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Capgemini: Seeking to Reduce Friction and Accelerate Clients’ Speed to Value

The digital economy is significantly increasing expectations for speed of delivery as organizations strive to compete with agile, digital-native competitors.  In response, IT service providers and their clients are shifting to a continuous delivery approach that incorporates design thinking, agile application development & test, and DevOps – all connected and aligned with the desired business outcomes. Strategic direction, core operations, and execution all must be aligned and work in sync to adapt and respond as requirements change.

In line with these requirements, Capgemini has introduced Digital Fabric, an application development delivery solution supported by my3D, a virtual visual management toolset.

The core of Digital Fabric is design thinking, agile development, smart testing and DevOps and is intended to address the inherent friction that arises in each phase of the delivery lifecycle by weaving a common thread across disparate groups, including:

  • Requirements & Design: between IT and business groups in understanding the business value while defining requirements and creating designs
  • Build & Test: across a distributed development team, as well as test and operations, including around ensuring test coverage of all critical functionality.

Requirements & Design with RDV

Rapid Design and Visualization (RDV) is a methodology to accelerate the discovery, definition, and validation of requirements through applying design thinking principles, scenario and persona development and rapid prototyping. The methodology includes:

  • Defining scenarios: based on analysis of existing personas and usage requirements, critical scenarios define the core requirements for the new or modified system
  • Creating and validating screen layouts: using market leading tools such as iRise to quickly develop wireframes and screen layouts as well as define user interactions
  • Functional simulations: conduct simulations to test that prototypes meet requirements
  • Generating documentation: used as inputs to both the development team as well as the test team, reducing the effort to kick off each subsequent lifecycle stage.

The core of RDV is quickly defining and prototyping products through the building of wireframes and screen layouts. Tools such as iRise enable requirements to be documented directly in the tool, to maintain traceability and form the basis for test scenarios. These tools also enable the exporting of the defined specifications of the prototypes to provide documentation.

In addition to feeding into developing test cases, RDV will develop a sprint plan, mapping user stories to sprint cycles. These maps are then used during development to measure and report progress against the plan.

Development with ADC

To support the development phase, Capgemini uses its Accelerated Delivery Centers (ADC), based in the U.S., U.K., France, Poland and in Pune, India.  In these centers, Sprint teams (or pods) that range from 5 to 7 resources are stood up and work in Java and .Net, with scrum masters providing guidance across a number of teams.

The ADC’s pods of cross-functional resources work in agile 2-3 week sprints, employing test-driven design and behavior-driven design principles. Technical environments can be rapidly provisioned leveraging Docker for workload containerization. Additionally, the ADC leverages a number of tools and accelerators, including:

  • BDD Swift, which automatically enables requirements to be translated into executable test specifications based on behavior driven design principles
  • Jira, for issue and bug tracking
  • App Swift, which generates application code based on the UX requirements outputs developed in RDV
  • App Builder, to create user interfaces automatically
  • Git, for version control
  • RoboQ, for inspecting code quality in Java and reducing technical debt
  • Cloud Swift, for deploying code into cloud environments such as AWS or Azure.

As depicted below, Capgemini uses its Continuous Delivery Orchestration Engine (CDOE) to manage these tools and other development and DevOps tools across the development and test process. Built on Jenkins, CDOE interfaces to a variety of tools via APIs. CDOE provides a single interface for managing the workflow across the development lifecycle, leveraging Docker technologies to migrate developed code from initial compilation to production readiness.

Testing with SmartQA

Capgemini uses its SmartQA platform to support testing work, encompassing the management of test data, test automation, and test environments. SmartQA manages the test process through its Command Center, taking inputs from a variety of tools including Jira, ServiceNow and Clarity as well as embedding analytics to both predict and measure the breadth of coverage, and the effectiveness and efficiency of the test process.

SmartQA automates governance and handshakes across the test process as well as providing support for each of:

  • Planning
  • Data creation, obfuscation
  • Environment spin-ups
  • Workflow, build train and job train
  • UAT execution
  • SIT execution
  • System test execution.

Dominique Raviart will be looking at the SmartAQ product suite in more detail in an upcoming blog.

