The client, a startup in the healthcare compliance domain, wanted to convert its expertise in transparency law into a software solution. The idea was to provide the medicare businesses with an intranet web portal to track arrangements, grants and spending featuring cashflow records in compliance with state, federal and international reporting and disclosure laws. Based on excellent reputation and track record, NIX was selected as a technology partner to implement the solution.
NIX Solutions provided a team with expert knowledge in the selected development platform and ensured all project-related information was treated as confidential. Development started immediately.
Within two months, the proof-of-concept was ready. A year after, the product successfully entered the market and was deployed to a number of the end-clients. However, the initial success was short-lived.
The launch immediately attracted more end-clients. The startup founder who previously served as CTO and owned the delivery process had to focus on deal-making, while the in-house product team prioritized satisfaction of all end-client requests over code stability and optimized system design. This shift in focus and priority compounded by the lack of expertise in software engineering methodology on the client side triggered a domino effect:
The massive amount of changes and rework exceeded the development team’s capability to deliver stable code on time.
Delayed releases and end-client complaints led to product decline and withheld payments.
Consequently, the company faced critical cash flow problems.
NIX requested an urgent meeting with the startup executive team to hash out a recovery strategy. After a tough yet fruitful two-day discussion of project metrics and root-cause analysis, the startup management agreed to transfer the leadership of the software development and delivery operations to the NIX team while keeping its customer service and product management in-house.
NIX representatives spent a month at the client headquarters to analyze customer service and product team workflows, establish a managed approach to requirements and changes, and improve the communication between the different groups. The new delivery process was defined and agreed upon across the startup organization. A new QA process as well as continuous integration were set up, and the release policy was documented. The roles of software architect and project manager were allocated to NIX. Both positions were to become a hub: receiving the requirements, conducting feasibility, and helping client-facing groups manage end-user expectations. Based on realistic planning, the offshore delivery team committed to meeting deadlines, guaranteeing the level of code quality, and improving visibility for client management and end-users.
The new process gradually brought the product development organization to the top level. Within a few months, the positive results were more evident: releases went flawlessly, the end-clients were satisfied, the cash flow was restored, and the stakeholders were relieved. The product was once again capturing its market share.
Successfully overcoming the tough times contributed to further long-term collaboration between two companies. The “purely client-vendor relationship” has transformed into a “partnership in innovation”. Moreover, the exceptional business results facilitated the founder’s nine-digit deal with the world’s largest provider in healthcare information technology and clinical research.
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