 14
Jira Tickets................................................................................................................ 18
Bit Bucket Commits.................................................................................................. 21
Conclusion................................................................................................................ 23
Recommendations.................................................................................................... 24

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

List of Figures

Figure 1: Application Layer Multicasting


Figure 2: New User Interface
Figure 3: 6.0-6.1 Bug Fixes
Figure 4: 6.1-7.0 Bug Fixes
Figure 5: Branch System
Figure 6: 7.0-7.1 Bug Fixes
Figure 7: 6.0-6.1 Jira Tickets
Figure 8: 6.1-7.0 Jira Tickets
Figure 9: Bit Bucket Commits

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

List of Tables

Table 1: 6.1 Features


Table 2: 7.0 Features

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Introduction
Magor Corporation is a small video conferencing company based out of
Kanata, Ottawa, established in 2007. It has quickly expanded into one of the
leading technology companies in the video conferencing industry and as
opened four new sales offices in London, New York, Dubai and Toronto.
Magors computer software requires affordable equipment and allows multidirectional 1080p audio/video communication in real time. The software
provides a customizable user interface and user-friendly workflow. Currently,
Magors main focus is their Windows client- in which they are certain will
bring the same success that its counterpart, Linux Endpoints, did.
Since 2007, Magors employees have worked hard to deliver high
quality Linux-based video conferencing software and have released many
versions of this software. Features that have been added to the software with
each new release which include the workflow and user interface. Release
dates for new versions of software, as well as the amount of time and work
that is put into each release, is at the discretion of the Management team.
Four different versions of Magors video conferencing software have been
released in the past year: version 6.0, 6.1, 7.0, and 7.1. It was during that
year that the company had made drastic changes to its infrastructure, such
as - department changes, changes in software architecture, changes in
verification test methodologies and employee lay-offs.
The detailed analysis of these major changes and their outcomes at
Magor is based on: the amount of changes inserted into the original code
database, Bit Bucket; the amount of bugs filed and fixed with each release;
the effect of management changes and layoffs; and lastly, a comparative
analysis of all the releases of Magors video conferencing software.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Release Features
Version 6.1
Version 6.1 of Magors video conferencing software was first released
to the general public in February 2014, and was considered a major step in
the improvement of quality of software released by the company. The
underlying goal for this release was to stabilize Magors version 6.0 software
by fixing major bugs which would enhance user experience and to
substantially reduce the amount of bandwidth used for large conference
calls, thereby saving customs a significant amount of money.
Features and improvements from
release 6.0.0
ApplicationLayerMulticasting (ALM)
Bugfixes and refactoring
Drivers for AMD graphics cards added
New NVIDIA driver compatibility added
Improvements to StatsReader to gather call
statistics
Table 1

Application Layer Multicasting (ALM)

Degree of
Complexity
Extremely High
Medium
Medium
Medium
Low

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Figure 1

Application-Layer- Multicasting was developed by a lead software


developer at Magor, which eventually generated a huge sales boost and
greatly increased the value of the software. Figure 1 demonstrates how the
source sending the video/audio packets does not require sending three
different streams of data through its routers when Application-LayerMulticasting is running resulting in less use of bandwidth. This will save
companies that regularly partake in large conference calls with international
participants, thousands of dollars each month.

Version 7.0
The release of version 7.0 or Magors software was a turning point for
the company because of the completely redeveloped user interface (UI). This
was a highly prioritized release due to its target consumers it was
specifically designed for the Ministry of Interior Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Due
to the extensive time and resources that Magor had allocated into the
release of version 7.0, its success was crucial for the companys survival.

Features and improvements from


release 7.0.0

Degree of
Complexity

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

User interface
Bugfixes and refactoring
Recording Functionality
New NVIDIA driver compatibility added
Improvements to StatsReader to gather call
statistics

Extremely High
Medium
High
Medium
Low

Table 2

Version 7.0s release included a whole new interface, and completely


changed the face of Magors visual collabaration software. The method by
which a user interacted with their computer screen to start calls or share a
resource with the call participant was also altered. Magors newly designed
interface included sharp and professional grade visual effects designed with
association with Youi Labs - another rapidly expanding graphics company
based in Kanata, Ontario.
The workflow of the newly designed interface varied greatly when
compared to its predecessor as well. The software was updated to present
the user in two panels: a contact panel and a resource panel. Additionally,
the software allowed the user to now make a call to any of its known
contacts through an improved and user-friendly command on the new
interface, as well as to share many other resources with the call participant
such as: screen scrapes of another computer, browser window, camera, MS
Powerpoint and much more.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Figure 2 7.0 releases new UI

The newly designed UI was more appealing to the eye, requiring a


significant amount of tedious work to detailed work in order to finalize its
design. It included a new recording feature, and allowed for video recording
up to twelve hours. This feature specifically was added by the Developing
team at Magor for the 2014 FIFA World Cup which took place in Brazil. The
release of version 7.0 was a particularly challenging release in terms of the
amount of work, difficulty, and its significance to Magor Corporations
development as a company.

