The operations team of a major health insurance company had established reporting & applications teams within the business to be more responsive than traditional IT teams. After two years, those teams had grown to over 20 people and the solutions they were creating were being deployed in mission-critical functions and in customer-facing applications. Management recognized the need for more mature processes but did not want to negatively impact the speed and responsiveness of the team. The company, therefore, sought a lightweight SDLC framework that would scale up the operation and reduce risk. That framework needed to include intake, product management, software implementation, and production support.
Pepper Foster leveraged proven industry and IT best practices to provide a right-sized, custom approach that avoids burdensome bureaucracy and maintains the team's responsiveness, while also protecting the organization and team from risk and conflict. Pepper Foster assessed the current state by interviewing the key stakeholders, studying existing processes, and evaluating the tools available in the enterprise. Based on the current state and the desired future state, 15 possible improvements were recommended to the Directors of Customer Service and Operations Planning. After weighing the options, an Agile Transformation and other high-value improvements were chosen for immediate implementation. With Pepper Foster serving as Agile Coach and change leader, the business leads, team members and scrum masters from both teams were trained and coached in Agile Product Management and development, and both teams successfully adopted Agile / Scrum best practices. In addition, requirements templates and testing tools used by the business teams were also enhanced.
The teams have aligned with and leveraged the Agile tools from Enterprise IT, while customizing their processes to increase responsiveness and productivity. Both the technology teams and business units they serve have seen significant improvements and are delighted with the results. Work in flight is now visible to all, and the Agile framework has introduced a proven method to collect ideas, prioritize them by business value, and deliver results.
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