Situation

Our client, a leading company in the FMCG industry, has developed over the years an impressive portfolio of dedicated applications to support its different business entities, markets and processes. This portfolio extended progressively to more businesses, and to newer technologies, while the older portfolio survived to the streamlining and offshoring fashion of the late 2000s.

Our team performs corrective, adaptive and evolutive maintenance, as well as supporting the business with several additional services like user management, ad-hoc reports, etc.

Maintaining such a portfolio is already a challenge in itself, and the situation at the end of last year was even hampered by a backlog of aging, unfulfilled requests, team reduction objectives combined with significant turnover.

Approach

To ensure sustainability, our team's first action was to deep-dive into the current maintenance processes and ways of working, and introduce progressively different measures to change our team's internal governance as well as toward our customers.

It started with motivational measures in our internal daily operations with the introduction of daily standups, a modern tracking tool, and close monitoring for instance.

Together with our client, we have moreover defined completely different, stricter processes to handle evolutive and adaptive maintenance, introducing release management and some agile concepts like TShirt sizing pre-estimates, monthly “sprints”, ...

And to keep the overall budget low while increasing knowledge sharing, we introduced a pinch of offshoring with our colleagues of Da Nang, using our secret sauce.

Next step consisted in defining the appropriate metrics to support this transition and detect any deviation early enough to allow corrective measures:

1. Team well-being indicator

100 custom applications require an enormous knowledge, and given the team was under pressure and had already to overcome an important turnover, checking regularly the well-being and motivation of the team members was one of the most important indicators we wanted to track.

The anonymous survey is filled out monthly and measures the well-being over 5 criteria.

2. Customer satisfaction indicator

A customer satisfaction survey is quarterly filled by the customer’s team leaders and managers to assess the performance of the team. The subjective indicator, based on 9 criteria, allows our team to have a glimpse of the customer perception throughout time and identify what areas need to be improved.

3. Portfolio coverage indicator

In order to handle continuity, and high reactivity, our team needs to have uniform knowledge of all the assets to sustain in the portfolio. This indicator is refreshed every 2-3 months, and highlights which knowledge sharing has to be organized.

4. Key Performance Indicator

In addition to contractual-level Service Level Objectives, our team has put special emphasis in defining and continuously adapting Key Performance Indicators for operational performance tracking. It included measures such as volume of assignments, volume of closed assignments, volume of requests per service typology, total backlog age, average age per service, etc.

Results

Thanks to this approach, our team was able to increase our quality of service towards our numerous users, while reducing our operational budget. Our team has fully redundant coverage of the whole portfolio allowing them to react quickly when an issue is raised and ensuring future continuity. They also streamlined the existing processes to maximize efficiency and time to resolve problems. Last but not least, our team also brings innovation to the portfolio by suggesting relevant technical improvements that can be integrated to the existing applications.