Version 7.1
The release of version 7.1 is still currently under development at Magor
Corporation and is a continuation of 7.0. This release will include many of the
same features as its predecessor but will include a few major bug fixes.
Version 7.1 will allow clients to create their own personalized workflow, which
means the user will have the ability to change the lock screen to their own
theme. Further, it will include a software upgrade for Magors personalized

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firewalls referred to as Passports. Passports which are also used for ALM
deployment - an extra source of security for companies which provides a
barrier between public internet networks and modified company networks.

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Bug Fixes
Bug Fixes are primarily the responsibility of the Verification team at
Magor. Other tasks required of this team include testing the software for
functionality and robustness, and providing feedback on the user ability of
the software. Verification at Magor consists of two people: Caroline
Schammerhorn and a co-op student who accompanies her in the video
laboratory. The role of the verification team is essential to the software
release cycle and crucial to the softwares success. Over the year, the
number of staff in the Verification team and the Development team has
remained constant, but the number of bugs filed/fixed, however, did not. As
illustrated in Figure 4 and Figure 5 below, the number of bugs filed between
the version 6.0-6.1 release period and 6.1-7.0 release period increased
dramatically.

Bugs 6.0-6.1
180
160
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0

Bugs 6.1-7.0
700
600

Bugs raised
Bugs Fixed

500

Bugs Raised

400

Bugs Fixed

300
200
100
0
Bugs

Bugs
Figure 3 54 day Release Period

Release Period

Figure 4 101 day

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

It is important to note that the release period between versions 6.1 and
7.0 was nearly twice as long as the period between versions 6.0 and 6.1. The
number of bugs filed during the period between versions 6.1 and 7.0
increased by 200 percent, from three bugs a day to six bugs a day, when
compared to the release period between versions 6.0 and 6.1. The structure
of the verification team and their processes remained relatively unchanged
during the release of versions 6.0, 6.1 and 7.0 with the exception of their
verification testing methodologies. This can be attributed to the significant
increase in the number of bugs filed between the two release periods.
As illustrated in Figure 4 and Figure 5, the productivity and efficacy
levels of the verification team have increased dramatically over the last year.
An influential factor of this positive change is the verification teams
integration into Magor Corporations main code repository. Bit Bucket is the
company that hosts and safely stores all of Magors software code. Its
storage mechanism works in a branch system, where Magor stores its main
code in a branch called Master. When the time comes for the release of a
new version of software- an adequate amount of changes have been made
and a sufficient number of new features have been added- a child branch of
Master is created and named after the to-be-released software. Once a
child branch is created, any changes to the code that is added to the child
branch does not affect the Master branch, thus allowing developers to
keep each code individually in-tact and unaffected by each other or any bad
bugs. However, the software stored in the child branch, including all of its
changes and features, can be merged back into the main branch if
necessary. The child branches are of high priority for the Verification and
Developing teams, therefore testing of the Master branch is minimal, and
child branches are tested thoroughly on their features and for robustness.

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Figure 5- Each circle represents a code change


committed by a developer

During the 6.0-6.1 release period, the Verification teams main focus
was testing their Linux-based video conferencing software in preparation for
field trials and its release to the public. It was at this time that the team
recognized the critical problems in their testing methodologies which could
have led to negative effects on the progress and growth of the company. It
was the Management team who recognized that Verifications focus on
testing the child branches was resulting in large amounts of backlog every
time a cutover from Master was made to a child branch. Moreover, this
meant that the Verification team was always working behind the updates
created by the developers on the Master branch. The Management team
concluded that the amount of time elapsed between a release and the
creation of a new child branch, is equal to the amount of verification work to
be done in order to clear backlog before the testing of the new child branch
can be done in real time with the updates the developers are creating each
day. As a result, the Management team decided to refactor the verification
testing cycles to allow the Verification team to be able to continuously test
the Master branch and avoid all backlog. The implementation of this
change in verification methodology also encouraged collaboration between
the developers and the Verification team through newly established daily
discussion on bug fixes during SCRUM. The effectiveness of this change is
illustrated in Figure 4.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Bugs 7.0-7.1
700
600
500

