Why There’s Often More to Great Software Development Than Just Great Software Development
Sometimes it takes more than just technical ability to get the job done. It can take a degree of political sensitivity too. A deft touch. Especially when you are trying to integrate data from 80 global sources each with their own culture, politics and personality.
We did it though.
And we did it in three months, not the nine that a project of this complexity would normally take.
A little background.
Commissioned by Turner & Townsend on behalf of a High Street bank (who shall remain nameless) we were brought in to help streamline and consolidate a data collection and storage process. The data which covered a varied range of information such as property size, project costs and risk evaluation was collected locally. Four regional reporting managers would collate the information on a weekly or monthly basis flagging those properties that were seen to be representing the highest risks.
For example, if the bank was considering creating a new branch in any particular part of the world, the local challenge would need to be clearly understood and taken into account.
Says Justin Pearson, Associate Director at Turner & Townsend. “The old process meant multiple copies of the same data flying around the system. We wanted the data uploaded into a global database/doc store, extracted automatically and aggregated. A giant master spreadsheet, a single source of truth from which different reports could be run.
“One of our team had a contact at Kaleida so we got them in to see if they would be able to help. UK based and already experienced in managing data and building applications, they seemed a good fit.”
“With time so short, once we discovered that Kaleida used Agile methodology it was a done deal.”
“Put simply,” says Justin, “If we’d had to fully articulate the requirements at the outset we’d have missed the deadline.”
Job done then. Triple speed. Done and dusted within that essential 3-month window.
So now, instead of data that couldn’t be trusted, numbers that nobody believed, the client has fresh, timely, accurate data. And they’ve also saved the cost of an administrator in the process.
The development work even exposed a number of inconsistent practices which, although sometimes painful, is always useful. After all, if you don’t realise something is broken, how can you start to go about fixing it?
Would Justin be happy to work with Kaleida in the future?
“For sure. Great skills. Great expertise. Not just on the development side but they understand how the solutions need to be deployed.”
“A can-do attitude too, plus visibility on the development process meant we could clearly see the impact of changes. The project had a lot of user driven amends so we were able to play back the impact of that. We’d agree something and 3 weeks later there would be a lot of change – we were able to realise the impact. A lot of organisations simply don’t have that ability.”
Which goes to show…there’s often more to great software development than just great software development.