15 research outputs found

    Development of a continuous improvement process for agile software development teams

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    Disserta√ß√£o de mestrado integrado em Industrial Engineering and ManagementThe fast growth of the technology market has triggered the highest levels of competitiveness and globalization in the current business environment. The present VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world and the continuous pursuit for new products and services has increased customer's demands, requiring the companies to be more flexible than ever by delivering software with quality, in time and within budget while in search of excellence and success. To reach this purpose, many software organizations have been adopting Agile Methodologies combined with Continuous Improvement projects, in order to achieve an improvement in customer satisfaction, providing products with higher quality, lower costs and in shorter time to the market. The ENG-P department at Bosch Braga, had a track record of some practices of Scrum but it was recognized that most teams were inefficient in taking advantage of the improvement opportunities that arose during the Sprint Retrospective ceremonies and transform them into improvements for the team. The objective of this dissertation project was to design a process for the inception of Continuous Improvement (CI) in one team of the ENG-P department, that could define the actions that needed to be taken after the Retrospective ceremony, in order to make the most out of the suggestions given by the team. By combining the Scrum cycle and the Lean philosophy, this CI process helped the team analyze problems or improvement opportunities and proceed to their prioritization, planning, implementation and evaluation, making the team more effective in problem-solving, more motivated and, consequently, more productive. The first step was to define which CI strategy would be implemented. Between analytical and benchmark approaches, the PDCA was the one selected to serve as foundation for the CI process due to its application to improve processes, products or services in any organization. After the implementation and standardization of the CI process in the daily work of the team, the final results showed that this new method doubled the suggestions implementation rate when compared with the previous results obtained by only performing the Retrospective ceremony. In addition, the accumulation of small improvements throughout time were responsible for substantial changes in the team. The level of motivation, involvement, empowerment and teamwork increased, there was a better visual task and time management, the communication improved, and a mindset of continuous improvement was built within the team.O r√°pido crescimento do mercado tecnol√≥gico despoletou os mais altos n√≠veis de competitividade e globaliza√ß√£o no atual ambiente de neg√≥cios. O presente mundo VUCA (vol√°til, incerto, complexo e amb√≠guo) e a procura cont√≠nua por novos produtos e servi√ßos levou a um aumento das exig√™ncias dos clientes, obrigando as empresas a tornarem-se mais flex√≠veis e a fornecer software com qualidade, atempadamente e dentro do or√ßamento, enquanto procuram alcan√ßar a excel√™ncia e o sucesso pr√≥prio. Com foco neste objetivo, muitas empresas de desenvolvimento de software t√™m recentemente adotado metodologias √°geis em simbiose com projetos de melhoria cont√≠nua, com a finalidade de obterem uma maior satisfa√ß√£o do cliente, fornecendo produtos com maior qualidade e custos mais baixos. O departamento ENG-P da Bosch Braga j√° possu√≠a no seu hist√≥rico algumas pr√°ticas de Scrum, mas reconheceu-se que a maioria das equipas eram ineficientes no aproveitamento das oportunidades de melhoria que surgiam durante a cerim√≥nia Retrospetiva e transform√°-las em melhorias para a equipa. O objetivo deste projeto de disserta√ß√£o foi projetar um processo para a implementa√ß√£o de uma estrat√©gia de Melhoria Cont√≠nua numa equipa do departamento ENG-P. Este definiu as a√ß√Ķes a serem tomadas ap√≥s a Retrospetiva, de forma a aproveitar ao m√°ximo as sugest√Ķes dadas pela equipa. A combina√ß√£o entre o ciclo Scrum e a filosofia Lean auxiliou a equipa na an√°lise de problemas ou oportunidades de melhoria, na sua prioriza√ß√£o, planeamento, implementa√ß√£o e avalia√ß√£o. Estas a√ß√Ķes permitiram que a equipa se tornasse mais motivada e eficaz na resolu√ß√£o de problemas e, consequentemente, mais produtiva. A primeira etapa consistiu na defini√ß√£o da estrat√©gia de melhoria cont√≠nua a ser implementada. Entre abordagens de benchmark e anal√≠ticas, o ciclo PDCA foi a t√©cnica selecionada como base ao processo devido √† sua aplicabilidade na melhoraria de processos, produtos ou servi√ßos. Ap√≥s a implementa√ß√£o e padroniza√ß√£o do processo no trabalho di√°rio da equipa, os resultados demostraram que a sua ado√ß√£o duplicou a taxa de implementa√ß√£o de sugest√Ķes da equipa, quando comparado a resultados obtidos apenas com realiza√ß√£o da Retrospetiva, aumentando a capacidade de resolu√ß√£o de problemas da equipa. Al√©m disso, pequenas melhorias alcan√ßadas ao longo do tempo trouxeram grandes mudan√ßas para a equipa. O n√≠vel de motiva√ß√£o, envolvimento e teamwork aumentou, existiu uma melhor gest√£o visual das tarefas e do tempo, a comunica√ß√£o melhorou e foi constru√≠da uma mentalidade de melhoria cont√≠nua dentro da equipa

