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Care and Collaboration: how the right agile outsourcing setup transformed the way care homes work

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The agile textbooks and many of the leading agile case studies are based on the assumption of an internal team building software on an ongoing programme of product development. However, this is often not the situation in practice as many organisations choose to use a specialist development organisations to help realise their vision in a burst of activity.

In these circumstances many of the best practices can quickly break down due to the barriers of a traditional client/supplier relationship and due to the time-bound nature of procurement contracts.

In this session, Ric explores what issues may arise and how they can best be avoided, so that an outsourced development setup can deliver even better Agile-led results than an in-house team. Ric recently completed a project for Sanctuary Care, creating a revolutionary care management application that replaced mountains of paper with smartphones, and impacting the lives of thousands of carers and residents.

Like most major development projects, this was peppered with challenges around evolving requirements, business change and diverse stakeholders - exactly the elements that have given the IT industry a bad reputation for multiplying budgets and timescales in traditional development environments.

Ric looks at how he avoided many of those issues by establishing the right commercial and personal relationships early on, and how he not only avoided issues through these relationships but also maximised the benefits of the end result.

About the Speaker

Ric runs Ghyston (previously Softwire), a Bristol-based software company that works collaboratively with a wide range of business to make innovative technology solutions. Ric started his career as a technical project manager for the BBC, before joining Softwire as a developer and working his way through numerous roles including project manager, scrum master, programme manager, mentor, consultant, agile coach, general manager and now CEO of the Bristol spin-off. Throughout this winding path Ric has always held a fascination with how to get the best out of people, teams, projects and organisations, both in the short and long term.

Published in: Software
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Care and Collaboration: how the right agile outsourcing setup transformed the way care homes work

  1. 1. Care and Collaboration How the right Agile outsourcing approach helped transform the way care homes work Ric Hill @ric_at_ghyston
  2. 2. 2 THE CHALLENGE A GENUINE “DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION” Remove stacks of paper “care plans” from the organisation Make it easier for carers to see what they need to do Give carers more time to care Allow management to see and act on any issues
  3. 3. THE INITIAL CONUNDRUM PROJECT BACKGROUND 3 ≠ Buyer User The #1 success factor in software projects is user adoption, which is driven by collaboration Traditional procurement methods are transactional and distant from users
  4. 4. HOW AN OUTSOURCE APPROACH NORMALLY WORKS 4 THE OLD WAY Define Requirements RFI/RFP Process Implement Go Live
  5. 5. MISSED OPPORTUNITIES 5 THE OLD WAY Define Requirements Based on the current way of working Little analysis of user needs Current issues destined to be repeated Lack of knowledge of what digitisation can bring No “blue sky” thinking Failure to maximise efficiency
  6. 6. MISSED OPPORTUNITIES 6 THE OLD WAY RFI/RFP Process Get very varied options Struggle to compare apples with oranges Failure to capture “value add” points Lack of challenge to the requirements Low benefit, high cost features included Sub-optimal ROI
  7. 7. MISSED OPPORTUNITIES 7 THE OLD WAY Implement Distant client/supplier relationship Lack of feedback Poor fit to user needs Fixed specification Painful change control process Slow and expensive to adapt
  8. 8. MISSED OPPORTUNITIES 8 THE OLD WAY Go Live Big impact issues Delays and costly rework Late and over budget Poor user adoption Costly training, dirty data Less benefit than expected
  9. 9. 9 THE OLD WAY Source: CIO.com
  10. 10. 10 THERE IS ANOTHER WAY! It’s time to think differently Deliver (WHAT) Plan (WHEN) Process (HOW) Team (WHO) Goals (WHY)
  11. 11. START WITH WHY 11 GOALS Define Goals and Objectives Quantify benefits Verify that costs can be contained Make a rough specification Guess at the costs Justify that benefits>costs
  12. 12. BUILD THE DREAM TEAM 12 TEAM FORM- FILLING PRICE FIXED CRITERIA NAMED TECHNOLOGY SPECIFIC EXPERIENCE CONVERSATION VALUE APPROACH EXPERTISE TRACK RECORD
  13. 13. BUILD THE DREAM TEAM 13 TEAM Project Board Cross-Company Product Owner Commissioning Authority Business Implementers Cross-Company UX Consultants Cross-Company Project Manager(s) Cross-Company Quality Assurers Cross-Company Technical Implementers Cross-Company Technical Leadership Cross-Company Project Sponsor Commissioning Authority
  14. 14. BUILD THE DREAM TEAM 14 TEAM • Personal Interactions • Joint responsibility • Aligned incentives • Mutual respect
  15. 15. START WITH CARE (not data) 15 PROCESS The purpose is to improve care Success relies on usability Functionality gives usefulness The data is a means to an end Care Usability Functionality Data
  16. 16. START WITH CARE (not data) 16 PROCESS Data requirement Form design Application design Build and test in isolation User imposition Assess needs Prototype and user test Build functionality Pilot and refine Release incrementally
  17. 17. PLAN FOR FEEDBACK 17 PLAN DISCOVER REVIEW REVIEW HYPERCARE BUILD REVIEWBUILD REVIEWBUILD REVIEWBUILD REVIEWBUILD
  18. 18. PLAN FOR FEEDBACK 18 PLAN • Real users in real scenarios • Professionally-led • Relaxed and informal • Outcome-focussed
  19. 19. PLAN FOR FEEDBACK 19 PLAN FIXED COST RESOURCE TIME QUALITY VARIABLE SCOPE
  20. 20. DELIVER INCREMENTALLY 20 PLAN Learn Build Use
  21. 21. ACHIEVE THE GOAL 21 DELIVER “It’s been a really positive experience.” “The reception to the system is amazing!”“They love it, it’s so great to see!”
  22. 22. ACHIEVE THE GOAL 22 DELIVER “The impact on the business has been transformational. Staff are happier because they have more time to care, and managers have more visibility of care quality. Homes are chomping at the bit to take on the new system.” Mark McCarthy, Managing Director, Sanctuary Care “Ghyston have integrated seamlessly with our internal staff to deliver great results. Their high-quality, user-centric, Agile approach has led to an incredibly low defect rate.” Kevin Heslop, Director of Technology, Sanctuary Group
  23. 23. 23 REMEMBER THE OTHER WAY! SUMMARY Deliver (WHAT) Plan (WHEN) Process (HOW) Team (WHO) Goals (WHY) Use and grow Fix cost not scope Regular review One team Benefits first Ric Hill @ric_at_ghyston

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