How an assessment workshop improved software development efficiency

The Client
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A Scandinavian company offering a SaaS solution, automating accounting for SMEs.

Industry
  • IT 
  • Software 
Technology
  • PHP
  • Python
Timeline
Since September 2019

Tackling growth challenges

The client is a successful startup whose product started gaining traction. It was written in Python and PHP and fully available in the browser. As the first version of the product, its performance did not match the growing user attention.

With the fast surge in traffic, the tool had scalability issues, leading to slow and inefficient performance. The user experience declined, and soon the retention rates followed.

The solution concept was successful in essence, as the competition soon began to copy the client’s ideas. This, however, only increased the churn rate of the original solution.

The organization needed to act fast. They had a roadmap for improving and developing the solution further but needed additional resources to introduce the necessary changes. This is when they turned to us for support.

Ensuring effective team scaling

Initially, the client wanted to source two remote Scrum teams from our talent pool. They would support the client in implementing new features and preparing the solution to accommodate the growing number of users.

Before commencing any cooperation, we thoroughly assess a client’s situation. We then use gathered insights to select the right model and scale of software outsourcing to ensure the client can achieve their objectives.

To make sure we can assist in the most efficient way, we took the same approach here, by organizing an assessment workshop. During the session, we provided our client with the tools to better assess their existing needs, strengths, opportunities, and risks.

One of the most important takeaways from this discovery stage, despite the initial assumptions, was that the company did not have the capacity nor experience for onboarding two external development teams at once. Although delivering a dozen developers was possible, it would’ve been counterproductive at that particular time.

To ensure high velocity as fast as possible, we recommended a different approach: onboarding a single a team of three developers. This allowed the client to gain experience working with an external software outsourcing partner.

The small-scale start also provided the time for process adjustments, to allow for optimal cooperation. Some processes to define included setting up task workflows, reporting, and running productive remote meetings. We advised and supported the client in all these matters.

Joining forces for success

The 3-person development team joined two separate departments. Our specialists were introduced to the client’s organizational culture, way of operating, business model and, above all, the product. They collected insights needed to provide an efficient knowledge transfer for future members of their team.

At the same time, the client set up processes for cooperating with an external technology partner – i.e. planning and carrying out assignments, or progress monitoring. A delivery manager served as a proxy to assign tasks within the project to the nearshore team.

A crucial aspect of the cooperation was taking the time to transparently communicate with the internal team. The client informed them of the reasons why they sought support. For the partnership to be successful, there had to be trust among all involved.

The project started with a kick-off meeting in the client’s office. It was an opportunity for all developers to meet each other and integrate in-person. Soon they were working together as one team.

Smart scaling for innovation

The partnership is running smoothly and cooperation between internal and external developers is efficient. The groundwork made in the process allowed for gradual growth, mutual learning, and a structured way of taking on new responsibilities by the outsourced team.

Through this cooperation, the client was able to achieve their business goals without unnecessary spending or delay. Gradually increasing the capacity of the team, they managed to improve the application performance significantly and implement new features. We are happy to continue supporting their product development efforts.

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