Three-pronged Approach to Digitizing Operations: Staffing, Agile, & DevOps
Automating fleet operations is a huge imperative for a large waste management company as they attempt to move services from a “pencil and paper” approach for driver logs, locations and dispatch, towards more modern, cloud-based technology.
Getting their digital and operations groups together was not happening as fast as they wanted, so they turned to MATRIX for a three-pronged approach to their IT requirements, including IT staffing, Agile, and DevOps coaching.
Staffing: Putting the Right Resources in Place
MATRIX has been working with the client since 2018 and has achieved the ranking of “preferred staffing vendor,” successfully placing dozens of IT consultants. MATRIX Consultants average a satisfaction rating of 9 out of 10.
MATRIX has been critical to the growth of the client teams, finding and recruiting strong candidates for key roles such as scrum masters, software engineers, front-end developers, data architects, and information security analysts.
Agile: Increasing Base Knowledge at the Team Level
Limited agile maturity and poor business/IT relationships were the main issues hindering progress.
Coaching focus was on team level training centered on Scrum ceremonies and Kanban principles and practices. MATRIX coaches began with foundational Agile training and then more targeted role-based training – Product Owner, Business Analysts, and Scrum Masters. Using a wave-approach, they sequenced the teams through training and immediately followed up with focused Agile Coaching to cement the learnings.
At the team level, they focused on topics like Story Writing and Technical Excellence. They also helped establish a Product Owner, Scrum Master and Enterprise Architect CoP (Communities of Practice). Finally, they established standards and the ability to report against them.
Localized improvements were achieved at the team level. To increase consistency and visibility, MATRIX Coaches collaborated to organize the clients’ Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tool, Rally. This enabled them to set up metrics, dashboards, reporting, and guided the client through linkage of work hierarchy, created roadmaps, and set up communities of practice.
DevOps: Identifying the Gaps, Developing a Platform
For DevOps, the problem was the lack of automation and collaboration between Development and Operations.
MATRIX Coaches assessed their current DevOps practices, platform, and tools and identified the gaps between their current state and desired end state. From there, they proposed two strategic platform initiatives that would fill the gap in their DevOps capabilities.
The first was an orchestration platform buildout that would provide them true continuous integration and delivery pipelines, but also give them a way to automate, integrate, and get visibility into their software development lifecycle and tooling across the Enterprise. MATRIX coached them through the process of building and supporting the platform and automation.
The second was a unified observability platform implementation that consolidated the client’s monitoring, logging, analytics, traces, synthetics, incident response – everything visible and integrated into one platform and one data model. This was for on-prem as well as Cloud (AWS & Azure) infrastructure and applications. Coaches wrote the integrations with best practices in IaC (Infrastructure as Code) and coached them on how to manage it.
The two main ideas are helping them to accelerate their software delivery and the other was to help them to see what is happening in their software delivery lifecycle beginning to end so, as to be able to quickly remediate issues and keep their operations stable.
In addition to end-to-end visibility into their software delivery lifecycle, these two areas of focus have resulted in accelerated software delivery timeframes and better reaction times when remediating issues.
All in all, MATRIX worked with eight teams, trained 50+ individuals, and stood up two Greenfield projects.
Throughout the whole process, coaches guided the client on the infrastructure-as-code implementation & management best practices. They integrated the internal teams with the work to ensure that they had the ability to take it over when the engagement was completed.
Visibility, transparency, and collaboration are key to increasing alignment. While it is always a challenge within Agile to build and maintain cooperation between IT and business, this client is accepting the hard work necessary to get it done.