Diamond Data Systems was an acquisition of one of our other customers. There was a desire for Diamond Data Systems to become the exemplar of PAVE for all the new acquisitions, promoting the benefits that PAVE generates and the ease at which it was implemented into their business. ViAGO was tasked with the implementation of PAVE into the Diamond Data Systems business environment as ViAGO are known for implementing such solutions quickly and effectively.
Challenges (Current Reality)
The Diamond Data Systems project started late 2018, where the first contact was had, and a rough plan was set in place to implement PAVE into their business. This timeline was dramatically shortened in January of 2019, where it was indicated from the acquiring company that it would be highly beneficial to have PAVE implemented before a meeting of the customs acquisitions in April.
The biggest challenge for Diamond Data Systems was managing their ability to build their product as planned in their road map, whilst also managing their large list of defects. This challenge was very closely associated with their current review process. Typically, the quality of a review decreases as the overall size of work to be reviewed increases, and the situation at Diamond Data Systems was no different. The issue was that the time between coding and review was too large, and the piece of work to be reviewed was quite substantial. The shorter the time, the smaller the chunk, the higher the quality!
When quality reviews allow mistakes to get into the code base, this creates defects for customers. These must be fixed and take up valuable developer time that could be spent creating new features.
Due to the fast turnaround, the initial week on site was to clean up the prep work that had already been started and clear any prerequisites for the cutover to PAVE the following week. We worked closely with key management and team leaders to create new templates, which would act as the new SOPs for the business, adding in necessary steps and new containment barriers to increase the quality of work.
By the end of week one, all the preparation was done and had been approved and tested in the system, and the work necessary for developers to hit the ground running the next week was in the system.
The second week was the implementation week. Due to the prep work being done in the weeks prior, Monday was the cutover day where all Diamond Data Systems’ staff worked exclusively from the new PAVE software and the old solution was made redundant.
The solution implemented at Diamond Data Systems involved:
- Design and implementation of a visible workflow board (i.e. a schematic of major development milestones)
- Managing work based on true estimates, rather than two weekbased sprint estimates
- Increase in the number of containment barriers within the development process
- Time buffers to manage risk, rather than internal due dates
- Stand-ups focused on risk management, rather than trivial ‘who did it?’ updates
- Development time is recorded to a high degree
Developers found they had a far clearer view of the work that had on their plate, whilst also knowing exactly what work they should be working on right now. PAVE is known as a solution to ensure that the right person is working on the right work, at the right time. Upcoming work was visible. As team members completed tasks, they were able to work on the next item in sequence – this smooth work system created a sense of calm among teams and managers alike.
The number of interrupts from management and customers decreased, meaning that work flowed through the team more consistently. This was a change that was well received by the team leaders who were planning the work for their development teams.
Management identified that they had overestimated the task durations. As an implementation team, we were able to reduce these estimates very quickly, enabling more work to flow through the system and increase productivity. This was only possible by the increased visibility gained by the visual board and being able to see the available capacity – that used to be hidden by the high WIP.
Diamond Data Systems is committed to ongoing process improvements and working with the acquiring company and their internal delivery team, continuously tweaking their standard operating procedures to get the best performance out of the team. As the team continues to grow, the use of PAVE and the SOPs that are built into the system ensures that whilst the team continues to grow, the quality of the work and the standard in place, never waiver.