A leader in the financial services sector, Santander Bank Polska S.A. (formerly Bank Zachodni WBK), is one of our oldest clients. We have been supporting the bank in projects focusing on custom software development and services related to the Atlassian suite of products since 2008. Back then, Deviniti was the only Atlassian partner in Poland who had a well-developed banking customer portfolio with clients such as ING or Credit Agricole, and the ability to map business requirements to the technical elements of implementation. We decided that it's high time we shared some highlights from our collaboration to show you how such a long-term partnership works in practice. In this article, we zoom in on two projects that brought tangible business value to Santander Bank Polska during our collaboration.
Our client was looking to replace a legacy project management tool with a new one that would be cost-effective, better adapted to the company's needs and processes, and included support from the manufacturer. Staying on the unsupported platform presented a risk because, in the event of a failure, the entire development and testing process could come to a halt. Besides, the old tools were not integrated with each other and didn’t match the increasing size of the error handling process.
The target tool would improve the management of software development processes and ongoing IT operations. In particular, Santander Bank Polska was looking to enhance its control over reported errors, increase the visibility of changes implemented in a given environment, and boost the transparency of relationships between business projects and their impact on the bank's IT systems.
Here’s a summary of the complexity of their IT systems and deployments at the moment when we started the project:
Why did the customer choose to implement Jira Software?
Managing software change orders and errors (and the relationships between them) impacts the productivity of the entire software development process. Dealing with this was the first milestone in the implementation of DevOps for the customer. Effective management of IT operations leads to increased throughput of new versions and propagation to systems.
Santander Bank Polska aimed to replace its error handling system in the legacy system’s database with a modern platform, Atlassian Jira. We implemented the new solution to improve the process of handling errors found during software testing with the following features:
By migrating to the new tool, the bank would get a modern browser-based service used by thousands of organizations around the world.
We aimed to provide Santander Bank Polska with a functional and easy-to-use system for error tracking and software installation orders. We implemented two key projects in Jira: TEET for error management and IVEC for release management.
The data model looked like this:
Here's what our team did to support the bank on its quest to process optimization:
Since 90% of the processes were ready on the client side, our main task was to model these processes on the Atlassian platform and implement the right tools. However, we still assisted the bank in analyzing business requirements and mapping them to technical elements - it was an important and long-lasting part of the process. We proposed a solution that can be applied in various processes, workflows, and projects. Jira gave our client more freedom since we used building blocks instead of creating a solution from scratch.
After the analysis was completed, we divided the work into two segments:
What did Deviniti do?
Our team delivered about 20 components and a tool that expanded the reporting capabilities in Jira. For example:
The main challenge in this project was maintaining the high performance of the application at scale. It involved the processing of production errors for 300 systems and 100 active projects that engaged 800 users spread across 200 teams. Further on, it would serve 1500 users, and ultimately 2000 users.
A large number of custom fields, users, projects, and issues had a strong impact on Jira's performance, and back then, Jira Data Center was not available yet to address this problem. Our team carried out performance tests prior to the implementation that indicated such problems, so optimizing some parts of the solution was necessary. For example, in a multilevel structure of dependencies, changing an entity located on top of the tree (on which subordinates depend) generated a large number of operations in the background of the application. We optimized this process to count only the entities that the change actually affected. What's more, we eliminated double conversions for parallel actions completed by multiple users at the same time.
The potential slow adoption of the new tool presented a risk as well. To mitigate it, we delivered training 2 months before the implementation. We also carried out corridor tests by letting users into test instances easily. The reception was positive and the usage of the tool turned out to be intuitive, so this risk actually didn’t arise at all.
By implementing Jira as the key problem and release management tool, Santander Bank Polska took an important step in its digital transformation by transitioning to a web-based application. Thanks to this decision, the end-users can enjoy easier access to the tool from any location. In terms of processes, the implementation helped optimize release management, change management, and introduced the basics of continuous deployment to the IT organization.
Our long-term collaboration with Santander Bank Polska shows that it’s possible to develop a truly strategic technology partnership with an external provider who has the right expertise and approach.
To learn about the next step of this project, which was introducing test and release automation, read the full article on the Deviniti blog.