Bugs Raised *

400

Bugs Fixed *

300
200
100
0

Bugs
Figure 6 - 140 days and counting

Notable in Figure 4 is the lower number of bugs fixed than bugs raised.
This does not necessarily indicate that the Verification team was less
efficient, but reflects the change of verification methodology and its effect on
the work of the team. The Verification team is now simultaneously working
on the testing of the Master branch and the child branch, compared to the
periods between previous releases where the teams priority was the testing
of the child branch only, thus explaining why there are more bugs raised
than fixed at this point in the period post-7.1 release. Moreover, the
refactoring of testing methodologies also resulted in the utilization of new
unit testing techniques for developers. This switch in testing techniques
required new child branches to be created from the main branch every time
a new feature was worked on. These child branches were thoroughly tested
before merging them back into Master.
The main factor that affected the number of big fixes by the
Verification team was the shift in verification ideology from focussing on the
child branch, to prioritizing both the child branch and the Master branch in
order to clear black-log. The action by the Management team to refactor the
testing cycles of verification has allowed the Verification and Developing

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team to accomplish their tasks in a timely manner, both increasing


productivity and efficiency at Magor.

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Jira Tickets
Jira is web-based software in which Magor tracks its internal work
processes. It allows for the management of projects, assignment of work to
individual employees, creation of tickets to report bugs and other issues, and
for the creation of tickers by developers specifically for the organization of
their work and progress.
Over the past year, the Magors Development team was focussed on
creating new features and enhancements for the companys software. Over
the two release periods of version 6.0 -6.1, and 6.1-7.0; the number of Jira
tickets steadily increased even though there were no changes in staffing of
the Development team as shown in Figure 8 and Figure 9. Factors influencing
the increase in Jira tickets include: Friday Techie Teas, the use of a
SCRUM board to track individual task completion, and other various
company events.

Jira Tickets 6.0-6.1

Jira Tickets 6.1-7.0

140

300

120

250
Tickets Issued

100

Tickets
Resolved

80
60

Tickets Issued

200

Tickets
Resolved

150
100

40

50

20
0

0
Tickets

Tickets
Figure 7 54 day Release Period

Release Period

Figure 8 101 day

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During the software version 6.1 and 7.0 release period, Magor
underwent financial hardship resulting in lay-offs of a few employees,
including Mr. David Brown, the head of Project Management. Mr. Jerome
Nantel, previously head of the Support team, was appointed as his successor.
Mr. Nantel embraced a new approach to handle Magors software projects.
His first priority was to resolve the issue of the lack of communication
between the Marketing team and the Development team a problem widely
acknowledged in the office. To accomplish this, Mr. Nantel began to attend
the daily SCRUM meetings to listen and gather feedback from all
employees. He then directly communicated with the head of the Marketing
department to eliminate any confusion about the Magors products and its
functions. The Marketing department responded with the initiation of
feature requests which travelled through Mr. Nantel who disseminated
them to the rest of the teams at Magor. The result was overall increased
communication between departments, leading to more user-friendly
software. This can be attributed to the new-found ability of the developers to
prioritize features which the Marketing team promoted as selling points or
those that had been requested by potential clients. This new communication
medium, via Mr. Nantel, greatly improved the quality of Magors software and
the success of its releases.
The introduction of the use of the SCRUM board on the Jira website
was another change implemented by Mr. Nantel to organize and track
employees and their work. The SCRUM board on the Jira website allows
employees to create and assign themselves their own tasks and provide an
estimate of the time needed for completion, which the entire company can
view online. The use of this type of communication between employees
keeps everyone aware of each others work, increases connection with
developers only working on single features of software, and allows the
Project Management to monitor progress of teams and individuals. The most

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

influential feature of the SCRUM board was its openness to the whole
company, which motivated employees to work more quickly, efficiently and
effectively and ultimately increasing productivity overall.
Friday Techie Teas is yet another example of Mr. Nantels
commitment to keeping employees happy, leading to high office morale and
an increase in motivation for all. Informal weekly meetings were held in the
office where employees could: share ideas regarding future releases, discuss
interesting technology, give demos of their latest projects, etc. Friday Techie
Tea meetings always included refreshments and gave employees the
chance to establish a sense of unity with one another. A study at the
University of Warwick in the United Kingdom concluded that happy
employees are productive employees. In the words of Dr. Srgoi, head of
Department of Economics at the University of Warwick: The driving force
seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively,
increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Bit Bucket Commits


Bit Bucket, Magor Corporations software repository, allows software
developers to make adjustments to the main repository once the code has
been reviewed and thoroughly tested. This process is referred to as a
commit. Magors software engineers make commits to the main code
repository for a variety of reasons, such as: deleting or refactoring old code
and adding new features, etc.

