Radtac was engaged in late 2012 with the objective of enhancing the quality and efficiency of the client’s software development process. They needed to achieve change while continuing to deliver important system and client updates.
The Client was using classic ‘V’ model for development, which was proving less effective as the demand to increase the speed of delivery was continually growing in an environment of accelerating change. Like most successful businesses, their software portfolio is a mix of modern development and legacy systems running on older technologies, and managing the prioritisation of new development, versus serving their existing estate of customers, is a problem that will be familiar to many of us.
In consultation a mix of coaching and coach-led training, tailored to their particular organisation and context, was devised. Radtac conducted one-to-one mentoring with staff members in order to ensure that the learning was embedded by coaching in the environment of application. Through this approach the good transfer of skills and practice is achieved and retained through ‘coaching from the back of the room’.
The team was coached on a clear scope of work currently being undertaken through the use of a Big Visible Chart, in this case a Kanban Board was proposed and was highly effective. This approach identified the ‘stop starting – start finishing’ challenges of having too much work-in-progress and effective prioritisation of work items. The highest-value work was the focus for completion, the Kanban approach allowed for the high level of volatility and reprioritisation and ordering of work.
On the technical delivery side, Radtac has helped the client with the modernisation of their delivery infrastructure, installing modern Distributed Version Control Software (DVCS), static analysis and Continuous Integration (CI) software in order to automate the process of building, testing, measuring and deploying their software releases (e.g. CI through Atlassian Bamboo Server). As part of the engagement, Radtac has delivered software quality training based upon Extreme Programming (xP) technical practices, backed up by one-to-one coaching from TDD experts in order to enable the teams to produce software that has fewer defects and is easier to maintain.
The client has seen quantifiable improvements in their software development process over the past 3 months due to the embedded coaching and delivery roles. Success was measured and it is estimated that £150,000 will be saved over the next 12 months alone against a cost of £30,000 or a 5:1 ratio on ROI. This shows that with effective embedded coaching, improvements and value creation can be achieved without the need to ‘interrupt delivery’.