Grievt – Continued Collaboration

13. November 2024 2 min read

A short backstory

Grievy is an app that serves as a digital companion after the loss of a loved one. It was developed through a collaboration between Nele Stadtbäumer, who came up with the idea, Professor Drumm, who facilitated the project, and a team of six students from Fachhochschule Aachen, who turned Nele’s ideas into a software product. The idea had such momentum, that Nele and two of the students founded a startup and refined their idea and product. Some features, including support with bureaucratic tasks, had to be dropped in this refinement process. Now, two years after the launch of grievy, the startup has decided to work together with FH Aachen again, to realize these organizational features in a sister app for grievy. Grievt gives users handy advice surrounding funerals and other topics, an editable checklist of things that need to be done after the death of a loved one, and a feature for automatically generating letters of termination for different contracts.

Forming – Storming – Norming…

Within Scrum, you need a product owner, a scrum master and a development team. Daniel Bachmann, one of the students who worked on grievy and went on as cofounder of the startup, now took the role of product owner, and Professor Drumm took the role of Scrum Master. For the development team, six students from FH Aachen were chosen, but after the first two weeks of the semester, only four of us remained. This worried us in the beginning, but with time we came to appreciate working in a small team. While many things were new for us, we benefitted from the fact that Daniel and Professor Drumm had not only worked on this kind of project before but also worked together before.

In any kind of group work, there needs to be time spent storming and norming between group members, before the stage of performing is entered. In the end, the size of our team and the previous experience of Daniel and Professor Drumm helped us become productive quite fast.

What we learned

Working on grievt provided invaluable learning opportunities. We gained experience using Typescript and the Ionic framework, Github, SAST tools and developing and testing for the Apple appstore and Google playstore, and most importantly working with Scrum.

In the second half of the semester, Herr Drumm started tracking our accuracy and velocity, teaching us about the usual trajectory of these measures and emphasizing the importance of correct evaluation and the advantage of well-written user stories. There were times when we believed we would finish a particular user story within a sprint, but some details kept us pulling our hair. Within the last two weeks of the project, a lot of bug fixing occurred and last-minute amendments were made. Suddenly, issues that took us hours only a month ago were solved in a fraction of that time. We had gotten to know the technology and our app so much better that we could come up with solutions quicker and more creatively.

The App

At the end of January, we showed the final result of our app to our peers in a live presentation. It was exciting to take a step back and see the full picture of what we worked on closely all semester. While app store deployment still awaited review at this time, grievt became available to the general public two weeks later. This marked the success and endpoint of our project. Today, when I navigate to grievt in the app store, it notifies me of the fact that I am an internal tester, a sweet reminder of the work I put into the app.