How do large, heavily regulated companies evolve at a pace to stay competitive?
LGIM were quick to recognise the increasing pace of change in their industry and understand the importance of creativity and agility to maintain a competitive edge. And, unlike many other large companies, they took on the challenge to do something about it.
LGIM needed to engage with a company that specialised in building bespoke software using AWS technologies and DevOps/agile delivery methodologies. They were also looking to plug the gaps in their existing team by adding skills and resource that they didn’t have: Architects, Tech Leads and DevOps Engineers.
- Black Pepper and LGIM formed a delivery team who scoped out the shape of the project
- LGIM then created a steering committee consisting of representatives from across the business (Architecture, Finance, Security, Infrastructure, Operations, DBAs etc) as buy in to the project at every level was key
- The delivery team was made up of 3 from LGIM and 3 Black Pepper architects/developers. The idea was to use the experienced Black Pepper team to mentor the other developers in DevOps delivery practices and guide them in the use of the most fit for purpose tools and technologies for the project
- One more group was formed, the User Group. 4 future users of the system were asked to attend fortnightly showcases to observe the new functionality completed to date, offer feedback and to work alongside Black Pepper’s UX team to create the best possible user experience
- The delivery team commenced the project by setting out clear objectives and KPIs. The team also set up a secure ‘sandbox’ development environment (outside of the main infrastructure) so that development could commence immediately
- Software was delivered using DevOps and agile methodologies and showcased to the steering committee and users every 2 weeks for fast feedback.
While what we are building is confidential for now, from an investment and resource perspective, the mentoring model is certainly compelling:
- The client remains masters of their own destiny (with no reliance upon an exterior company for ongoing support and maintenance)
- A working business solution is delivered
- The internal team are acquiring new skills
- The project (whilst internal) is benefiting from the knowledge and experience of the 29 different projects Black Pepper delivered last year
Results to date show that LGIM are achieving the creativity and agility of a Fintech, in spite of their heavily regulated environment. A startup mentality in a blue chip organisation!