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Agile product development for a Big 4 professional services firm

The Client wanted to design and develop a complex product to supplement their IT consulting capabilities. Objectivity provided end-to-end development services, from product design to post-launch improvements and further development.

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3436 CS Agile Product Development 800X400

About the Client

The Client is an international professional services network with headquarters in the United Kingdom. The company operates in more than a hundred countries and is one of the world’s largest professional services networks.

Industry Professional Services
Technology Cloud, Product Design

Key Achievements

  • Facilitation of stakeholder buy-in through building a strong business case with high-fidelity mock-ups and rough cost estimates
  • Quickly delivered prototype that was later used to gather valuable information from end users
  • Agile, feedback-driven product development over the entire process
  • Extension of the Client’s B2B solution portfolio with a new product

The challenge

Business Need

As the Client aims to provide complex consulting services to their customers in multiple business areas, they decided to create a product dedicated to analysing IT solutions and providing business-focused insights and recommendations.  

The organisation needed a trusted and agile technology partner who’s able to take care of the entire product development process. As such, they decided to engage Objectivity with whom they have partnered on over 40 projects. The product development process had to be executed as a broad collaboration between the Client’s branches and departments, Objectivity, Microsoft, and AWS, which contributed to the project’s complexity.  

The solution

Project Details

The development was carried out in accordance with the agile methodology, in short sprints with continuous implementation of feedback. The scope and priorities were adjusted to meet the most pressing business needs. The entire process can be roughly divided into three phases: product design, lean prototype delivery, and feedback-driven product development.

Product design

Before engaging Objectivity, the Client conducted a design sprint which yielded an initial vision of the application. The solution had to take into account the complex nature of IT costs and produce streamlined, business-focused metrics that are easily understandable for people without deep knowledge of these technologies.  

At the beginning of the project, the Objectivity team gathered detailed requirements, established the initial scope, and produced an indicative project roadmap. The team also created a Proof of Concept with interactive high-fidelity mock-ups of nearly 20 application screens.  

Thanks to this, the Client could observe the prioritised user journeys, present the solution’s capabilities to their customers, and validate whether the solution meets their needs. In addition to the application design, the solution architecture was designed and inconsistencies were eliminated. At this point, the Client had a clear vision of the final solution and a strong business case for finishing the product. This, coupled with a rough cost estimate of completing the solution in the agreed scope, gave them the arguments and flexibility they needed to facilitate customer buy-in. 

Lean prototype delivery 

After the product design phase, the team focused on delivering a lean prototype of the application. The key functionalities that solve the organisation’s business problems were quickly delivered. At this point, the company had both the interactive high-fidelity mock-ups and an operational early version of the tool.  

This enabled the Client to start using the solution as part of their client-focused consulting services. They validated the product, gathered feedback, and increased the client pipeline. Their customer meetings and constant, agile collaboration provided valuable feedback that was being passed on to the development team. It was used to prioritise the app’s functionalities and re-evaluate the scope of the project. The feedback loop was very short, and all the necessary changes were implemented rapidly.  

Feedback-driven product development 

After several occasions where the app produced valuable insights for their clients, the Client had all the confidence they needed to finish the project according to the adjusted roadmap. As requested by the firm, the project team switched to extreme programming to deliver functionalities quickly and ensure high scalability. Subsequent functionalities are being delivered consistently with clear priorities, and the customer pipeline continues to increase. 

The results

Business Benefits

The Client received end-to-end support during the entire project. First, there was the product design phase: 

  • Determining the feasibility of the application, 
  • Creating a Proof of Concept with interactive high-fidelity mock-ups, 
  • Roughly estimating costs of the entire solution in the initially established scope. 

This allowed them to present a tangible vision of the solution needed to build a business case and facilitate business buy-in both internally and from customers. 

Later, the team quickly delivered the prototype which exemplified the sought-after business value, resulting in the: 

  • Validation of the solution in cooperation with the Client, 
  • Prioritisation of functionalities based on the gathered feedback, 
  • Adjusting of the scope of the project to the Client’s most pressing needs. 

After this, the project transitioned to the agile, roadmap-based development. The application itself provides the Client with a unique tool that gives their customers access to: 

  • Easily understandable insights that support business decision-making, 
  • Comparisons of different vendors and architectures, 
  • Actionable recommendations that help to optimise IT-related costs. 

In summary, Objectivity’s support helped the Client design, create, and launch a new product, further diversifying their B2B solution portfolio. The end-to-end agile cooperation assisted the Client in securing stakeholder buy-in as well as in making post-launch improvements and further developing the solution.   

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