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Collaboration tools in the LOFAR2.0 Station Team

Submitter: Arno Schoenmakers, René Kaptijn, Johan Boekema, Auke Klazema, Reinoud Bokhorst
Description: The LOFAR2.0 Station project is a complex project with several work packages and people spread over the AG, R&D and RO divisions of ASTRON. Work packages such as System Engineering, RCU2, Cabinet and Clock and Station Control are executed by colleagues with varying technical skills and with different ways of working. Our software developers prefer an Agile/Scrum method, whereas hardware engineers prefer waterfall approaches. Despite these different approaches, the project as a whole has to be able to keep track of overall progress and planning. Within each of the work packages, the work must be planned, organized and prioritized in three-week increments. To help streamline all those processes, we use JIRA and Confluence.

JIRA is an advanced and widely used issue tracking tool that enables us to prepare, plan and track all the work that must be done. Confluence is a collaboration tool to share information, documents, drawings, decisions, meeting notes, etc. JIRA enables a highly structured overview of all coming and running activities in complex projects. Confluence enables co-working and sharing of information in a way that is superior to a shared disk or a cloud storage solution. Confluence and JIRA, being from the same company, are well integrated with each other and together allow simple linking between issues, meeting action points, discussions from meetings, documents, task lists, planning, etc.

We have provided JIRA and Confluence training sessions to get up to speed and many engineers are now actively involved. JIRA and Confluence support the LOFAR2.0 Station project management and workpackage management, planning, and project execution quality. They can benefit many other project in ASTRON as well. Feel free to contact Arno Schoenmakers or Rene Kaptijn if you would like to learn more.
Copyright: ASTRON
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