Cochlear Case Study
- Sydney, Australia
- Manufacturing — Medical
- Student Information Systems
- # of JIRA users
- # of JIRA projects
- # of JIRA issues
Since 1982 Cochlear has led the cochlear implant industry, and continues to be the leader in innovation today, investing 15 per cent of revenue into research and development of new technology. The maker of the Australian-invented Nucleus cochlear implant system, Cochlear reached a global milestone in July 2003, delivering hearing technology to 50,000 people in more than 70 countries worldwide. Cochlear's Nucleus implant electronically stimulates the hearing nerve of the inner ear to allow profoundly deaf people to hear.
Demonstrating financial responsibility, solid growth and commitment to the future, Cochlear is the only publicly held company in the cochlear implant industry. The company's corporate headquarters, manufacturing facilities, principal research and development activities are located in Sydney, Australia. An in-house team of 35 software development personnel in Sydney, Australia and at the Belgium based Cochlear Technology Centre Europe developed the clinical software which essentially configures the speech processor within the Nucleus implant to the needs of a recipient.
The development team, headed up by Software Project Manager, Victor Rodrigues, was keen to improve the issues tracking to ensure the most important information was being captured and reported. Rodrigues investigated a variety of products including JIRA, Atlassian's web-based issue tracking tool.
Victor Rodrigues explained, "We were looking for something with a quick learning curve. When I downloaded the trial version of JIRA from Atlassian's web site, it took less than five minutes to install, and then proceeded to work very easily."
Rodrigues and the team found JIRA easy and intuitive to use, with a simple but comprehensive graphical interface.
"The value lies in the fact that JIRA is extremely extensible, making integration with other systems very simple. It took less than two days and a couple of postings on JIRA's user group forum to integrate successfully with our source version control system," said Rodrigues.
Our release mechanism is much more organised now. Atlassian's support has also been very good, quick in turnaround and very helpful. It is more than comparable, and often superior, to large multinationals in the enterprise software space.
— Victor Rodrigues, Software Project Manager
Cochlear uses JIRA as a bug tracking system within their software development team, as well as for managing planned new features and improvements. The team creates trackable issues in JIRA while testing their product. An issue is assigned to a developer, then to a code reviewer and finally back to a tester, who closes the issue once it is resolved.
The Road Map function has been of significant benefit to Cochlear enabling the software, marketing and clinical teams located in the various parts of the world to review the status of projects at any given time.
The primary software teams in Sydney and Belgium have overcome the obvious challenges of distance and time zones by using JIRA not only to manage issues but to manage project tasks as well.
Cochlear's field service staff also use JIRA to track and manage customer support issues. An email notification system alerts people or groups based on relevant details and the status of an issue.
"Our organisation is about 800 strong, so it's important that critical issues and information do not slip through the cracks. As such, we have an open project in which field people can email or submit issues to JIRA for resolution," said Rodrigues.
From a productivity point of view, Cochlear claims to have generated a significant return on investment. Time spent on the code review process alone has been reduced by between 50 and 80 per cent.
Communication, collaboration and the efficient sharing of information are among the most significant differences JIRA has brought to the organisation. Rodrigues has seen a welcome shift in enthusiasm around testing and reviewing software for release. Management and staff in the software and business systems departments enjoy using the system and believe JIRA has greatly improved the Cochlear workplace.
Says Rodrigues, "Our release mechanism is much more organised now. Atlassian's support has also been very good, quick in turnaround and very helpful. It is more than comparable, and often superior, to large multinationals in the enterprise software space."