Digitally enhancing applications and services for a major global oil and gas company.
Customer Background and Context
We have partnered with this multinational oil and gas company since 2018, delivering more than 280 skilled consultants and executing 38 SOWs ranging from digital transformation to design projects to infrastructure initiatives, adding significant value to the bottom line. Due to our success, we now support operations in both North America and Europe and are now considered an enterprise supplier that continues to exceed expectations by delivering innovation and transformation with our squads.
Service Areas/Capabilities Deployed
- Data and Analytics
- DevOps / Software Development
- Digital Services
- Design Services
- Project Management and Business Analysis
- Full Scrum Teams
- Managed Services
We have provided multiple delivery locations and models, including Agile squads of 10+ skilled developers, scrum masters, and QA testers who worked cohesively out of our Mexico Delivery Center (MDC) in Guadalajara, Mexico. The teams partnered with development teams in Chicago on a hybrid basis to ensure application continuity with the whole of North America. Apex has also provided remote and on-site teams of resources depending on the client and project-specific requirements.
Our work with this client has been on a time and material basis.
Each consultant’s performance is monitored using a holistic performance management approach (Planning, Performance, Review, and Assessment). Individual goals and measures are aligned with overall and specific program goals.
This client has a mobile application that enables customer interaction with fuel pumps from their mobile devices, streamlining payment and rewards and loyalty program offerings. Because the application’s rewards and loyalty program generated significant revenue growth in the locations where it was available, the client wanted to expand its use in Mexico and enhance its features. We provided a multifaceted Agile development team that successfully took over product development for this client, rapidly improving velocity by 120% within two sprints from the previous team. Our contributions enabled the client to transform their rewards and loyalty offerings in Mexico, driving revenue and improving the user experience for their customers.
- Knowledge transfer is key - when our Agile development project launched, our team faced an extremely short transition period between the previous consulting firm and Apex obtaining product ownership. With many incumbent consultants frequently out of office due to a hectic holiday season timeline, our teams relied on a significant amount of independent learning and peer syncing with internal Apex resources to get up to speed and enable the rapid workflow to overcome this challenge.
- Capture UX requirements at the beginning to guide design - As we began working with this client on an initial project, our team needed to understand the core standards for operating in the environment. This is true for design and testing purposes. Identifying standards for UX Design such as colors, buttons, etc. internal or external, as well as testing environments, access, timing, was all critical for the launch of the project. The information learned from the initial team was built into onboarding materials for all future teams to leverage so that additional resources could learn from the practices of the early project.
- Communication is required for release management - as with design and test, release management activity had to be understood and managed. Because the team had no release manager, the team had to work closely with the client and additional third parties in other projects to coordinate release and updates, to ensure that other initiatives and projects were not impacted (and vice versa) when the application release and updates were pushed to production. Clearly understanding key stakeholders and communication and escalation paths was key to ensuring success in release both initially and ongoing.
Risks and Watch-Outs, Mitigation Plan
- Knowledge Transfer (KT) – The KT process was aggressive and documentation was key to not missing any critical activity. Leveraging a proprietary KT collateral and methodology allowed for quantifying the KT results, providing transparency to the client for work complete, and documenting all of the KT itself in Azure DevOps resulting in a 100% complete KT with the client only expending minimal oversight to the process.
- Product Prioritization - The backlog inherited from a past supplier was not clearly prioritized and a roadmap was non-existent. Defining a product roadmap and clearly articulating features in a product backlog allowed us to develop a sprint backlog to align accordingly. The sprint team then worked to groom two sprints of stories to ensure that developers had sufficient ability to pick up work if they worked ahead, and sprint reports allowed the Scrum Master to report out to the client with transparency on team velocity.
- Code Quality – Due to the nature of the short transition, software was transitioned as-is with poor quality code. To mitigate additional code issues and fix past problems, we communicated quickly and often with key stakeholders, remediating and increasing the functionality of the code within the initial sprints.
Percent of Current Contracts Following this Model
Approximately 70% of our work with this client utilizes the Scrum Team and Managed Services model described above. The remainder is primarily traditional staff augmentation.