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Screwfix Direct is the fastest growing company in Kingfisher plc, a FTSE 100 Global “Home Improvement” retailing group (B&Q, Brico Depot, Castorama, Hornbach, Screwfix) with $18bn annual sales. Screwfix sell tools, fixtures and fittings to the home and trade markets online (100K parcels dispatched weekly) and through over 140 retail trade counters.
Screwfix wanted to change its development approach to enable a higher quality, faster and more responsive delivery capability. This in turn could facilitate the replacement of its legacy systems with a robust and scaleable SOA backbone supporting a new multi-channel e-Commerce platform.
To achieve this, Screwfix turned to EPAM as a nearshore parter to both fill the technology knowledge gap and also build a long term Agile development team.
The key challenge here was for EPAM to provide Screwfix, a company new to agile development practices, with a practical Agile model they could apply to a large technically demanding project spanning multiple development locations.
Particular challenges included:
Screwfix and EPAM created a unified development team to help establish an open dialog around all aspects of the project. This helped mitigate many of the challenges that can come with the initial adoption of agile, letting issues be shared, discussed, confronted and resolved collectively. Screwfix also implemented an Agile coaching program to help ensure that both the developers and business sponsors made the transition successfully. EPAM had a continual onsite presence at Screwfix during the entire project, complimented by numerous team visits in both directions. This simplified communications and coordination, and also reinforced the ‘unified team’ approach that helped make this project successful.
An Agile Approach:
A variety of Agile tools and technologies were applied on the project:
By collaboratively employing mature Agile practices, XP, and continuous integration techniques the team delivered and launched the first stage of the new program - new e-Commerce platform, SOA backbone, several new core services, monitoring, and strong maintainability - in 18 months. The second stage of the programme is well underway with full business involvement, an even stronger partnership and commitment to rapidly deliver business change built upon a solid e-Commerce and SOA platform. Due to expert implementation of Agile, CIS countries Russia and Belarus, where EPAM has its offshore development centers, could effectively coordinate the development effort with onsite and customer teams.
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