Distributed Delivery with my3D

To improve cohesion among globally distributed teams, Capgemini has developed the my3D (distributed digital delivery) toolset. My3D covers the following functionality:

  • Skills management: a repository of skills across the team to enable the quick assignment of work to the most appropriate team member as well as the identification of skill gaps to meet client demand
  • Virtual visual management: a set of virtual white boards to manage tasks across a globally distributed team. My3D can connect to ticketing tools and visualizes data in 80 different ways. Individual project teams can customize the information connected and shared, becoming the fabric across teams and a common dashboard for use in daily standup meetings
  • Innovation and crowdsourcing platform: started initially to gather feedback and requirements for the My3D toolset itself, this component of my3D allows for collaboration and crowdsourcing across project teams to drive innovations, creating a virtual continuous improvement list
  • MyKPI Dashboard: to provide visibility across the project team of current project metrics and status. myKPI leverages integration to ITSM tools such as ServiceNow and Capgemini is in the process of developing integrations with Jira for project tracking, enabling my3D to act as a single project status dashboard once completed later this year
  • Maturity matrix assessment: measures and visualizes the maturity of individual agile teams within the project.

In addition to these core capabilities, my3D also offers an app store that enables self-service procurement of DevOps tools by teams. Rather than tying in all development teams to a preferred set of tools, my3D enables Capgemini to offer flexibility in toolsets while also minimizing the time to initiate the use of those tools.

Capgemini has trained over 45,000 employees and client team members on the use of my3D and rolled it out to centers around the globe. Capgemini is also using it for internal staffing and metrics tracking in addition to the client engagements it supports.

One example of a client engagement where my3D is being leveraged to deliver application development is a global bank. Capgemini worked with the bank to roll out my3D to address the bank’s objectives of reducing IT spend through improved quality as well as eliminating gaps in metrics reporting and providing a single global view of project status.

To meet the bank’s objectives, my3D deployed 56 digital workspaces, live incident and defect tracking from ticketing systems, and enabled daily stand-up meetings across 1500 FTEs. The my3D skills management functionality was used to identify skill gaps within the incident management team to target training and reduce incident resolution times. My3D has become the central console for managing, monitoring, and reporting to a globally diverse team.

Capgemini is encouraging the development of new functionality within my3D through the use of its embedded innovation and crowdsourcing platform. One area being targeted is the expansion of integration across the toolset, enabling further automation and ‘zero-touch’ processes. An example targeted for roll-out this year is the automation of integrating sprint plans into my3D to auto-populate the activities assigned to each team member.

In general, these toolsets and processes also lay the foundation for Capgemini to incorporate next generation capabilities that will further accelerate service delivery. Integrating cognitive capabilities that link identified defect and technical debt issues with training plans for resources, or using available resource skills to inform the building of sprint plans, are simple examples of how these toolsets can provide even greater value when further integrated and analyzed.

Achieving results with financial services clients

Financial services is currently the largest industry population in the Accelerated Delivery Centers, accounting for approximately one-third of the total ADC client base. One example of Capgemini’s application of Frictionless AD is with a large European bank, where the bank’s traditional waterfall development cycle could not keep up with accelerating regulatory changes.

To define requirements and develop designs for the bank, Capgemini had the product owner travel to India and work on-site with the Capgemini development team. The joint team defined six personas as the basis for defining requirements and then leveraged iRise to build out wireframes. Capgemini estimates that this joint effort supported by iRise reduced the workload from weeks to days and that ‘feature waste’ (time spent on developing features that aren’t required) was reduced by 20-30%.

To complete the development activities for the bank, Capgemini stood up 22 pods, each comprised of five resources. App Builder was leveraged to translate the requirements from iRise into usable, pre-defined Java code blocks, reducing development effort.

To accelerate the testing effort for the bank, the requirements gathered in the RDV were loaded into Selenium to develop automated test cases using BDD Swift, with orchestration by Jenkins. This increased test code coverage and reduced defects in production.

Elsewhere, a global financial services firm has seen a 50% reduction in its technical debt. While still in progress, the bank projects a total of 50k savings in project hours which has enabled it to engage with Capgemini for more projects, growing Capgemini’s footprint at the client by 50%. In another project, Capgemini reduced defects found in SIT and UAT by 60% and improved time to market by 30%.

 

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