Increasing The Development Velocity – Major International Bank

Situation

As they were developing and expanding their ServiceNow implementation, the bank realized that technical debt was being introduced and mounting in the background. Over time, this would have driven up the cost of change and made development less predictable. To tackle the problem, they devised a three-point plan to first measure it, then stabilize it and then finally reduce it.

At the same time, the company was also interested in reverting back to out-of-the- box functionality, in part due to the accrual of technical debt, but also because of the impact on the duration of upgrades to new releases (which took up to 6 months). Given these ambitions, the bank was looking for greater platform governance.

The bank had already performed some health reports on its setup, but they didn’t benchmark their platform against other ServiceNow instances, nor did they provide an indication of the overall platform quality. With all of this in mind, the bank decided that they needed a more comprehensive solution to govern their platform development, for both code and configuration.

Solution

Through using Quality Clouds, the bank immediately succeeded in its first goal of measuring technical debt. Analyzing their development instance against ServiceNow and JavaScript best practice violations provided a baseline figure and identified where specific issues were located. As part of their second goal, stabilization, the bank needed to ensure as little technical debt as possible was being introduced. This was achieved through using the Live Check functionality, which acts as a real-time coding quality gate. This meant that issues were fixed at their introduction, before being moved between instances. It also meant that developers quickly gained an enhanced understanding of both best practices and ServiceNow on the job. In order to achieve their third aim, reduction, the bank needed to fix pre-existing issues. The bank took upgrades as an opportunity to revert back to out-of-the-box and would also remediate issues as components became relevant to current projects. Using Quality Clouds to automate finding issues, this meant that technical debt could be reduced organically alongside platform development.

Benefits

Nowadays, the bank’s architect has to spend considerably less time on code reviews and promoting best practices among developers. Quality Clouds’ automation of these processes has freed up significant amounts of their time. Instead, they can focus on creating value through platform design and expanding user functionality. In terms of their goals, over the course of a year, the bank’s technical debt decreased by 35% and stabilized. At the same time, functionality increased by 15%. With their development velocity increased, but the cost of change down, the bank’s management were impressed with the results.

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