agile adoption - changing shapes

How Amica Reshaped Its IT Processes: An Agile Adoption Case Study

Rhode Island-based Amica Insurance provides auto, home and life insurance nationwide and employs more than 3,800 people in 44 offices across the U.S.

Amica was looking to upgrade its web and mobile applications. To reach its goal, the IT team established a digital program and decided to pilot an Agile SDLC framework for rapid and iterative delivery of customer value.

The Agile implementation worked for Amica because the organization from top to bottom accepted a bit of discomfort in the short-term to give the change effort a chance. Management agreed to support decisions made on the front line. Product owners, SMEs, and developers were game to try new approaches and grew professionally. In return, they achieved a level of productivity and speed they had not seen before. Here’s how we helped.

Assessment

To begin the process, we conducted a one-week analysis of the previous state of Amica’s digital program and SDLC process. We proposed solutions that would enable the organizational transformation and adoption of Agile methods.

As Amica’s PMO manager Erin Darmetko put it, “Abraic came in, met with key stakeholders, and in a very short time provided a detailed analysis and strategy that we were able to collaboratively build from. They allowed us to choose the areas that were higher priorities, and we were able to start gauging the level of buy-in for the type of changes we wanted to make.”

Below is the roadmap of initiatives the team used to enable the internal transformation:

schedule of priorities

The digital program, when fully staffed, had approximately 50 team members and thus required a program manager to coordinate the various constituencies within the program and with key stakeholders outside of the team. The program also had seven scrum teams, each requiring a scrum master to facilitate the process.

Staffing

We were able to provide:

  • A seasoned program manager with strong PM skills, digital experience, and an Agile background
  • An experienced Agile coach to help drive change within the organization
  • Seasoned scrum masters with strong Agile, facilitation, and team-building skills

“We wanted some outside help to institute the type of changes we were hoping to make,” Darmetko said. “Coming from a waterfall mentality, we wanted a team that could work with us to step into these types of roles, and felt that strong leadership would be essential for success. Abraic provided us with people who not only fit that bill, but who also work exceptionally well with our teams and who truly have the best interest of Amica at heart.”

Governance

Below is the governance structure proposed for the digital program. For each of the seven business streams, there is a product owner and a scrum master. All seven teams also get support from a technical advisory team and shared resources. The digital program governance executives, program sponsors and program office oversee the business streams.

governance structure

Outcomes

Amica was able to fully leverage Abraic’s services to adopt the Agile framework successfully, and improve its development productivity. The digital program reduced interdependencies in the SDLC process, and can now deliver development releases in a shorter timeframe.

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If you’re interested in more details about this case study, or need support in improving your IT outcomes by implementing a new methodology, let’s talk. Please contact us at info@abraic.com.

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