How are agile cells composed?

How are composed the agile cells


Recall that in the previous note we talked about agile work cells. This is a way of organizing work similar to that of a living cell, reflecting its dynamism. In this environment, interdisciplinary and collaborative work is promoted, where each member of the cell contributes to the achievement of the objectives, always focused on the customer. 

With respect to the roles that make up this type of cell, they generally represent different areas and disciplines, all of which are necessary to respond to the problems that led to the formation of the cell. In particular, a Product Owner is usually included, who maintains the vision of the final product and transmits it to all those involved, seeking to ensure that in each sprint the product is being adapted to the needs of the end user. He/she must also have interpersonal skills since he/she is in charge of interacting with all the actors involved in the project. 

The Scrum Master is another role present in agile cells and acts as a facilitator, accompanying the process and seeking to ensure that the principles of the agile methodology are followed. His mission is to ensure the availability of the development team, eliminating obstacles that may arise and potentially affect the delivery of the product under the agreed terms. His skills at a strategic level, his ability to manage teamwork, and above all his problem-solving skills are important. 

Of course, the Development Team, whose mission is fundamentally to develop the product, working in small teams where information is shared openly and a collaborative spirit reigns, cannot be missing. There may also be other roles, such as Front End Developer, Back End Developer, Machine Learning specialists, UX Designer, among others.

Despite the many advantages of agile work cells, there can also be certain drawbacks during their development. Some of them are mainly associated with the lack of experience of the team, when these cells are entirely made up of junior members. In this case, the creation of agile work cells mentored by a figure with a high level of seniority is a very interesting tool. In this way, even when the client hires a cell made up of junior profiles and the fees reflect this, having a senior profile in charge of acting as a mentor raises the quality of the deliverable product. This is because the mentor guides the group of junior members and also reviews their deliverables. 

Another disadvantage to be avoided when working in agile cells is the lack of quality controls. In this sense, the eagerness to reduce development times to a minimum can lead to quality failures and ultimately to problems with the client. The role of a mentor with a high level of seniority can also contribute to avoiding this type of problems by guiding and reviewing the work developed by the team. These mentors provide their knowledge, tools, training and coaching to make the most of the team’s potential, but the most important thing is the experience they bring to a group of junior professionals. Their skills include not only technical skills, which are fundamental, but also interpersonal skills such as empathy, communication, patience and problem solving. 

At Macrotest we have agile work cells and also mentored cells, where projects developed by junior professionals go to the next level thanks to the senior mentoring process, pursuing the highest quality standards. 

Contact us for more information! 

What does agile cell work consist of?

Working with agile cells

 

Nowadays, the development of projects through the organization in agile cells is widely spread. As its name suggests, this form of work organization seeks to resemble the behavior of a living cell, in constant change and dynamism. This model is in a way in opposition to the traditional model based on hierarchies, which no longer works successfully in a highly changing environment and with increasingly demanding end customers.

Following this living cell model, in an agile work cell each team member retains his or her autonomy but is in constant interrelation with the other members. In this sense, while each member has a very clear role, this role is complemented by the roles and tasks of the others.

This type of work cells are generally composed of a small number of interdisciplinary professionals who share certain characteristics. Among them, proactivity and creativity stand out, considering that these cells work in a self-managed manner and are free to find solutions in the process of responding to a specific need. It is also key to build good interpersonal relationships, seeking to make the work work work as a whole. Likewise, collaborative work is the essence of this type of cells, where each member contributes to the achievement of the objectives with a focus on the needs of the client, who is always in contact with the project. 

In short, it is about generating an environment of innovation and total openness, pursuing the ultimate goal that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. This way of working seeks to speed up software development times, recognizing the importance of human resources even above technologies.

When is it recommended to outsource by hiring an agile development team?

Agile cells are very useful when knowledge and experience are needed. There are different ways of working according to each project, and the cell can be managed by the client itself, by the company that provides the technology professionals or even jointly. Agile cells are also very useful when looking for an efficient end-to-end development, since they seek to minimize deviations from the initial estimate. 

