How do large, heavily regulated companies evolve at a pace to stay competitive?
Our client is a leading FTSE 100 Financial Services company. They recognised the increasing pace of change in their industry and understood 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.
Our client needed to engage with a company that specialised in building bespoke software using agile delivery methodologies and also to help plug the gaps in their existing team by adding skills and resource that they didn’t have.
- Black Pepper and “the client” formed a small delivery team who scoped out the shape of the project
- The client 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 small delivery team was made up of 3 from “the client” and 3 Black Pepper architects/developers. The idea was to use the experienced Black Pepper team to mentor the other developers in agile 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 agile methodologies and showcased to the steering committee and users every 2 weeks for fast feedback.
While the client and 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 the client is achieving the creativity and agility of a Fintech, in spite of their heavily regulated environment. A startup mentality in a blue chip organisation!
Here at Black Pepper we’re looking forward to helping other large organisations “execute like a startup” by creating agile microclimates in which business value can be quickly realised.