Our client, a Fortune 500 company, is a global provider of Print, Digital and Supply Chain Solutions. They help create powerful and cost effective integrated communications for more than 60,000 customers worldwide. Our client’s logistics services help customers save on distribution and transportation costs while improving delivery reliability.
“There are lots of companies out there who can help us build some software. Saggezza is the only one I’ve seen that is committed to making us better at the same time. That’s a real strategic advantage.”
~ Client’s IT Manager
As the client’s logistics business grew rapidly, they faced difficulty in keeping up with changing demands and new opportunities in software development. Although agile methods and practices had been rolled out in the previous year, their logistics were not receiving the benefits of greater responsiveness, higher quality and maintainability, and shorter product release cycles. As a result, the quality needed improvement, and time-to-market was way too high – often well over a year, and occasionally as long as 18 months.
Saggezza performed an assessment of the current situation, and began introducing meaningful, impactful changes to the organization in order to improve the client’s maturity. This was executed within the confines of the development process, as well as in the greater organizational sense.
After creating a prioritized roadmap of areas to improve, a multi-faceted approach (consisting of training, piloting, coaching and paring) was utilized to start driving the transformation. In order to make the changes more immediately impactful and scalable, a combination of existing and new projects was utilized as the settings for the changes.
Over the course of the next 12 months, Saggezza worked with the client’s Logistics team on a mix of large and small-scale coaching and training. Each product stream stack (including business partner and developmental teams) was allocated approximately 90 days of dedicated coaching and training. This coaching and training was a way to fine-tune the results and perform any necessary course corrections in the actual product development space. Generally, results were seen in as little as 30 days. Teams learned to utilize test-driven development, XP (Extreme Programming) practices, behavior-driven techniques, and design patterns in the development space. In addition, advanced training offered by Saggezza led key resources to become Certified Scrum Developers and to help continue the work of growing and maturing teams.
In addition to increasing development maturity, our client’s logistics business partners were also given new skills in areas such as multi-level release planning, advanced product management, cross-team dependency management, and emergent product design. Combined with a new focus on fast feedback and minimum viable product, these business partners became better aligned and set the stage for faster product delivery. These changes set the stage for more alterations to come, in areas such as environment virtualization, release management strategies, increased automation (both functional acceptance testing and in build quality verification) and project management.
The client’s time-to-market was drastically reduced by Saggezza’s solution. As the year progressed, new projects that previously took 15 months or longer to release were reduced down to fewer than 90 days. With each new project, this number continues to be improved.
Business partners were also much happier with the changes, as defects (and time spent working on them) dropped to record lows and allowed teams to spend more time working on new features. Because of this, the client experienced improved CSAT scores from their customers.
The changes made by Saggezza’s solution were so transformative that the client and Saggezza gave a joint presentation on the journey at a Microsoft User Group.
While the journey continues, continuous improvement will reign, the benefits already realized have transformed our client’s ability to align business needs and solutions and create maintainable applications in record time.