Outsourcing by hiring agile cells of IT professionals, allows the client to focus on the core of their business, reducing the technical barriers of new projects, investing only in what is needed according to the different types of profiles required. 

In Macrotest we have work cells available for your projects, integrated by multidisciplinary and modular specialized teams that are integrated into the structure of your organizations to develop the technological solutions you require. If you want to know more about our agile cells service, please contact us and we will gladly provide you with all the necessary information. At your disposal you will find all our experience, highly qualified resources, the highest quality standards and our framework that has been evolving for years. All this expertise is at the service of our clients, seeking to optimize their business processes and ensure quality and efficiency in each of the projects entrusted to us.

In the next article we will tell you about a particular type of agile cell, which are the mentored cells. We look forward to sharing this next note with you!

 

Buying on the Internet… everything you should take into account

Buying over the internet

As we mentioned in the last blog post, e-commerce is growing exponentially both in Spain and worldwide. It is becoming more and more common and frequent to purchase products and services using the Internet, through various e-commerce platforms. Among the main advantages of buying online, we can highlight the possibility of buying at the time we want and without leaving home, without queuing, without waiting, quickly and conveniently, as well as being able to compare prices without having to go from store to store, and even get lower prices and more variety than in physical stores.

But, what should we take into account when buying online?

Below, we will review the main aspects to consider in order to carry out transactions in the best way.

One of the first tips would be to check the web when we see that the offers are too tempting, with a very noticeable price difference between different pages. In that case it is important to pay attention to whether the product is really new or used, or has defects in its packaging for some reason. It is always important to compare prices on different websites before deciding, taking advantage of the advantage of doing it very quickly. Another recommendation is to avoid using public wifi networks, such as in bars or cafes, as the greatest danger is the potential theft of the payment method data. You should also look for information about the store and see the opinions and ratings or reviews that other users have made.

Having an antivirus installed to detect possible threats can be very useful. Likewise, the mobile or computer from which the purchase will be made must be kept updated, since if there are any security or privacy problems, these are usually solved by means of updates. Something fundamental is to check that it is a secure connection. This can be done simply by verifying that the browser bar shows “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP”, and that a padlock appears next to the URL, which indicates that the online store has a security certificate and can be purchased securely.

When creating an account on an e-commerce platform, it is important to enter a secure password (combining letters and numbers), which is not the same as the one used in other services. It is also important not to save the payment method used for future transactions, because it is safer to enter the data every time it is necessary than to have all the bank details stored. If you have the possibility to pay by credit card, it is safer than using debit cards, because if it is necessary to return the product it is easier to get a refund to the credit card than to the debit card.

To make purchases in a more practical and agile way it is important to use filters, and thus obtain results as close as possible to our preferences, avoiding seeing a huge list of products that are not what we are looking for. Likewise, to take better advantage of online sales, it is very useful to monitor prices a few days before and thus ensure that the discounts are real. Another recommendation is to check the stores’ apps, since sometimes there are better discounts that operate exclusively for the app and not for the web. Other issues to observe are the possibility of product returns, the warranty, the shipping method, its times and costs, and customer service and after-sales service.

Remember that Macrotest is a partner of Easy Commerce, an omnichannel e-commerce software platform developed from more than 20 years of experience. We hope these tips will be useful when making purchases through e-commerce platforms!

What are and what is important to know about e-commerce platforms?

E-commerce platforms

E-commerce is here to stay. In recent times, the increase in e-commerce transactions has been exponential. In Spain, 23% of total purchases were made through the internet in 2020, and e-commerce exceeded €12.4 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

What are e-commerce platforms?

It is a technological solution to create and manage an online store, constituting the necessary software for companies to sell to their customers. E-commerce platforms facilitate all the operations of an online store, such as product display, sales, stock control, payments, and promotions.

It is clear that nowadays having a way to reach customers online is key for any company. However, it is important to know what to evaluate when choosing an e-commerce platform.

