Ranunculus lapponicus is extremely fun to say and it is also the scientific name for Lapland buttercup. I know this, because I’m an insider — who helped the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) build their mapping portal.

What is the map portal for?

Launched TODAY, the mapping portal connects users to thousands of ABMI’s datasets and provides the ability to easily compare, share, print, and get detailed statistical summaries.


For this project, Team Awesome consisted of 7 skilled and passionate team members.

All work was remote and the group that brought the portal to life looked like this:


Tara Narwani — Project Consultant
Katherine Maxcy — Project Coordinator
Joan Fang — Systems Analyst


Lori Logan — Product Manager
Spencer Cox — Technical Advisor
Yves Richard — Senior Developer
April Damaso — UX Designer


Our team has been working remote for over a decade. When we collaborate with clients, we onboard and teach them about our communication norms, our remote focused project tools and our version of agile.

Slack for team communication

Each project gets its own dedicated “channel” which simply acts as the one place for team communication. All Tesera projects/channels are open to our entire team, regardless if they are officially assigned to the project. We do this to foster open and transparent communication and to maximize shared learnings.

Trello for task management

We love Trello, and each project also gets its own dedicated board. All tasks are managed on the board and everything moves from left to right. We even have our own feel good mantra for this — #ttr (to the right). Work is scheduled and prioritized for the week (a Sprint). Product Owners sign off on prioritized cards at the beginning of the week and at the end of it, work is either accepted, or it is moved back for further iteration.

Google Drive for document storage and collaboration

Projects are organized under a main folder simply named Collaboration Space. Beneath this we have standard folders but we keep structure flexible and try not to nest folders within folders — we use search instead! 🙂

CodeShip for continuous integration

We use CodeShip for continuous integration, so that changes can be seen as they are made. The minute a developer commits to Github our client can see the latest and greatest version of the app. This enables continuous feedback and direction can be provided significantly sooner. This ultimately saves time and cost.


This project had a moderate budget and a tight time line. We decided that a concurrent design and development approach made the most sense. Designs started as low fidelity (paper), progressing to InVision for a high fidelity experience, while at the same time our developer built the basic map viewer features and primary statistical summary functionalities.

As part of our transparent development process, we use continuous integration so our clients see their product evolve. With ABMI, we used weekly meetings to review progress and demo the current functionality. This was key to rapid development, in that changes to feature requirements become obvious when users got a chance to interact with it.


This was the first project we were able to utilize our revised retrospective process. It was an opportunity to live our values around communication, accountability, community, personal development and relationships.

It was truly an eye opening, valuable learning experience. A structured retrospective process provides the space for the team to discuss and understand different perspectives, experiences, and share learnings to contribute to personal and team growth. From the Retrospective Prime Directive

At the end of a project everyone knows so much more. Naturally we will discover decisions and actions we wish we could do over.

This is wisdom to be celebrated, not judgement used to embarrass.

If you haven’t yet committed to this process — start on your next project. Here are a couple resources to get you going…

  1. 5 Steps To Better Agile Retrospectives
  2. Trello Agile Series: Roadmaps & Retrospectives


Our team is appreciative of the opportunity to work with this special group of ABMI professionals and their best in class data. We share the excitement of today’s official launch and this new way for users to interact and explore ABMI’s vast datasets.