Case study: Medical Assurance Organisation

25 Nov 2022

Since 2015, APD has worked with one of the UK’s largest medical assurance organisations supporting doctors and dentists. The organisation approached APD as they needed support to design and implement an installation of the latest on-premises version of the Team Foundation Server, a platform that manages source code, tests and builds.

Working with third-party external companies, and due to the nature of the work, the Software Team needed to make sure that the source code was secure. To do this, we applied our industry-standard security principles to protect the data and the system. There were a number of regulatory bodies that the organisation reported too. Security of data and confidentiality was absolutely critical for the ongoing success of the organisation.

The challenge

Initially, the problem that APD was asked to resolve was to design and implement the team Foundation instance, which we implemented and deployed in good time.

Having seen how vastly improved the process had been with APD’s involvement, the organisation then re-engage APD in the agility adoption.

But during the second phase, it became clear that their processes weren’t clearly defined and they didn’t fully understand the differences between agile, sprints and waterfall approaches.

The team wanted to speed up the time it took to develop a system and provide solutions more frequently which is more consistent with DevOps practices, but the feedback they received was minimal, and their quality of work was low as a consequence. There were tensions internally, and a feeling of moving away from project management to agile will leave the teams exposed. But the organisation also knew that if they carried on working in the same way, the project would continue to be over budget, under-deliver, and cause further dissatisfaction internally.

The Solution

Supported by a talented lead developer who understood Scrum and a Project Manager who could help navigate the decision-making process and champion the team, first we ran a series of coaching sessions to help the organisation and wider stakeholders understand how professional Scrum works and what to expect from it.

We then identified the backlog of work and broke each part down into more manageable chunks that could be delivered every three weeks. When the chunks of work began to be delivered on time, this internally brought confidence in the product, the team and the Scrum process too. That confidence had a significant impact on the business.

While getting started initially the process took a little longer, over the course of the next five months the solution became embedded and Scrum is now the default delivery pattern for the Software Team.

The Results

  • Code releases went from once every three months to every three weeks
  • Zero defects after release

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