Among the main aspects we should consider its reliability, its flexibility, the interface for buyers, the ease of use for the company itself (for example, that the configuration panel is intuitive, or the fact of having a mobile application to manage the store), the possibility of accessing analytical data that can be used to design growth strategies, and the support service (preferably 24/7).

When evaluating the interface for customers, we could consider whether the platform has attractive themes to make products look better, whether product views with videos and close-ups can be configured, whether it has a shipping calculator, whether it has call-to-action buttons and comment boxes for customers to post reviews.

We could also analyze the platform according to the size of the company in question, since there are options for specialized packages for small, medium and large companies, with features suited to the requirements of each type of company, even considering whether the type of business is B2B or B2C.

Currently, these types of platforms go beyond being an online store, integrating products, payments and shipments with different sales channels, such as social networks (Facebook or Instagram). Among the main advantages of having an e-commerce platform are the possibility of selling to and from anywhere in the world, the fact of being present and available 24/7 for customers, the reduction of costs compared to a physical store, the simplicity in the automation of inventory management, as well as the possibility of collecting a large amount of valuable data about buyers.

Macrotest is a partner of Easycommerce, with an omnichannel e-commerce software platform developed based on more than 20 years of experience in different countries and in conjunction with different business partners. Among its main features are that it is multichannel, 100% interoperable, cross border, and has multiple integrations with permanent updates.

If you are thinking of incorporating an e-commerce platform, we are waiting for you!

Technology trends… what’s the latest?

Technology trends

Technology is advancing continuously, at an unprecedented pace, and its application is taking place in the most diverse sectors. Agriculture and health are two of the most dynamic sectors where technology is constantly advancing. Below, we review some of the most relevant developments in terms of technological trends.

In the agricultural sector in particular, technological innovations are of such magnitude that they have led to the emergence of new concepts such as “green revolution” or “agriculture 4.0”. An example can be environmental monitoring through electronic sensors installed on crops and the possibility of automating irrigation systems. Another of the most frequent technological applications is the use of drones that, through remote sensing, make it possible to obtain images and videos remotely. The application of artificial intelligence to the management of a large volume of data from agricultural machinery, for example, is also key, as is the Internet of Things (IoT), which allows real-time information to be obtained and facilitates traceability through the installation of devices such as chips. It also highlights the automation of machines and the use of GPS in tractors, allowing to know the exact measurements and distances in crops. The application of Big Data also entails a series of important benefits in the agricultural sector, such as obtaining information on weather conditions, the state of the soil, the crops planted, the amount of inputs needed according to the environment, and identifying anomalies in crops, such as pests or diseases. 

In short, the application of these different technologies in agriculture allows not only to improve yields or increase efficiency in the use of resources, but also to anticipate and identify certain risks. For example, at Macrotest we have the Agroint solution for intelligent crop management, minimizing the impact of pests, diseases and weeds through monitoring and geolocated records from cell phones.

The health sector is not lagging behind in terms of new technological trends. In recent years, technology applied to healthcare has not only focused its efforts on saving lives, but also on making daily life more comfortable.  

Among the main technologies is the use of virtual reality in medical training, involving realistic scenarios such as surgery or emergencies. Once again, the application of artificial intelligence appears as fundamental, whether to monitor patients, assist surgeries by means of automated devices, or even predict the situation of high-risk patients. 

Another trend is access to remote healthcare, for example through online chat platforms available 24 hours a day through chatbots that apply artificial intelligence, or even medical consultations by video call. There are also implantable and ingestible sensors that facilitate the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of certain diseases through the Internet of Things.

Mobile applications can also be mentioned, which contribute to improving the healthcare system through the prevention, control and treatment of numerous diseases, including monitoring the follow-up of patients with diseases such as diabetes or epilepsy. Meanwhile, Cloud Computing applied to the healthcare sector makes it possible to speed up access to patients’ clinical data, as well as to improve communication between healthcare centers. These trends as a whole currently imply benefits both for healthcare professionals and for the users of the healthcare system. 

