The Agile Modeling (AM) Method

The SWA Online Case Study

SWA Enterprises is a distributor of high-margin goods throughout the United States, supplying specialty retail stores with unique goods that are difficult to find elsewhere. SWA Enterprises prides itself on identifying an eclectic and ever changing mix of products. Although the company has been successful to date it wants to expand its presence to the Internet. The following is the initial vision that senior management has for the new system, called SWA Online, which it wants developed.

SWA Online will offer the entire range of physical products sold by SWA Enterprises for now, and we may want to sell virtual products such as online music and videos at some point in the future. Our target market will remain the USA for now, at one point we considered all of North America but we consider that too aggressive for our first release – far better to focus on our existing market and get it right before venturing into new territory. Eventually selling products internationally is our true goal.

We’ll use our current shipper, Fly-By-Night Shipping, but we’re concerned that they may not be able to handle our business in the future. They have proven very effective shipping to retail stores within the USA, overnight shipping is no problem as are lower cost options such as multi-day ground shipping. We’re not sure how effective they are shipping internationally and we eventually want to not rely on a single vendor for key services such as shipping.

We believe that our system, a commercial off the shelf (COTS) package that we purchased several years ago which calculates taxes and handles inventory-related functionality, should be sufficient for the first release of SWA Online although that is something that the development must confirm.

SWA Enterprises currently employees eighty-seven people. Major focuses of the organization include sales to retail stores, buyers focused on identifying new products to carry within our catalog, and shipping and returns. We have just hired a Vice President of Online Sales, Sally Jones, who will be responsible for building the organization required to support and operate SWA Online. Sally will be actively involved with your team and will help you to obtain access to other business staff within SWA Enterprises as you need them. The primary responsibility of these people is naturally their full-time, day-to-day jobs, but they have been instructed to find a way to participate with your development team as much as required.

The software process that SWA Enterprises has adopted is Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD).