Newsweaver

Media and Publishing

Everyone here was very happy with the workshops and discovery sessions with Skelton Thatcher Consulting. In particular, I liked their focus on the team aspects of the software alongside the technology aspects. The sessions helped us to scale our technology teams and software systems over the past six months to take advantage of a good market opportunity. Sean Griffin, Newsweaver CTO

Newsweaver helps many of the biggest, smartest and most successful global corporations such as Unilever, Coca Cola and Rolls-Royce to achieve their communication goals. Its purpose-built email solution delivers engaging communications that can be personalised and segmented across markets and geographies.

Newsweaver’s pioneering analytics technology provides communicators with powerful insights to improve employee engagement and achieve results aligned to business objectives.

Ahead of a significant expansion of our engineering team, we asked Skelton Thatcher Consulting to help us accelerate the adoption of Continuous Delivery, and to move away from an existing, monolithic application towards a more nimble, microservices-based system. Together with Skelton Thatcher Consulting we worked with the engineering teams and product management to assess our existing practices and use of technologies, and also to build a shared backlog of activities for us to address as the engineering team expanded.

We focused on:

  • Viewing and nurturing ‘the team’ as the key delivery unit
  • Product Owner/Subject Matter Expert, ScrumMaster, development, testing, User Experience (UX), web operations
  • Treating operational aspects (including log aggregation) and UX as first-class and part of the product
  • Increasing investment in Build & Release engineering
  • Using SaaS tools to help accelerate the platform

We addressed in particular the relationship between the teams and the software subsystems, taking into account Conway’s Law (the effect of organisational structure on software architecture) and suggested some re-partitioning of system boundaries, and team responsibilities, in order to set up the engineering division for the forthcoming expansion. We also looked in detail at current and possible deployment pipeline designs in order to reduce cycle time, improve testing and increase confidence for the forthcoming changes.