    Improving the performance of a SME in the cutlery sector using lean thinking and digital transformation

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    The main purpose of this paper is to show that if three specific contextual factors are present in a company, it is possible to achieve great performance improvements with a lean and industry 4.0 implementation. In terms of research methods, a case study was carried out of a project to implement digitalization and Lean practices in a cutlery company, which in fact encompassed a project of master‚Äôs degree in engineering and industrial management. Thus, the research question is: ‚ÄúIt is possible to achieve major improvements in a lean and industry 4.0 implementation if three specific contextual factors are present in the company, namely (i) commitment of top management, (ii) knowledge on digitalization and lean, and (iii) very low Value-Added Ratio?‚ÄĚ. Regarding the company project, action-research was adopted, and the project team began by mapping and diagnosing the production processes of the two product families (knives and spoons/forks). High levels of work in process, long throughput times, poor flow planning and control, and high stocks of finished products, quickly stood out in both families. Improvement proposals were developed and implemented, namely: (i) creation of a production scheduling and control system, (ii) improvement of the warehouse stock management system, and (iii) adoption of new routines, management tools, visual management, and kaizen meetings. The results achieved were excellent (e.g., throughput time reduced by 27.6% and productivity increased by 36.5%) and aligned with Sustainable Development Goals SDG 9 and 12. The findings of this study corroborate that exceptional results in the company performance can be achieved through a lean and industry 4.0 intervention, if the three referred contextual factors occur.This work has been supported by FCT‚ÄĒFunda√ß√£o para a Ci√™ncia e Tecnologia within the R&D Units Project Scope: UIDB/00319/2020

    SARS-CoV-2 introductions and early dynamics of the epidemic in Portugal

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    Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in Portugal was rapidly implemented by the National Institute of Health in the early stages of the COVID-19 epidemic, in collaboration with more than 50 laboratories distributed nationwide. Methods By applying recent phylodynamic models that allow integration of individual-based travel history, we reconstructed and characterized the spatio-temporal dynamics of SARSCoV-2 introductions and early dissemination in Portugal. Results We detected at least 277 independent SARS-CoV-2 introductions, mostly from European countries (namely the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy, and Switzerland), which were consistent with the countries with the highest connectivity with Portugal. Although most introductions were estimated to have occurred during early March 2020, it is likely that SARS-CoV-2 was silently circulating in Portugal throughout February, before the first cases were confirmed. Conclusions Here we conclude that the earlier implementation of measures could have minimized the number of introductions and subsequent virus expansion in Portugal. This study lays the foundation for genomic epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 in Portugal, and highlights the need for systematic and geographically-representative genomic surveillance.We gratefully acknowledge to Sara Hill and Nuno Faria (University of Oxford) and Joshua Quick and Nick Loman (University of Birmingham) for kindly providing us with the initial sets of Artic Network primers for NGS; Rafael Mamede (MRamirez team, IMM, Lisbon) for developing and sharing a bioinformatics script for sequence curation (https://github.com/rfm-targa/BioinfUtils); Philippe Lemey (KU Leuven) for providing guidance on the implementation of the phylodynamic models; Joshua L. Cherry (National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health) for providing guidance with the subsampling strategies; and all authors, originating and submitting laboratories who have contributed genome data on GISAID (https://www.gisaid.org/) on which part of this research is based. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the view of the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the United States government. This study is co-funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia and Agência de Investigação Clínica e Inovação Biomédica (234_596874175) on behalf of the Research 4 COVID-19 call. Some infrastructural resources used in this study come from the GenomePT project (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-022184), supported by COMPETE 2020 - Operational Programme for Competitiveness and Internationalisation (POCI), Lisboa Portugal Regional Operational Programme (Lisboa2020), Algarve Portugal Regional Operational Programme (CRESC Algarve2020), under the PORTUGAL 2020 Partnership Agreement, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT).info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Impact of COVID-19 on cardiovascular testing in the United States versus the rest of the world

