A global brand in high-end electronics had successfully implemented a B2C and B2B e-commerce presence, based on SAP hybris. However, consumers and dealers reported issues and demanded improvements.
The client had a central e-commerce team responsible for managing requests from their various countries and channeling development work to a near-shore development team in Eastern Europe. Although experienced in development, the team lacked expertise in other areas, such as business analysis, testing, infrastructure and technical operations and DevOps/automation.
We were asked to implement a framework for operating the platform, to include a next-generation agile process, with collaboration between remote teams globally, a professional in-sprint testing process, test automation, continuous integration and deployment (to five test environments + production), and an application maintenance team.
Specific organisational and technical challenges included:
- critical test cases weren’t defined
- weak collaboration between the teams across Eastern Europe and Asia
- a high number of production hotfixes, which the development team considered to be the client’s problem.
- the hosting party wasn’t collaborative
- the development team was reluctant to pick up code quality with automated checks (Continuous Integration).
First, we on-boarded a support team. An experienced test manager from our India office came over to spend time with the client and document critical flows and test cases so that their team could then perform regression-testing. We started automating these tests, adding more coverage with every sprint. Due to the budget, capacity was limited. After 18 months, we had automated around 85% of the critical test cases.
We helped our client migrate to a different hosting platform. We designed the target architecture and managed the whole project and the transition.
Initially only minor bug fixes were required but the scope and complexity of the work increased. While the development team in Eastern Europe uses a Scrum approach, with 2-week sprints, the application maintenance team applies Kanban for extra flexibility.
Two different yet complementing development teams meant greater flexibility.
The development and delivery pipeline is now completely optimised, with standards and guidelines for defining work packages, based on high fidelity tooling. As part of the Continuous Integration (CI) pipeline, many aspects of code quality and automated deployments are checked. With regression testing largely automated, a full regression test can be done within a day (including reporting). Any release delivered at the end of a sprint can go into production within a few days.
The new hosting platform is more agile and responsive, meaning better response times and higher service levels. If there are any production issues, the operations support team can start root cause analysis immediately with client updates on the chat channel.
When there’s an urgent development task, the product owner can instead give it to the application maintenance team as it executes in a Kanban mode and has flexibility to add tasks as and when needed.