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Engineering capability growth facilitation for John Lewis & Partners
Industry: Retail&E-commerce
Team Size: 5
Technologies used: Google Cloud Platform, Kubernetes Engine, Firestore, Dataflow, Cloud SQL, Cloud Functions, Docker, Java, ELK stack, etc.

The client is the UK's famous high-end multi-channel retail company, stores of which can be found in almost every major city of the country. Their website which is visited by more than 30 million users every month offers a wide range of homeware, fashion items, electricals and more. Despite being oriented on department stores they have a lot of software systems that allow analyzing consumer trends, pay suppliers, manage warehouse stock levels, secure payment systems, etc.


Pain


JL&P technology division hired a couple of new engineers and started partnering with an outsourcing vendor in 2018 with the purpose to extend their in-house squad and gain more development bandwidth. They started the migration of their supply chain management to their brand new Digital platform based on Google Cloud, Docker and Java. The intent was to innovate more quickly and with the desired end quality.

They struggled to extend the existing microservices platform with the required features that were needed for the warehouse domain. It was hard to align culture, engineering approaches and drive technical leadership between their existing, newly hired and engineers from the vendor's side, designing technical solutions along the way. As a result feature development started to take more time, the performance and quality of the core platform started to decrease. The team started to fall apart due to high-stress levels and delivery timelines schedule that was almost impossible to achieve under circumstances that the company has been facing at that time.


How TageSpot helped a client to level up

Our cooperation started in early 2020 with the Frictionless Delivery Support service. It began with design thinking and a couple of architecture workshops that took 2 weeks. 3 people have been involved from the TageSpot side (Agile consultant, Architect and Tech lead). After we clearly outlined the root causes of their problems we started technological path correction execution by incorporating our consultants, senior engineers, leads and architects directly in the delivery workflow, facilitating transformation and mentoring both clients employees and outsourcing vendor teams on best practices, working with them full-time on daily basis.

In 5 months teams' velocity increased by 25% and in 8 months by 35%. Technology became more stable and easier to work with by reaching clearly defined non-functional requirements measured and continuously tracked by fitness functions. Employees' retention rate has stabilized and client received a lot of testimonials from their end-users on the experience and simplicity of the platform. We helped to form a unique technical climate that is helping our client to reach business goals every quarter, till now on.
Also, we formed an excellent relationship with the outsourcing vendor. They started to treat us as a mature partner and we agreed on mutual help if needed on future engagements. They have a powerful business capability to quickly provision development teams due to their size of more than 1000 employees. From our side, we possess unique domain experience and technological excellence methodology that is hard to replicate.


How cooperation has evolved

In late 2020, a new consulting & development stream that fully consists of TageSpot employees was formed to work on the client's strategic initiative. As of the time of writing our Product Manager, Experience Designer and Business Analyst were forming a product roadmap and working with technical teams to scope the solution.