Case studies

Restructuring offshore development for a vehicle leasing company

Project background

The Client is a large vehicle leasing business based in Reading, UK, with offices across Europe.

The Client’s quote and ordering platform was a typical legacy black box solution. Developed 20 years ago, there was little to no internal documentation or staff knowledge about it left within the company. Supplier support was reaching end-of-life, and the platform’s performance was poor.

The Client decided to outsource the project to India – its first offshore venture with a large consultancy – to reverse-engineer the platform and replace it with a complete new turnkey solution.

The problem

Requirements were captured, but difficult to follow, with no traceability. Testing capabilities were limited to individual testing, with very limited and inconsistent tracking. The project team had a good toolset, but no structure or processes in place for using it efficiently – which resulted in intermittent use of the tool chain. If nothing changed, The Client’s new platform would not be delivered in time.

A year after the project began, they engaged us to restructure their offshore Agile development, and get their delivery team back on track.

The solution

We turned the entire project around within just five months by:

  • Splitting their 40-strong Agile team into four teams of 10 while maintaining a strong sense of unity across the group Introducing multiple Agile work streams
  • Enhancing the requirements process with additional checkpoints and cross-references
  • Completely changing the software development life cycle (SDLC) process
  • Introducing new communication channels to increase transparency across the team and improve each member’s sense of responsibility.

  • The result

    Thanks to the improvements we delivered:

  • The Client had better visibility of the requirements
  • The Agile team were able to confidently define what features would be released in sprints
  • Testing was able to provide metrics, which were then used to further improve the development process and streamline the team dynamics.

  • Most importantly, our work made it possible for The Client to deliver their new turnkey solution within their original timeframe.

    Netagio: Building a digital currency exchange

    Project background

    Netagio wanted to build a digital currency, FOREX and metals exchange platform from the ground up.

    The entire development and test team were based offshore, with Product Owner, Project Manager and Business Analyst based onshore. All stakeholders were located within Europe.

    The problem

    Netagio wanted visible results very early on, and constantly pivoted its business model during the product development stage and after launch. A standard Agile Scrum approach was too long and inflexible to handle the client’s expectations.

    The solution

    We used a Kanban approach with dynamic release dates rather than the fixed sprints in Agile Scrum. We grouped stories that had common ground into work streams, and implemented a branching strategy that allowed multiple work streams to develop in parallel and release based on priority at the time of completion.

    We set up the entire business operations, including:

  • Building the onshore and offshore development and quality assurance teams
  • Setting up the network infrastructure, including disaster recovery
  • Developing the code for exchange
  • Defining operational procedures.

    We worked with stakeholders across the business as part of the entire end-to-end process – from defining the requirements to achieve their goals, to operational support once the platform was launched.

    The result

    Our approach proved itself after the product went live. It allowed Netagio to release patches quickly, without impacting larger pieces of functionality that were already in the development pipeline.

    Metals exchange: Enhancing a legacy platform

    Project background

    Our client, an established precious metals exchange based in Jersey, UK, was operating an end-of-life legacy trading platform. It was in the process of developing a replacement that wouldn’t be ready for six months. In the meantime, it urgently needed to add functionality to its legacy platform to stay competitive.

    The problem

    Our client had communicated its requirements to its delivery team, which was unable to produce a solid action plan or delivery roadmap.

    When we were brought into the project, we found the delivery team had simply written story cards and expected the development team to produce something without any structured team communication or further requirements workshops. In other words, they’d only taken the basic aspects of Agile.

    The solution

    While the sprint team was well formed, it lacked quality assurance resources. We added several quality assurance specialists to the team by using offshore and remote onshore teams.

    We then looked at the requirements, prioritising them based on financial impact and their ability to deliver a ‘quick win’. We also held requirements workshops that included key stakeholders and the development and quality assurance leads. These workshops allowed us to both get the finer detail on what the business needed and develop stronger relationships between everyone involved in the project.

    We then delivered a roadmap for the next six months that would allow our client to add strategic features to its legacy platform until the new solution was completed.

    The result

    We delivered the first major feature in two months, and the remaining features in monthly releases that ran like clockwork: always on schedule, if not earlier.

    Quality was very high. Within six months, we’d exceeded our client’s expectations and achieved all roadmap items. In doing so, we proved we could build anything our client requested on its legacy platform.

    So when our client was told that their new platform would need a huge financial injection for server and software licensing before it could go live, they decided to put a dead stop to it, and continue with the legacy platform instead. This was a major success for our team, and allowed our client to stop incurring costs on a platform it no longer needed.