Open Space, the new Pyxis Research undergraduate degree project


23 de September de 2020


Pyxis Research, the space that generates synergy between Industry and Educational Institutions, is continuously promoting valuable research and development projects in different technological branches. Open Space is a platform that provides digital support to the well-known Open Space, which is a platform to discuss ideas to improve and co-create the culture within an organization.

It’s a project by Diego Torres, Federico Trujillo and José Capece, ORT University, Information Systems, Undergraduate Degree students, supported by our Undergraduate Projects Promotion Program.

“I wanted to finish my studies with knowledge that would add value. In Pyxis I am in charge of the Open Space Application and it’s not an easy task. It has little maintenance and only a few people know how to use it ”, says Diego, a student and an employee of Pyxis. Diego suggested to replace current Application and got support for his Undergraduate Degree final thesis development, through Pyxis Research.

Pyxis Research Undergraduate Degree Projects Promotion

“With this program our goal is to promote completion of undergraduate degree projects within Pyxis, both by the ecosystem members and external parties. The project must be codirected by a Pyxis member and a mentor from the University. The topic must be of interest to Pyxis and add value to the ecosystem. Diego’s project met all the requirements ”, expressed Ignacio Duarte, head of Pyxis Research.

The undergraduate degree projects promotion has multiple objectives, including stimulating the continuous training for people who work at Pyxis, encouraging integration with the Educational Institutions and improving the acquisition of cutting-edge knowledge by the entire Pyxian ecosystem.

Ignacio – “The support consists of providing necessary information on the project for its research and development, participation in follow-up meetings and advise in a specific role if required”.

“On the Faculty side, we have the ORT mentor Mariel Feder great support. Her contribution is wide: from the academic side in multiple aspects such as the methodological framework, delivery formalities, recommendations on how to approach the clients, etc. On the Pyxis side, we receive guidelines and validations, using agile methodology. We have regular meetings (at least once a week) ”, adds Diego.

What is the Open Space methodology and how do we use it at Pyxis?

The Open Space methodology is about building self-organized events. These are events that are nourished with the participants ideas. In fact, the planning is not defined by the organizers: it is the event assistants who suggest topics, vote and define final agenda.

It promotes a collaboration and cocreation culture. At Pyxis, we tested this methodology for our annual set-up meeting with the entire team, in 2013. In that first occasion we did it manually. We liked the methodology so much that we developed a platform specially designed to promote everyone’s participation and time optimization.

At the end, the actions suggested by each group can be voted at the plenary session, and based on the priorities established there, an agenda of topics is designed.

“It’s a great tool for debating ideas and continue introducing. And it is used and supported by any member of the organization ”, Diego explains.

“We use the tool at least 3 times a year prior to Open Space and Open Tech events. In each instance, all participants have the chance to contribute, accessing the platform and posting a topic they want to talk about”, explains Enrique Rodríguez, project’s client and director at Pyxis.

Once the preestablished voting period is finalized, the event organizers board, based on a most voted topics report, creates a list, so that the event can be executed in the face-to-face meeting.

Goals in software intervention

The platform’s actual objective is to be able to manage all the topics prior to the physical meeting. The project requires technical improvements since it is outdated and with little maintenance or extension capacity. In addition, the possibility of more functionality and it’s use at the event execution, will be evaluated.

“We would like to include surveys that can poll the participant’s opinion the moment they leave a conference”, explains Diego.

The project intents to make the software a sustainable and extensible solution, used in technologies where the company has expertise and trained collaborators.

Regarding the technologies / architectures / tools to be used, “Pyxis will provide coaching on its use with different roles since the team does not fully manage the technological stack (Java, Angular, Springboot, Containerization Technologies, Cloud development, Microservices, Swagger, Postman) but decided to take on the challenge of learning, as part of the project”, adds Ignacio.

Share application usage

The Open Space application has allowed collaboration in a synergetic way among all the Pyxis members to co-create what we are today. The goal is to continue doing it that way and keep sharing it with the rest of the partner companies, so that they can also take advantage.

The work team has to deliver this project at the end of October. The software must be working and they must have the complete documentation and ready to defend the thesis. In addition, they got a great incentive of being able to apply improvements in the next Pyxis Open Space event, which will be in October.

“A redesign based on what was successful and with a technology closer to the Pyxis Core, will be for sure beneficial”, Enrique concludes.

Some of the tool’s main goals will be:

*Native and extensible authentication and roles set-up: The system must provide a mechanism that allows the user to authenticate himself directly in a database managed by the system or use an authentication mechanism such as Office365.

*Roles: the system must provide a mechanism able to manage at least two roles. An Administrator, with full access to the system’s functionality and as a user with access to posting the topics and voting.

*OpenSpace creation: The system must provide the function able to create different “Open Spaces” for posting topics in an organization.

*Topics post: The system must provide the function for posting topics, allowing to keep the topics as well as desired speakers for the presentation.

*Overview / voting Dashboard: The system must provide an overview on all the Open Space topics, with the option to hide or visualize other participants votes.

*Event report to generate the tracks and their sessions: The system must provide a tabular or grid view, listing the topics with the highest number of votes and / or the people who want to attend an Open Space, in order to design a chronogram for the event later.

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23 de September de 2020