Alternative Investment Manager

Alternative-Investment-ManagerA leading alternative investment manager based in the US, UK and Switzerland adopted a mix of “Make and Buy” approaches for its I.T. solutions.

Regardless of solution, the organization used Scrum across all of its I.T. development units. As such all the solutions needed to align for system-wide upgrades.  If one part was not ready, the User-Acceptance-Test plan (2 man-years) needed to be re-planned, which included the need to re-secure expensive external resources.

The problem was a vendor that was delivering client specific code in releases that was built in a waterfall way. Deadlines were rarely met and quality was poor.

How was this resolved?

Well, the client and the vendor established that they both needed to partner and solve the issue together. This is how it was done:


  • the vendor was introduced to and trained in Agile techniques
  • The vendor’s team was co-located at the client’s site, to be close to the business
  • all deliverables were part of the vendor’s main product stream, with a direct VPN to the ‘home’ office
  • all product-related deliverables (including automated test cases and essential documentation) were to be committed to by the entire team (comprising of client and vendor staff)
In this way, the product maintained its integrity, the client had transparency on progress and what was delivered was what the client wanted.  However, it was following the success of this initiative, that the vendor adopted Agile techniques for all of its software development.  Not only that, but the client was happy to pay for all the effort as they had greater assurance that the money was well spent.  Everyone benefitted.