I spent the last week working from our main office in Melbourne. I live in Portland, Oregon and this is my second trip to Australia to work with the team here. The trip had been planned for months, and I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t really looking forward to the 13 hour flight or living out of a suitcase. I’m not much of a road warrior. Once here it took me a while to recover from jet lag and get my bio clock realigned. On my first work day I only made a little progress on the goals that I had set for the trip.
The Melbourne Office Kanban
Steve, our Partner Alliance Manager joined us from Sydney on Tuesday. We spent most of the day flowcharting our sales and distribution channel partner strategy. That and the ever changing Melbourne weather gave me a headache that had me limping back to the hotel at the end of the day instead of socializing with the team as I had hoped to do. As I rested in my hotel room that night I wondered if the trip was going to be worth the expense and inconvenience. The following day was much better. Steve and I finished up the channel process flowchart, and I went out for beers with Tom, Hendrik, and Ian after work. Things were back on track.
On Thursday I watched the team go into action birthing release 11. 6, better known as the iPad Printing release. We don’t have pointy haired managers or project team meetings at PaperCut –instead we use the Kanban method of project management. For PaperCut that means pasting colored pieces of paper on a wall and moving them through stages starting with concept and ending with completion. Everyone on the team stood in a circle and each of us reported the progress of the previous day as the papers were moved from “Review” to ”Done”. The build was completed by Tom and Chris in the late evening hours in order to keep to our policy of not posting new releases on Friday.
Our customers have been clamouring for iPad Printing support over the last year as iPads become a staple in many educational and business environments. Our customers have demanded more than just support for iPad printing though, they need the same functionality as desktop users including print authentication, account selection and viewing of print job status. PaperCut version 11.6 delivers this functionality via the iPad app (screen shots). Originally this feature set was planned for version 12, but due to demand we have brought it forward as a preview for early adopters – it was one of the most requested features for 2011. Expect further innovation and refinements in the mobile printing space heading into 2012. (Note: The iPad App does not require you to have printers that support AirPrint).
PaperCut's iPad App
Behind the scenes, PaperCut has added another member to its support team. Those of you who have called or e-mailed in over the last six weeks may have had their issue looked into by Ian, who is based in our Melbourne office. Amazingly Ian is the first member of the team to pass the recruitment process who does not consume coffee. The team is working hard on this issue, and is confident by version 12 we will have rectified this buggy behaviour.
Testing this release has made the older team members jealous as we wished we’d had iPads in school when we were younger.
The full list of changes in version 11.6 can be found on the release history pages: