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– Mentoring outsourced iterative development

ING required a new system for mortgage and pension lead distribution.
The realization of the software was to be outsourced and the agreed upon methodology was RUP®. The supplier was using a combination of near and off-shoring (India). Major challenges were the geographical distribution of the project team members and the level of experience with iterative development. When productivity turned out to be inadequate, Empulsys was asked to address some of the underlying problems.

A full time mentor was assigned to the project. Based on a quick scan ING and Empulsys agreed upon the following interventions:

  • Coaching of the IT project manager in facilitating team collaboration, collaboration with the outsourcing partner and product management.
  • Coaching of the system analysts in developing use case models and writing effective use cases
  • Installation of collaboration tools supporting distributed teams ranging from webmail to shared document management, change management and defect tracking.

In a few weeks production started to improve and effective collaboration rules were developed together with the outsourcing partner based on RUP® and agile principles. Actual production of software remained low due to inadequate quality.

In order to bring quality to acceptable levels, halfway the project Empulsys was asked to take responsibility for test management. In his new role the mentor revised the test strategy, test approach and test reporting. Team collaboration within the test team was improved using daily stand-up meetings. Control was improved by visualizing test progress and status on a daily basis. This made improvements tangible and estimates more reliable, enabled sharing of success and encouraged the team to go the extra mile when needed.

The project resulted in on-time delivery of the system with agreed upon quality and, most important of all, a satisfied customer.

“Having an Empulsys mentor on the project improved team productivity and quality.”
-- Ian van Deijck, business project manager ING



The online article "From Business to IT System" is now available in english.


Empulsys is an IBM Business Partner that provides IBM product resale, services and trainings for the Rational brand in the Benelux.