Agile methods and tools power up Pokémon
The Pokémon Company International (TPCi) is a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan. TPCi had an existing website and a web based scheduling system called “Organized Play” that allowed Pokemon fans from around the world meet up in person and engage in tournaments. However, both the website and Organized Play had evolved organically over the past 10 years and were not only in need of a visual design refresh, but also a migration to a more powerful platform that would allow them to reach their audience more effectively. Both the website and organized play were large complex systems, with thousands of business rules and the timeline to replace the systems was tight.
OpenRoad worked closely with POP, a Seattle based design firm to gather requirements and propose a new system. Originally, the project called for a Java based architecture, but after reviewing the scope of the project we recommended switching to Python and using the Django framework, a rapid application development platform that had the potential to greatly reduce the amount of code required to meet the business requirements. The project was built using test driven development and the SCRUM methodology, providing a steady two week sprint cycle that delivered working code on a regular basis.
The project was completed in time for launch in January of 2010. The Scrum approach kept stakeholders up to speed with progress throughout the project, and over 500 unit tests ensured that the final product was not only stable and high quality, but provided a solid base of tests to ensure that modifications to the system in the future could be made confidently without breaking the system.