amica auto home life logo

Implementing Agile at Amica

amica auto home life logo

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

The firm urgently needed to upgrade its web and mobile applications to reach parity with their competitors. A digital program was established, and the organization decided to implement an Agile SDLC framework. But this was not the organization’s first attempt at deploying Agile. Though previous attempts had proven unsuccessful, digital program leaders agreed an Agile approach should allow them to rapidly and iteratively deliver customer value.

Assessment

one-week analysis of the previous state of Amica’s digital program and SDLC process revealed opportunities to enable the organizational transformation and adoption of Agile methods.

“Abraic came in, met with key stakeholders, and in a very short time provided a detailed analysis and strategy that we could collaboratively build from.

We chose the areas that were higher priorities and gauged the level of buy-in for the type of changes we wanted to make.”

– Erin Darmetko, Information Systems Officer, Amica Mutual Insurance

Abraic facilitated a value stream mapping workshop which produced a roadmap of initiatives that enabled the internal transformation.

schedule of priorities

Schedule of Priorities

 

Staffing

The digital program had approximately 130 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 7 scrum teams, each requiring a scrum master to facilitate the process.

Abraic provided:

  • A program manager with strong PM skills, digital experience, and an Agile background.
  • An Agile coach to help drive change within the organization.
  • 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.

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.”

– Erin Darmetko, Information Systems Officer, Amica Mutual Insurance

Governance

Abraic also implemented a governance structure for the digital program which defined roles and responsibilities for product owners, scrum masters, a technical advisory team and other shared resources, executive sponsors, and the overarching program office related to each of the seven business streams.

governance structure

Governance Structure for Amica’s Digital Program

 

Outcomes

Amica was able to fully leverage Abraic’s services to adopt the Agile framework successfully, and greatly improve its development productivity. The implementation worked for Amica because the organization 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. These conditions produced the following tangible results:

  • Over 50% of the 3-year program’s value was delivered in the first year.
  • The rate of web and mobile updates increased from 1-3 per year to 1-2 per month.
  • A new mobile application was deployed.
  • The Agile framework was embraced by IT, the business, and third party suppliers.

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