Sinccera helps Gartner’s Magic Quadrant leader double their revenue by escalating development
A digital products company, recognized by Gartner as a leader in the magic quadrant for more than 10 consecutive years, received a big challenge for the area of global services: to double the revenue of its main digital platform.
The VP of the global services area met with Objective Sinccera, a solution of tools, processes and services, which allows better decision making with a unified view of the portfolio and would bring the opportunity to scale development and execute full lifecycle projects, in a scenario never experienced by the company until then.
The company’s first challenges
Having knowledge of Objective’s more than 25 years of experience in working with software development projects, the new challenges, such as responding RFPs, planning, pricing projects, estimating deadlines, designing scopes, having visibility to deliver, among others, was met with this new partnership.
The first demand was a project for a giant retail customer in the US, with annual sales exceeding USD 4 billion. As specialists in developing products, the partner team has already identified some pains in the project process, including:
• Lack of data reliability
• Lack of predictability
• Difficulty in scaling teams
Down to business: Assessment and Consulting
The company’s software development processes and tools were restructured to streamline deliveries, have more visibility at each stage to find bottlenecks, in addition to obtaining more reliable data and gaining greater predictability.
Among the actions taken are:
• Development process optimization: the team’s value stream was mapped on the boards, identifying bottlenecks and modifying processes following a set of agile methodologies and flow management;
• Data Structuring and Automation: we reorganized the way project data was collected and compiled to make it reliable and available in real time;
• Sinccera Follow up Reporting: we implemented the tool to collect Jira data, standardizing metrics across different projects to gain visibility;
• Sinccera Forecasting: the new volume of data, with a broad view of each stage of the process, allowed the creation of forecasts of deadlines, costs and deliveries accurately and in real time.
• Sinccera Sizing: Add-on applied to increase precision in the preparation and planning of new projects with regard to scope, deadline, costs, margin, team composition and risks, through historical data from previous projects
DevOps and Automated Testing
Seeking to further improve the development process at the global services BU and gain scalability, we work with a team of consultants and architects to help implement DevOps in projects, through practices and tools.
At this point, we set up the development environment with the partner’s team, we started customizing the Automated Testing framework, aiming for standardization, repeatability and scale.
The goal was that with each new project, the entire code pipeline structure was set up with a single click. For this, some measures were applied to the programmers process:
• Sinccera Taskboard: we installed our taskboard to organize and give visibility to the team’s work;
• One Click Config: tool to automate the creation and configuration of new projects in development tools such as: Sinccera, Operational Dashboards, Jira, Jenkins and Gitlab;
• Standardized automated testing framework: now each new project, at the time of its creation, already has a standard testing framework, with continuous integration jobs.
Thus, it was possible for our partner to scale the transformation of the development stream and be able to recurrently deliver the projects of clients from the global services front.
As the partnership progressed, new client projects and challenges emerged. Among the main pains were:
• Difficulty in hiring qualified developers at the speed the business needs;
• Difficulty in accelerating the training of new developers on the best practices in technology, process and development;
• Product mindset, still learning how to deliver IT projects;
Objective was again called upon to put our team of developers to work side by side with a squad of developers in addition to Agile consulting, DevOps and Automated Testing.
With the positive results delivered and the increase in demand, it was necessary to expand from a single squad of some developers to several multidisciplinary squads, reaching 45 professionals in different full lifecycle projects.
Implementation of Sinccera
After the success and surpassing expectations of the continuous delivery of projects, our partner saw the possibility of growth. To continue this mission without losing quality in deliveries, we implemented Sinccera as a tool to solve the governance problems faced by the company.
As mentioned at the beginning of this case, Sinccera is a solution of tools, processes and services, which allows better decision making with a unified view of the portfolio. Through dashboards, it is possible to have predictability and create hypotheses based on reliable data to balance resources (time and budget) to meet demands with security regarding deadlines and deliveries, even with multiple teams acting in different flows.
Through the maturation of the Sinccera platform with new features and complementary modules added to the company’s demands, we also became part of the development of its more technically complex digital product.
Here, not only the product, but our consulting services along with the customer’s engineering team were essential to improve processes with our development teams.