In this line in Macrotest we have developed a solution for patients who suffered a stroke which allows the realization of their rehabilitation from home, based on years of research, development and innovation. 

We are waiting for you to deepen these applications that promote the development of the agro and health sectors.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is a technology that allows remote access to software, file storage and data processing using the Internet, which is an excellent alternative to running on a personal computer or local server.

Beyond its definition, what is really important is that cloud computing has radically transformed business models and business strategies, making it possible to accelerate innovation processes and reduce costs, not only for large companies but also for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Cloud computing provides companies with greater flexibility in relation to their data, being able to access it from anywhere and at any time, which is ideal not only for companies with headquarters in different locations around the world, but also to facilitate collaborative work between individuals in the same location.

In short, cloud computing is an intelligent way to take advantage of the benefits of the hyperconnection provided by the Internet, helping to eliminate hardware maintenance costs and software upgrades, and allowing the integration of all company information in a single place.

And what does it bring to companies?

The main advantage is that it makes it possible to have all the company’s information updated in real time. In this sense, the cloud allows control of the data, being able to choose which users have access to what type of data and with what level of permissions. Another great advantage is the virtually unlimited storage capacity, which frees up the computer and improves its performance.

It also helps to generate a much more fluid communication between departments, avoiding errors, duplications, inefficiencies and wasted time. Especially if employees work remotely or in different departments, cloud computing favors collaborative work, allowing documents and information to be shared in real time. Another of its great advantages is especially valued in unforeseen situations of data loss, since data recovery is one of the key aspects. Through cloud computing, data will always be available, even if we delete it by mistake. In addition, it is a multiplatform technology, which means that it can be accessed from a laptop, tablet, smartphone or computer just by having access to the Internet.

In short, cloud computing provides businesses of any size, the ability to access a set of applications designed to manage all information related to different business processes remotely and integrated.

In Macrotest we have experience in the cloud, mainly Azure and Aws, with all our implementations we accompany the progressive implementation of this type of technological strategies, to improve and add value in the different business processes. Contact us!

Our 2021 in Macrotest

Our 2021

2021 has been an extremely active year for Macrotest… do you want to know why?

In these lines we tell you about some of the activities we have been involved in!

First of all, we have continued to develop products together with other partner companies, such as Dimensiona. As a result of these developments we have launched different applications, from incident tracking for companies and public administrations, to wine tastings, auctions, easycommerce for e-commerce, Dex and C-Control for the implementation of remote monitoring centers.

For the management of these new projects we have expanded our team and added great professionals, with commercial profile, business development and institutional communication. Thanks to these new additions our team continues to grow and add value day by day, adding different perspectives to a multidisciplinary team that always thinks about our clients and the development of new opportunities.

We have also been present in a large number of events related to R&D and technology, with the active participation of our R&D&I director. At the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Talentia Summit, he presented a webinar on Tools to develop an R&D project, while in his role as mentor he participated in Prendete, a contest of innovative business initiatives that seek to enhance the development and strengthening of the skills and capabilities of entrepreneurs, in addition to facilitating access to new networks and tools to increase their competitiveness.

Other networking and matchmaking events with potential clients and partners from different parts of the world have been Digital Enterprise Show, Global Innovation Summit, Women at the Forefront of the Economy, Digital America, TDD4Future, Smart City Expo World Congress, to mention just a few. This participation has allowed us to arrange a large number of meetings that have provided us with valuable contacts and opportunities to work together in the future.

In addition, we have published a variety of articles for our blog on current issues related to technology, such as digital transformation in sectors such as health or agriculture, notes on work methodologies such as scrum and project management, others on business such as e-business and R&D partners, and technologies such as cloud computing, blockchain, and artificial intelligence. The development of these notes has sought to inform about the latest technological trends and their benefits for our current and potential clients.

