Significant Software Business – Introducing Agile New Product Development Practices

The Client
The client is a private equity owned, UK based software and IT services business with a strategy of growing both through acquisition and organically. It has a turnover of around £250m per year, an international client base and employs around 3,000 personnel.

The Opportunity
The client saw an opportunity to reduce the cost of developing its software products by moving development from the UK to India. It therefore acquired a software development business that had a significant development capability based in India, with the ability to expand this easily. Because it had grown through acquisition, it was looking to introduce a standard way of specifying, estimating and developing software across all of its business so it could assess the products on which it should focus its development efforts more effectively and develop them using its Indian capability.

Alexoria’s Contribution
We consulted key members of the client’s Product Strategy Group did the majority of the work to:

  • Research good software development practices
  • Define and agree an overall way of appraising and developing new software products and enhancements that embraced agile development practices
  • Specify how software products should be estimated
  • Specify how requirements and designs for software products should be specified, including specifying what good requirements and design specifications should look like
  • Specify how the quality of software products would be assured
  • Specify how the development of individual software products should be planned.

Results
The client is on track to reduce the cost of developing its high priority software products by at least 30%. It also has and is introducing:

  • A standard and more predictable way of estimating the effort and costs of developing software products that embraces all of the activities needed to produce or enhance software
  • A way of assessing whether software products are ready to be developed using its Indian facility
  • A standard way of developing its software products
  • A way of enhancing its software development practices based on its experience.

What the Product Strategy Group Said About the Engagement

‘Graham really helped us to bring some structure to the situation and get organised. He brought his experience and worked with us to turn our conversations into action. We got moving faster and made much faster progress as a result.’
Product Strategy Director