We adopt techniques and tools capable of leveraging the development process, management and capacity to deliver at scale. The following pain points have been resolved:
• Lack of visibility of work in progress
• Lack of real-time structured data
• Lack of reliable data, metrics and indicators
• Very high time for deliveries
Results obtained with Sinccera
One of the first actions taken along with Objective’s Agile Coach was to change the issue tracker in order to collect more data and information. It’s the foundation for process improvements, SLAs, emerging engineering practices and new delivery performance metrics.
With the new data source, it was possible to have a clear view of the points for improvement:
It’s possible to see that 85% of the time, the delivery of a feature takes place over 29 days, exceeding the customer’s expectations. Thus, using a greater amount of data and graphics, it was possible to make accurate decisions, contributing to the team having a Data-Driven mentality.
With this, it was possible to identify the bottlenecks in the process and to understand the changes needed to reach the goal: make bi-weekly deliveries of features.
Visibility of work in progress
Sinccera’s MultiLevel Taskboard was one of the changes adopted that leveraged visibility in order to have a greater understanding of the work being performed by different teams, the business demand and even day-to-day activities.
Sinccera enables project managers to know which features are under development, dependency, associated teams, workloads and a synthetic view of activities organized by Class of Service, complexity and type of work.
Alignment and integration of teams
In order to integrate the other teams involved in the product development process, we instituted a series of formalities with the support of our coaches.
Along with meetings to align expectations and priorities with the engineering team and the product team, so that everyone is able to visualize the impact of each one’s work on the others, contributing to an increase in the sense of project priority.
Over time, the Agile Coach gave greater autonomy for the teams themselves to be able to conduct their ceremonies, improving employee engagement and better aligning the process as a whole.
Timeline of changes adopted in the project:
• New issue tracker
• Sinccera Taskboard to gain visibility
• Reliable data collection
• Daily meetings
• Engineering sync up meetings
• Product Sync Up
• Bi-weekly deliveries
Applying WIP (Work in Progress) limits
Despite the different organizational cultures we encountered, placing a limitation on WIP was strongly advocated by our Agile Coaches.
With Sinccera, it was possible to present data that confirmed this need. The continuous change of priorities, which hindered the predictive capacity, the Cycle Time increasing, the work-in-progress reaching numbers impossible to be executed, resulted in new failures in the bi-weekly deliveries, being sufficient reasons to adhere to the idea.
Before implementing WIP control:
• Lack of flexibility for reprioritization
• Lack of Predictability
• Cycle Time too long
• Many parallel activities
Collaborative practices such as pair-programming, cross-code reviews and blocker removal were put in place to help the team on what to do when the WIP limit was reached. The novelty was accepted by the teams as soon as the results began to appear and be noticed on a daily basis.
What is Sinccera’s impact on the development of the new product?
“Sinccera had a considerable impact on the team and its road to high performance, its tools and its process. The visibility brought by the Taskboard, standardized backlog with a solid structure, metrics collected by the tool and analyzed by the project management team, the process emerged from the team put in place. It was all an integral piece of the success of the team.” – Danilo Garcia, Accredited Kanban Consultant (AKC)
In the following image, you can see the impact of the changes adopted, made possible by the implementation of Sinccera:
With the changes made, it was possible to go from 800 new items delivered to 2000 new items, corresponding to an improvement of 2.5 times in just 6 months.
Nearly 5x performance improvement with strong WIP control
The following image shows the result of applying the WIP limit:
We can see the number of features delivered before and after Sinccera implementation, there is an improvement of almost 5 times in the team’s performance.
After WIP control with Sinccera:
• Greater management capacity
• Identification of opportunities for continuous improvement
• Proven productivity improvement with data
Our partnership today
The adopted changes and Sinccera have become fundamental pieces for the management of the development flow, whether for products or projects in clients. Among the results of the partnership are:
• 45+ professionals dedicated to the partner
• 25+ certified technology professionals
• 50+ high complexity projects in total
After our performance, it became clear to our partner that metrics and indicators, as well as the ability to make accurate forecasts based on numerical monitoring of each stage of the development flow, is essential to ensure revenue growth with new customers.
With the fine tuning of development processes, in addition to the work between our teams of developers and the implementation of Sinccera, Objective became an advisory ally for innovation projects directly linked to the company’s core. And this is exactly the position that best describes Objective in relation to its partners and the market.