Transforming a portal and process The Netrix Way
Fleet Response provides claims management, accident management, driver safety training, subrogation, and other services to companies that self-insure their vehicle fleets. Clients engage with Fleet Response’s services via a flagship portal—a one-stop dashboard for claims management and training—and equally important, a sales tool for Fleet Response’s business development team to showcase their core promise of flexibility, visibility, and accountability.
As the client portal aged and its feature set ballooned, Fleet Response joined with Netrix to design and build a new, extensible and scalable portal that delivers on Fleet Response’s promises to its clients.
On the shoulders of our Netrix Way delivery methodology, the blended delivery team of Netrix and Fleet Response shipped on time and within budget, provided stakeholders frequent demos and opportunities for feedback, and adjusted seamlessly to the new scope and inevitable project curveballs.
Fleet Response and Netrix’s partnership delivered more than a mere product release; together, we transformed our client’s development culture into a collaborative, transparent, and measurable partnership between IT and business stakeholders.
Netrix and Fleet Response met at a CIO Visions networking event, where Fleet Response shared a desire to rebuild their Fleet Suite client portal.
Amid rapid business growth and bottlenecked by a development team stretched thin, Fleet Response sought more than a vendor to rebuild their portal: they came to CIO Visions searching for partners who could re-platform their product, evolve their DevOps pipelines, and grow their team simultaneously
The ideal partner would:
- Re-platform, re-design and rebuild Fleet Suite as a modern web application, shoring up the shortcomings of the existing solution and adding reducing the amount of development required to build new client dashboards.
- Engrain transparency and predictability into Fleet Response’s development culture, transforming a traditionally siloed operation into a collaborative effort between business and IT.
- Position the next version of Fleet Suite (“vNext”) to be supported and enhanced by Fleet Response personnel without relying on a vendor to maintain the solution.
We recommended running Fleet Response’s project The Netrix Way, our custom flavor of Agile methodology that prioritizes transparency, communication and iteratively delivering working products.
Projects run The Netrix Way start with a Project Springboard, an investment that Netrix makes, the purpose of which is to recommend a budget, timeline, and team size for the project.
Building the backlog
We begin by meeting with business and IT stakeholders to understand and document solution requirements, focusing on the business value of each feature set and any major technical shortcomings of the current solution.
Together, we reviewed Fleet Suite and recorded requirements encompassing its current functionality and desired enhancements. Business stakeholders painted a compelling vision of a Fleet Suite vNext that could be effortlessly extended with new client dashboards and KPIs by a business stakeholder—not a development team— highlighting the foundational requirement for Fleet Suite vNext to sit atop a flexible analytics platform.
The technical teams responsible for maintaining and enhancing Fleet Suite added valuable commentary on challenges surrounding its architecture and maintenance routines, helping us narrow the field of potential core platforms for Fleet Suite vNext and shedding light on inefficiencies in Fleet Response’s DevOps processes.
Prioritizing for an MVP
Our springboard produced a product backlog detailed enough for business stakeholders to prioritize and for Netrix architects to size. Netrix reviewed the backlog with the same stakeholders from the springboard, checking for accuracy and plotting major milestones around features we could regularly release to Fleet Response’s sales team to solicit client feedback.
We presented the sized and prioritized backlog to Fleet Response, complete with our recommendations for:
- A minimal viable product (“MVP”) scope
- Budget and timeline
- High-level architecture design
- Team construction, including an option for a blended Fleet Response + Netrix team
The project springboard was Netrix’s investment to scope the engagement and learn about our client’s business, Fleet Response embraced the opportunity to learn what it’s like to work with Netrix.
They decided to move forward, and Fleet Suite vNext development broke ground as a Netrix Way project.
Netrix Way projects follow Agile development best practices, adding a few custom measures to ensure projects stay on course and on- budget:
- Netrix sends Sprint Summary reports with burndown, velocity, and backlog growth metrics to stakeholders following each sprint
- We also host bi-sprint Executive Review meetings with executive leadership from Netrix and our client, providing an opportunity to speak candidly about team performance and project direction
Netrix held training workshops for project stakeholders from Fleet Response’s business and development teams, providing guidance on everything from backlog grooming and story construction to implementation best practices and DevOps pipeline integration.
The blended team gelled under increased communication and a consistent process, rendering each requirement in the product backlog traceable from inception to implementation to deployment. The Netrix Way engrained a level of transparency and process maturity to Fleet Suite vNext’s development.
Fleet Suite vNext was aptly renamed Visibility and launched as a scalable, extensible, and performant cloud web app to client and business acclaim.
The effect was more widespread, however, and releasing Visibility marked the beginning of a foundational transformation. Fleet Response reorganized its other development teams around agile workloads, injecting The Netrix Way into its core culture.
“Netrix has helped us improve both our technological offerings to our clients and the way we approach development now and in the future.” Allison Lanzilotta, Executive Vice President.
Business stakeholders gained visibility and influence in product timelines, while development teams gained valuable focus time without the interruption of unexpected scope creep.
- A development team already stretched thin struggled to maintain a business-critical application built on aging technology, let alone enhance it
- The development culture lacked transparency and predictability, resulting in bloated budgets, missed timelines and tension between IT and business stakeholders
- Netrix partnered with Fleet Response to launch a cloud-first, scalable and extensible application backed by DevOps pipelines and a mature agile development process
- Engraining The Netrix Way into its core culture, Fleet Response transformed its development teams and their relationship with business stakeholders, creating new feedback loops and establishing a culture of trust and transparency
Netrix incorporates agile development best practices into our application development operations and prioritizes the evolution of your development teams by introducing market-leading best practices. Whether modernizing the applications you have in place today or developing new custom solutions for your unique business challenges, our team provides the experience and resources necessary to gain new functionality and efficiencies.
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