Late last year, Forrester published a “big idea” research report identifying Product-centric Development as a distinctive, value-based approach to software development characterized by highly-successful commercial software companies. As part of this research, we made the call that product (or service) centricity can occur regardless of whether internal or outsourced resources do the bulk of the work – rather, it is a team’s orientation to the company’s value chain, their partnership with customers and business stakeholders, and the ownership for the business results that their software ultimately delivers that are all really the more important, defining characteristics of a ‘product-centric’ development shop.
Recently, I came across a great example of this kind of high-value development work spanning internal and external resources in Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s (DPS) partnership with HCL. Why does this mixed-development model work? Two key success factors include:

– HCL’s service delivery team is continually in step with DPS’s business environment. By staffing dedicated service delivery managers (SDMs) on site, DPS can call on HCL to help tackle both strategic management issues, such as reducing shrinkage and achieving on-time delivery, and day-today problems, such as app latency and downtime, with a “one-stop-shop” liaison who can own the problem and seek resolution across technology silos.

– Application improvements are pursued in a business-context. Just as commercial software companies must prioritize their product road maps and requirements backlog to maximize customer value, so too must IT organizations sift through the mountains of backlog requests to correctly prioritize service delivery work. To help DPS IT navigate this challenge, HCL is first mapping business processes via its Enterprise Discovery Framework alongside formalized key performance indicators (KPIs) and process cycle-time reduction goals for each area. Thereafter, a ProcessWatch dashboard will focus on problematic subprocess areas, comparing actual incident resolution performance to target KPIs and alerting process owners when a recurring problem has business impact.

It’s been great working with both the Dr Pepper Snapple Group and HCL on this research, and I look forward to your questions and comments as you take a look at the full report.