Bit Bucket Commits


4000
3500
3000

6.0 -6.1

2500

6.1 - 7.0
7.0 - 7.1 *

2000
1500
1000
500
0
Number of Commits

Figure 10 Bit Bucket commits over the last year

Figure 10 illustrates the difference in the number of commits over the


course of previous release periods. Although versions 6.1 and 7.1 were major
releases, the work which was required for the software to be made available
for consumers primarily consisted of fixing major bugs from previous
versions, resulting in a relatively small number of commits. The release of
version 7.0 included many new features as well as major user interface
changes, which is demonstrated through the relatively large number of
commits made during its release period. Although both of these releases

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

required large amount of changes to the code, the number of commits for
version 7.0 is significantly higher than of version 6.0. This sharp increase in
the number of commits in release 7.0 is due to many contributing factorsthe most significant being the sprint planning methodologies enforced by the
Management team that greatly influenced the increase in the number of
commits.
Upon Mr. Nantels appointment as the new Project Manager, the
realization of the importance of bi-weekly spirit planning meetings shortly
followed. The consistent implementation of these meetings allowed the
company to grow as a whole and to become more goal oriented. At these
meetings, the Project Manager would describe the highest priority features
required for upcoming releases and induce discussion consisting of the
Developing team asking questions and taking responsibility for parts of the
project. This was also an opportunity for the developers to plan their work
schedule on a weekly basis through short term goals and priorities
prescribed by the Management team. An important quality that was
highlighted during these meetings was the employees listening skills,
allowing everyone to be more aware of each others work. The main purpose
of the bi-weekly spirit meeting was goal accomplishment, both short term
and long term.
However, the rise in the number of BitBucket commits during the
version 6.1-7.0 release periods shown in Figure 6 does not necessarily
represent extraordinary improvement in the companys efficacy. After the
successful release of 6.1, the company was regularly looking to refactor its
software code in order to significantly reduce the number of lines of code
without losing efficiency. These refactoring strategies were a top priority
after the 6.1 release, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the number of lines
of code over the 6.1-7.0 period, explaining the increase in number of
commits. In addition, developers at Magor implemented a code review

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

system post version 6.1 release, in which all finished code is reviewed by a
secondary team member before its submission to the Bit Bucket repository
and therefore requiring a commit. This code review system not only
allowed for the use of simpler algorithms, but lessened the number of lines
of code as well. Commits can also be created as a result of the daily
removal of unnecessary code from the Bit Bucket repository and the
additions of new features to the software. In this way, Bit Bucket commits
cannot be used solely as an indicator of efficiency and strength of a company
although it can provide insight into its productivity.

Conclusion
Magor Corporation has been consistent in producing high-quality
software since its introduction into the video communication market in 2007.
As a relatively young company, Magor has proven its integrity and
commitment to quality through its ability to refactor its internal processes
when necessary. New management at Magor was the leading factor in its
attempt to design its methods and ideologies in order to advance the
companys efficiency and improve the products themselves. Individual efforts
of the employees of Magor are another integral part of the companys
success. Their willingness to take on larger responsibility demonstrated
commitment and loyalty to their workplace, which allowed Magor to earn its
first million dollar quarter ever. Although still a small company, Magor
Corporation is certainly on its way to becoming a lead contender in the visual
conferencing industry.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.

Recommendations
As a result of the thorough process analysis and conclusions of this report,
Magor Corporation has all the necessities to grow into a larger and more
successful company in todays economy. A strategic mechanism to regularly
show employees how to improve their work is through continuous monitoring
of all internal processes, particularly the individual work of each team. Mr.
Jerome Nantels management schemes have been successful in improving
the overall efficiency of the company, even in his short time as Project
Manager. If these techniques were to continue in the same manner, Magor
will only see improvement in the future in terms of productivity.

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Hassan Waheed 2047990 Process Analysis Magor Corp.