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    Objectives: This study sought to quantify and compare the decline in volumes of cardiovascular procedures between the United States and non-US institutions during the early phase of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the care of many non-COVID-19 illnesses. Reductions in diagnostic cardiovascular testing around the world have led to concerns over the implications of reduced testing for cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. Methods: Data were submitted to the INCAPS-COVID (International Atomic Energy Agency Non-Invasive Cardiology Protocols Study of COVID-19), a multinational registry comprising 909 institutions in 108 countries (including 155 facilities in 40 U.S. states), assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on volumes of diagnostic cardiovascular procedures. Data were obtained for April 2020 and compared with volumes of baseline procedures from March 2019. We compared laboratory characteristics, practices, and procedure volumes between U.S. and non-U.S. facilities and between U.S. geographic regions and identified factors associated with volume reduction in the United States. Results: Reductions in the volumes of procedures in the United States were similar to those in non-U.S. facilities (68% vs. 63%, respectively; p = 0.237), although U.S. facilities reported greater reductions in invasive coronary angiography (69% vs. 53%, respectively; p < 0.001). Significantly more U.S. facilities reported increased use of telehealth and patient screening measures than non-U.S. facilities, such as temperature checks, symptom screenings, and COVID-19 testing. Reductions in volumes of procedures differed between U.S. regions, with larger declines observed in the Northeast (76%) and Midwest (74%) than in the South (62%) and West (44%). Prevalence of COVID-19, staff redeployments, outpatient centers, and urban centers were associated with greater reductions in volume in U.S. facilities in a multivariable analysis. Conclusions: We observed marked reductions in U.S. cardiovascular testing in the early phase of the pandemic and significant variability between U.S. regions. The association between reductions of volumes and COVID-19 prevalence in the United States highlighted the need for proactive efforts to maintain access to cardiovascular testing in areas most affected by outbreaks of COVID-19 infection

    Relat√≥rio vacina√ß√£o estrat√©gias de comunica√ß√£o e literacia em sa√ļde eficazes para popula√ß√£o jovem

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    Um conjunto de duas dezenas de profissionais portugueses de v√°rias √°reas da sa√ļde refletiu em conjunto sobre as quest√Ķes que levam os jovens a n√£o se interessarem pela vacina√ß√£o contra o COVID-19 e a forma mais eficaz de se ultrapassarem estas cren√ßas negativas e barreiras √† vacina√ß√£o. As preocupa√ß√Ķes destes jovens sobre os efeitos seguros da vacina√ß√£o, a prote√ß√£o de familiares e amigos e o regresso √†s atividades sociais parecem ser fatores motivadores para a a√ß√£o de vacina√ß√£o e prote√ß√£o. Neste sentido, e reunindo o conhecimento sobre as campanhas de marketing em sa√ļde e os conte√ļdos comunicativos que podem influenciar positivamente esta mobiliza√ß√£o para a vacina√ß√£o, estes profissionais apresentam neste relat√≥rio um conjunto de dados cient√≠ficos, estrat√©gicos e operacionais que podem apontar alguns caminhos. Este grupo de trabalho avaliou o perfil dos jovens (dados demogr√°ficos e psicogr√°ficos), as cren√ßas, as necessidades, a perce√ß√£o do risco e as motiva√ß√Ķes que podem ser atendidas para que se criem, com a brevidade poss√≠vel, atrav√©s dos recursos p√ļblicos e das autoridades sanit√°rias, onde se inclui a Dire√ß√£o-Geral da Sa√ļde (DGS), formas de melhor promover os objetivos inequ√≠vocos: vacinar a popula√ß√£o jovem em Portugal com a brevidade poss√≠vel.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Characterisation of microbial attack on archaeological bone

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    As part of an EU funded project to investigate the factors influencing bone preservation in the archaeological record, more than 250 bones from 41 archaeological sites in five countries spanning four climatic regions were studied for diagenetic alteration. Sites were selected to cover a range of environmental conditions and archaeological contexts. Microscopic and physical (mercury intrusion porosimetry) analyses of these bones revealed that the majority (68%) had suffered microbial attack. Furthermore, significant differences were found between animal and human bone in both the state of preservation and the type of microbial attack present. These differences in preservation might result from differences in early taphonomy of the bones. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

    ATLANTIC ANTS: a data set of ants in Atlantic Forests of South America

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    International audienc

    NEOTROPICAL ALIEN MAMMALS: a data set of occurrence and abundance of alien mammals in the Neotropics