Other events in which we have participated during this 2021 are those linked to financing programs for business projects of Research and Technological Development and joint actions with other countries. Among them can be mentioned “CooperAR-EU 2021”, “Horizon Europe: Opportunities of the new European Union Framework Program”, “Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Staff Exchange”, “Argentina – Spain Bilateral Call”, “Industry 4.0”, “International Business Technology Collaboration Programs”. All these events have allowed us to participate in an active innovation ecosystem not only in Spain and Europe but also in relation to other continents.

We thank all our team, our customers and partners, for being part of Macrotest in some way and for growing together during this year. We hope that next year will find us with many new projects to work together!

What is and what is not e-business?

What is and what is not e-business?

The Internet has revolutionised everything around us, including organisations, generating changes in business models. Surely you have heard of e-business, a phenomenon that has changed the way we do business and transactions. When we refer to e-business we are talking about those organisational processes that are carried out through electronic means, such as a website, an App, a social network or an instant message. In this way, the different areas of a company can incorporate e-business into their processes, creating a new business model, adapting to the constant variations in customer needs.

This type of business model is used by small, medium and big companies and is characterised by the fact that it does not depend on a physical location to be able to function, its transactions are carried out online every day of the year, having clients that can be in other cities and even other countries.

In this way, we can conceptualise e-business as the type of business developed by organisations that rely on the use of the Internet or related technologies, with the purpose of improving their productivity and profitability.

It is often confused with the term e-commerce or electronic commerce, however, they are not the same. In this sense, every e-commerce is an e-business, but not necessarily every e-business is an e-commerce. E-commerce refers only to the marketing of products and services on the Internet, covering the processes by which customers and suppliers are reached. A specific example is online shopping. E-business, on the other hand, has a much broader range of applications. It includes in its existence all aspects of e-commerce in its entirety, and also incorporates various processes such as production, administration, product development, finance, human resources, among others. 

What are its main advantages?

  • International presence: allows companies to reach different locations without the need for a physical presence. 
  • Opening hours: allows operations to be carried out 24 hours a day, which helps the business to increase sales and profits.
  • Access to information: by having a platform where customers can search for the products and/or services they require, it provides better service, facilitating transactions and improving the customer experience.
  • Cost reduction: e-business allows for greater customer coverage without the need to incur fixed costs such as having a physical store in each location.
  • Usability: customers can easily access any information about the product or service to make their decision. 
  • Reliability: it is safe for both the customer and the company, as it guarantees that the payment will be made in a simple, agile and transparent way, and that the accreditation of the payment will be made in the correct way.

E-business involves taking business processes to the internet, which is not as simple as designing a website or installing software. It requires experience and knowledge of the internet, business, and technology tools. At Macrotest we are here to help you transform your business, and accompany you in the process of adaptation so that you can start to experience the benefits that e-business can bring to your business.

Digital transformation… also in the healthcare sector

Transformación digital del sector salud

 

Digital transformation is a recurring topic today, where all sectors and social areas are impacted to a greater or lesser extent by this transformative wave, even without the actors themselves being aware of the depth of the changes it generates. In this sense, it is important to understand the real dimension of the concept of digital transformation, which implies a continuous and complex process affecting the very essence of what we are and what we do.  

The healthcare sector is also experiencing this digitalization phenomenon with changes that aim to improve the quality and efficiency of medical care by obtaining information and its appropriate use in order to optimize decision-making at all levels of the healthcare system. A clear example is the digital acceleration that the healthcare field has experienced due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, digitalization in the healthcare sector is not only about helping patients with their illnesses or doctors with their tasks, but also about speeding up workflows, providing more security for medical staff and hospitals, and offering more transparency to patients. Thus, creating a connected healthcare ecosystem, where interactions are smarter, faster and more accurate between people, devices, data, analytics and applications that are transforming the way healthcare is delivered.

What are the main advantages of digital transformation in the healthcare sector?

