Workflow Tools

Digital delivery has become increasingly important for many companies. Markets has become more competitive and while tailered customer experiences are expected, it is also expected to deliver such experiences efficently. A key part of my work is to assess and improve digital delivery workflows to achieve this. Development of workflow tools can be used to automate many simpler, repetitive tasks. Doing so can bring costs and timelines down, not just because a task takes less time but also because automation can reduce errors, which in turn reduces the burden on QA. A task reduced to a couple of button presses can also reduce the volume of documentation and training required which makes onboarding resources easier.

Screenshot of google docs document

Writing Documentation

In my role as Technical Lead, I have to support external development teams in the creation of new digital product. This necessitates writing and maintaining documentation and guides for use by these teams.

For example, I created a build guide as a replacement for the original 50 page document which I deemed too heavy for external teams to work with. I organised an initial meeting with the digital project managers to get a detailed understanding of their briefing documents. I then aligned this information with the templates and files supplied to external teams by creating a build guide for them to use in constructing ActivePlatform products. I conducted subsequent training sessions with three external development teams. Feedback was very positive with proven results; more consistent deliverables and a reduction in management costs and project timelines. Internal teams in the US, Poland, Spain and UK now use the services of the external teams I led in coaching and development.

Build Guide Documentation

Screenshot of json builder app running on Windows operating system

JSON builder

This application was created to automate digital product structure metadata creation. The structures are required in a json file format. A typical product could contain a thousand plus objects, which if contrusted manually is an extremely time-consuming process. The app can read exported content and create the json file detailing the structure for the exported content automatically, reducing a two-week task to a matter of minutes.

Screenshot of junk finder app running on Windows operating system

Junk Finder

This application was created to improve quality control of completed ActivePlatform products before they are released to technical testing. It has a lot of advanced functionality used to check and validate the contents of a completed product against a pre-defined specification. It can generate text file reports of the results, and provides certain auto-correction functions.

Flash Actionscript 3 using an MDM Zinc 3 projector for additional API not available within flash. This includes dialogue windows and prompts, file and directory searching and external file creation.

Junk Finder Documentation

Screenshot of markup tool app running on Windows operating system

Markup Tool

This application was created to improve in-house workflow when creating an ActivePlatform product. ActivePlatform content is specified in xml. And this xml has to be created per product. The Markup Tool application provides staff with a user-friendly gui in which to markup content, generating the required xml code for them.

Flash Actionscript 3 using an MDM Zinc 3 projector for additional API not available within flash, such as dialogue windows and prompts. Contains an xml file for configuration settings so it isn't necessary to recompile the flash swf, or projector.

Screenshot of installer running on windows operating system

Installer

All ActivePlatform products which are supplied on physical media to customers have this installer added for use in MS Windows. I held responsibility for managing the installer, applying updates and fixing bugs.

The Installer is built using InstallJammer, with advanced functionality added via scripts written in TCL. As the install paths, install text, and language are potentially unique for every product, the Install.exe uses an xml file for configuration. This xml file contains as much customisation as was possible within the scope of the InstallJammer application.

Installer XML

Screenshot of project creator app running on windows operating system

Project Creator

This application was created to help standardise project creation. It builds a defined directory structure on hard drive, and creates a template project with the necessary assets such as swfs and xml. It also creates various product specific files such as a readme.html, installer xml and a template xml structure for the project, based on the parameters the entered into the gui.

Flash Actionscript 3 using an MDM Zinc 3 projector for additional API not available within flash. This includes dialogue windows and prompts, file and directory searching and external file creation and copying.