ServiceNow's Time and Attendance application streamlines many of Tabcorp's processes when it comes to managing employees' schedules and time recording, allowing employees to handle many of these tasks on their own in an easy-to-use portal.

JDS have displayed exceptional agility in assisting Tabcorp TFS to build, test, and implement a Time and Attendance system. They worked effortlessly with the project team to deliver a system that was compatible to our business requirements and outcomes. The development was very specific to Tabcorp and the outcome has been highly satisfactory. I look forward to an ongoing relationship with JDS and would strongly recommend JDS for future development work—it has been a seamless venture.

Kylie Cane

Field Services Operations Manager

The prompt and decision

JDS was engaged by Tabcorp, the largest betting platform in Australia, to develop a Time and Attendance application on the ServiceNow platform. This application allows employees to handle many time-tracking tasks on their own, including reviewing the hours they've worked, their time in lieu, and their current and future schedules. With more than 400 different time tracking use cases, the calculations are complex.

The fact that the results were sent to payroll at the end, and could potentially have a direct impact on people’s finances if not done properly, made this critical to get right.

Using the latest best practice development methodologies, JDS was able to deliver this system in only seven weeks. On top of this, the calculations were proven to be 100% accurate despite the inevitable changing requirements that befall all software development projects. Other than a fantastic team effort from both Tabcorp and JDS, the project’s success was due to the following:

  • The use of the ServiceNow platform

  • Use of Agile methodology

  • Unit Testing

  • Emphasis on clean code

The platform

The ServiceNow platform provides a base for developers to build applications rapidly. Most aspects of software development are streamlined and simplified without removing too much developer control. Development that would take many weeks to develop can simply be dragged in place and configured.

Some great streamlined features that would take many months to create include:

  • REST API for every table you create

  • Configurable table Access Control that impacts how data is retrieved

  • Workflow editor which can automate any business workflow

  • Event-based notification system

Another major benefit of the platform is that all applications built on the platform live in the same ecosystem. They are able to communicate with each other when needed, simplifying complex integrations.

About Tabcorp

Tabcorp is one of the few integrated gambling and entertainment companies in the world. Our three core businesses—Wagering and Media, Keno and Gaming Services—are delivered to people through our retail, digital, and Sky media platforms.

When Tabcorp was created in 1994, it was our mission to support a racing industry which would be the pride of the nation. Today, excellence and integrity remain at the heart of everything we do.

Along the way we’ve worked hand in hand with our partners, because it is at racecourses and stadiums, as well as in pubs and clubs, that what we do truly comes to life.

It’s our mission to drive commercial success through championing social and sustainable ways to play.

Industry

Entertainment

Primary software

  • ServiceNow Time and Attendance
JDS was engaged to build a Time and Attendance system. The Agile methodology employed throughout the project allowed the stakeholders to interact with the tool every step of the way. This interaction created better business clarity, reduced rework, and increased efficiency and productivity within the team. The innovative testing model reduced testing effort by weeks and provided great confidence that the complex background calculations were accurate within seconds of initiating the test. The JDS staff were pleasant, professional, and approachable throughout the project.
Mike ZammitProject Manager

The process

Using Agile methodologies, JDS was able to rapidly create the application and get immediate feedback from Tabcorp. The project was run in one-week sprints with a demo at the end of each sprint. The feedback from these demos was critical for us to understand whether we were developing the right solution. Variations were actioned in the following sprint to adjust the solution accordingly.

Using Agile methodologies doesn’t mean that we are delivering Agile, but to support these processes, we need to develop Agile. This means finding a way to automate as much of the development cycle as possible.

Unit testing

Using Test Driven Development methodologies, JDS automated the testing of the solution. This practice maintained development momentum and without it, the solution would have taken many months to complete. Why is this the case?

Traditional testing would be manual following this cycle:


Using this testing cycle would potentially take a developer a week or more to understand whether or not a code change they made has broken anything else.

By writing unit tests, the feedback loop is cut down from a week or more to less than a second for every time a developer adds code.

As an example of how effective this is, there were many cases where new requirements came in and the calculations had to be adjusted. This is a normal part of software development and is encouraged in Agile projects. By running the unit tests when making code changes, we were able to get instant feedback on whether the changes broke existing scenarios.

These tests were executed more than 20 times an hour during our development to understand whether the changes were accurate. The cost and time savings from this practice was enormous, and resulted in a flawless deployment with no errors found.

Clean code

Too much emphasis can be put on development process when, at the end of the day, it is the code that will slow a project down.To develop code that is testable in one-week sprints requires adherence to modern best practices of clean code. If the code is not clean, the project is not clean and developing a solution becomes increasingly difficult. With this in mind, we followed clean code practices to keep code highly maintainable and Agile as requirements changed.

Project outcomes

It was all of these components which led to the successful development of a complex solution in such a short period of time. Missing any of these components would have lead to things falling through the cracks.

Do you have ServiceNow and need a custom solution? JDS can rapidly develop your application using modern development best practices.

JDS truly demonstrated the Tabcorp value of “working as one team” through presenting concepts and recommendations for discussion, and working with the team to resolve challenges presented during the life of the project. I would highly recommend JDS for any future development work.
Mike ZammitProject Manager

Our team on the case

Test First, Code Second.

Rhyno van der Sluijs

Consultant

Length of Time at JDS

2 years

Skills

Software Development, Pattern-Based Development, Security Testing, Agile, DevOps, ServiceNow.

Workplace Passion

I work with ServiceNow and security testing. I am passionate about writing good-quality, highly maintainable code, and evangelising test-driven development.

Communication is key.

Daniel Brown

Consultant

Length of Time at JDS

1.5 years

Skills

Performance testing, ServiceNow administration/development, and cooking.

Workplace Solutions

Performance testing, consulting, and pre-sales for ServiceNow. My workplace passion is sharing information and learnings with others in my team.

Why choose JDS?

At JDS, our purpose is to ensure your IT systems work wherever, however, and whenever they are needed. Our team identifies current or potential business issues, and then develops customised solutions to suit you.

JDS is different from other providers in the market. We offer 24/7 monitoring capabilities and support throughout the entire application lifecycle. We give your IT Operations team visibility into the health of your IT systems, enabling them to identify and resolve issues quickly.

We are passionate about what we do, working seamlessly with you to ensure you are getting the best possible performance from your environment.

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