Project Texel inside out: The first experience working on Foodware 365 for BC

This January we began our series of articles following Project TexelThey’re currently busy with taking on a new challenge: the development of Foodware 365 on the Dynamics 365 Business Central platform. How have things progressed since the last time we checked in? What keeps Team Texel busy? What are their impressions of working together towards a common goal? In the upcoming months we will follow Team Texel and witness how their stories unravel, with direct insights from the team members themselves. To kick things off, here’s Laura van der List and Lisa van Baast.

What is your role in Project Texel?

“As Business Central consultants we are working in a multidisciplinary team, where we are a sparring person between the Solution Architect, UX-designer, the Developers and the Test Coördinator. We get a lot of input from all angles of the team and make sure that everything gets taken care of, or that it gets forwarded to the right person. Besides that, we translate this input to a fitting construction of our –on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Intelligent Cloud architecture based– solution: Foodware 365. Basically, we are responsible for thinking of a fitting solution for the different functional parts. We also write test scripts and other documentation, like the manuals. We actually do the same job, but we work in two different teams. Every quarter multiple modules have to be created, so we both work on different modules for our food specific solution Foodware 365.”

Why did you choose to switch to Team Texel?

Laura: “A new role! My role in Team Texel is very different from the role I used to have (consultant). It is a big, responsible role. Even if we are still young, we are really ambitious.”
Lisa: “After finishing my traineeship at Schouw Informatisering last month I immediately started as part of Team Texel. When it became clear that there was a space left in this new team for one of the trainees, this seemed like the perfect fit for me. What I love the most? The challenge, the thinking out-of-the-box, answering to what food companies actually want and need. At the end, we are doing this for our clients and food companies worldwide. We want to unburden them as much as possible. We are building something from scratch, and it is cool to be a part of creating the end product.”

Project Texel has just kicked off. How have you experienced these past few weeks?

Laura: “That's true. We did do a trial run in December, but we officially started in January. Most of all, I experienced that you really have to adapt your way of thinking because working flexibly is so important in this team. A plan that we might think of today could be gone in a day or two once we realize it does not work after all. You have to be able to switch perspectives quickly. Apart from that, we work with the entire suite of the Microsoft Power Platform, which is new to (almost) everyone. This definitely leads to trial and error. It does make us stronger as a team, you can notice how much we have grown the past few weeks. Working in a multidisciplinary team shows that everyone has their own way of looking at things, and so you can learn a lot from each other. Basically, we are both very happy to be a part of Team Texel and our first experiences are very positive.”

So, what’s the plan for the upcoming weeks?

Lisa: “The main event to look forward to is our first release week, which is getting closer. This would mark the release of the first ‘piece’ of Foodware 365 on Business Central. We call this the Alpha 1 release. During this release, this first set of extensions will be made available to a select user group, so they can start having a taste of our Foodware 365 solution. This is very exciting for us! It is a lot of fun working towards this, the work finally pays off and we are looking forward to receiving our first reactions.”

What is important to know about Project Texel?

Lisa: “Most importantly, we have to keep the product simple. The end product should be clear and understandable for the whole food industry, not just The Netherlands. It will be distributed globally. So, as we say in Team Texel: “Keep it simple, affordable and follow the process”. We have a lot of contact with Microsoft, they are very involved in this project. It is very cool being involved in a project that is supported by such a big organisation.”
Laura: “It is very interesting to apply multiple technologies, that we can make available to food companies thanks to Microsoft. We do not just focus on Business Central (the ERP part), but also on the entire Power Platform. Consider new solutions like Cognitive Services, PowerApps, and so on. This really makes it a Foodware 365 project. Also a nice fact: we are a team of 15 people, and 4 of them are women. The IT-world is still mainly male dominant; about 10% of the people working in IT in the Netherlands are female, so it is very nice to see that we are above average at Schouw and in Team Texel”.

Previous article in this theme: It's time for Texel!
Next up: Colleague Annemaria tells about her first experience as Developer in Team Texel. 

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