It’s not uncommon for engineers and scientists to have side projects. Many successful products began as an experiment during the innovator’s time out of the office. German-based Part-Time Scientists has taken that idea to a whole new level. Their goal, in partnership with Audi, is to get a lunar lander safely to the surface of the moon and drive two ALQ Audi rovers to send high resolution images back to earth and perform experiments.
Distributed across North America and Europe, PTScientists is a team of 15 full and part-time employees and are supported by 20 volunteers. Individuals work across multiple disciplines such as development, risk analysis and mission control and while the team is small, this cross functional environment highlights their needs for alignment and purposeful collaboration. The Mission to the Moon team where they pair up with Audi, is comprised of 50 people.
PTScientists brought Jama onboard as their product development and requirements management platform. The team saw a need to save time while search for information and to easily embed new team members by using a central platform for requirements management.
Due to the geographic distribution of the team and their part-time nature, PTScientists needed a platform that would allow them to work as they were able, but ensure that they stay in sync with one another.
Another challenge for PTScientists is ensuring deadlines are met and complete information delivered.
“Delivering late or unclear requirements is a problem and a threat to our success. We were using too much time having meetings and checking statuses. Delays can derail an entire project when trying to get to space” said Christian Feichtinger of PTScientists.
The team selected Jama based on its ability to connect distributed teams, its integration with JIRA, its modern user interface, and traceability capabilities.
“We saw that SpaceX uses Jama, and given the constraints we are under, we knew it could work for us as well,” said Feictinger.
Already in 2017, PTScientists have tested their rover in the heat of the Qatari desert and moved into a new headquarters in Berlin. We look forward to following their story and supporting their success.