  • It optimizes the work of medical professionals by offering more accurate results and diagnoses that contribute to providing more appropriate comprehensive treatments.
  • It speeds up times by reducing the number of medical appointments, allowing check-ups and consultations to be made from home.
  • Enables the creation of a unified medical record that is continuously updated across devices 
  • Performs remote patient monitoring and virtual training to reduce costs and complications of chronic illnesses 
  • Allows the exchange of information in real time between doctor-patient, making a continuous follow-up from prevention to diagnosis and treatment, significantly reducing medical errors. 

What tools and technologies are needed?

The digital transformation in the healthcare sector is being driven mainly by the Internet of Things (IoT), which makes it possible to connect sensors, devices, software and intelligent networks via the Internet. In this sense, wearable clinical devices have become a trend in the sector in recent years and are being used especially to observe high-risk patients.

Macrotest’s mission is to contribute to the healthcare sector by providing products and solutions that allow us to continue improving patient care and the quality of medical services. In this sense, we have developed Rehabictus, a support platform that makes it easier for stroke patients to carry out their rehabilitation from home. Rehabictus is a technological development composed of an APP, a web platform and electronic devices based on artificial intelligence that monitor the movement of patients. The mobile application receives data from the device, which has functionalities such as exercises with personalized levels and visualization of achievements, and from the web platform, the medical professional can access the patient’s data, establish the frequency of exercise, note observations, verify the graphs of their evolution taking into account different parameters, details of exercises and achievements. 

In this way, with this development, Macrotest seeks to provide an accurate follow-up of patients’ rehabilitation and ensure greater success in their recovery. Contact us for more information on how to digitize your healthcare organization.

What is digital transformation in agriculture?

Blog Digital Transformation Agro
 

Surely you have heard of Big Data, Machine Learning, Industry 4.0, or Digital Transformation, terms that have emerged as a result of the technological revolution we are currently going through. A large number of people believe that digital transformation consists of implementing a management program, a CRM, an ERP or a BPM, but the reality is that it means much more than that.

 

Digital transformation involves the development of a process in which technologies are used to optimize the performance of the organization, increasing the scope to ensure better results. It can also be defined as the incorporation and integration of new technologies in all areas of a company in order to improve processes, increase competitiveness and provide new added value to customers. This transformation requires a structural change in organizations that gives an essential role to technology. In recent years, digital transformation has become practically a necessity, making a company’s success largely dependent on its ability to adapt to an increasingly digitized market.

 

In this sense, digital transformation has impacted several industries, one of the most relevant being agrobusiness. In this sector, digital transformation is a key factor to generate the necessary change to be much more efficient and productive. It is important to mention that the digital transformation process is not exclusive to large companies; any organization, regardless of its size, can carry out a digital transformation project in the agribusiness industry.

 

Some examples that can be mentioned in this sector are transformations that involve the use of electronic devices for the organization and control of activities in the field, business intelligence applied to the different stages of the process, systems that allow remote access to data, even controllers of consumption of various resources such as water, electricity, fuels, agro-inputs, among others.

 

What are its benefits?

 

Among the main benefits of implementing digital transformation in agriculture, we can mention that it offers new business opportunities thanks to data analysis, providing a rapid response capacity to the changing environment in which these organizations operate; it enhances and improves both internal and external communication, promoting collaborative work among members of the organization and increasing the possibilities of interaction with agricultural customers or consumers, improving their customer experience and their relationship with the brand; and it reduces costs through the optimization of organizational processes.

 

Macrotest has a product specially developed to optimize processes in agriculture. It is a platform for intelligent crop management, called AgroInt, which minimizes the impact of pests, diseases and weeds, through immediate and continuous access to records allowing geolocated monitoring from the cell phone; and the application time on production is very low.

 

Digital transformation represents a bet on the future through the generation of new working methods that take advantage of the full potential of digitization. This process of change can be carried out more easily if it is accompanied by digital experts who design a comprehensive plan and advise on the entire implementation to optimize resources and generate a competitive advantage.

 

In Macrotest we have the experience and knowledge of our professionals in the problems of the agribusiness industry that will allow us to identify the ideal transformation process for your company. Contact us to start walking this path towards the digital transformation of your business!