DevOps, Digital Transformation

Tell me if this sounds familiar: a team commits to shipping a set of features to the business. The scope of the delivery time is 2-3 months. Time passes and the scope reduces and the delivery increases. In the end we ship a fraction of the features and in the end 2-3 months effectively doubled to 5-6 months. If this sounds like a similar tune to your world, you are not alone. This is sadly pretty standard in enterprise product development worlds. Strategic teams are looking to holistically stop this pattern - because it is proven that this type of slippage only worsens when holistic remediation is not addressed.

I’ve been working in this industry for nearly 20 years and I still get super excited when I see teams fully embrace this type of delivery remediation and reaping the rewards of implementing DevOps and Agile approaches. Contino is currently engaged with the product development team of a major US financial services organization to drive faster time to market and improve overall business and technical agility. After the initial discovery phase into why prior DevOps initiatives did not realize the anticipated business outcomes, Contino introduced a tailored strategy focused on process improvement through on-the-ground pairing/mobbing and upskilling that considerably improved delivery cycle time and overall product quality.          

Measurable outcomes realized in the first two months onsite include:

  • Reduction in development cycle ideation from 22 weeks to 10 weeks
  • Pre-existing product backlog fully burnt down
  • Successful implementation of DevOps, Behavior Driven Development (BDD) and Test Driven Development (TDD) best practices
  • Successful introduction of Kanban methodology
  • Successfully decoupled the product service from the larger monolith
  • Team adoption of mob programming and other modern collaborative engineering practices


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By cutting out 12 weeks from the initial development cycle time, the client saved significant people-hours on this single development cycle alone. And with the 22 week cycle decreasing to 10 weeks, the team can now perform 5.2 development cycles in a year, compared to the 2.4 previously. This is an increase in releases of 200+%, which translates into a people-hours saving of more than 5x!

Also highlighted in this engagement was the tight coupling of technical agility with the ongoing business agility focus of the client. Investing in one without repairing the other shows limited gain, but the dual-focus enables a force multiplier across all measurable areas of the client’s strategic landscape.

By breaking the code from the monolith, as well as adopting good TDD, BDD and modern engineering practices, Contino was able to automate many processes, freeing up the backlog so those teams can focus on other initiatives. This project led to other improvements such as the faster time to market, better quality code and an improvement in team cohesiveness and job satisfaction. Introducing these capabilities in a pairing/mobbing method further ensures the capabilities will long out-live the Contino engagement and ensure these practices are embedding into this team’s engineering culture.

Time and time again, it’s an energizing feeling to bring a client to this state. Even beyond all these measurable improvements, knowing that there’s a lasting impact on both the team members and the business is truly satisfying. The Contino team that brought these changes to fruition are looking to bring similar outcomes to other areas of the client’s strategic roadmap. We are excited to be able to offer this to other organizations and teams that are facing similar burdens. If delayed releases with reduced scope resonates with your current mode of operation, send me a message.

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  • Ryan Lockard

    VP of Consulting (US)

    Ryan Lockard is a seasoned technical professional with 17 years of experience in product delivery, leadership, and technical practice excellence. Ryan has transformed teams, organizations and mindsets in various industries and has established himself as part of the new voice of technical product delivery. 

    More Articles by Ryan