Challenge

Sun Chemical, a leading producer of printing inks and pigments, had previously engaged Accenture to provide high-quality application maintenance and support services in the areas of design, configuration, programming and testing.

When it came to supporting the development of custom applications, however, the traditional waterfall approach employed by the Sun/Accenture team was inadequate. Long wait times for new applications and a lack of flexibility to change existing applications easily were common complaints.

Working together, Sun and Accenture decided that the answer was to transition to an agile delivery methodology and model for custom application development initiatives.

Strategy and solution

To ensure that its custom development process would be nimble and responsive to business needs, Sun Chemical engaged Accenture to help create an agile delivery model—one that would take application management to a unique and differentiated level.

Agile training

Sun IT resources and application support teams were trained on the use of new agile methods and tools.

Agile design

New tools for automation, custom coding and reporting were implemented along with development process changes and DevOps practices.

Agile rollout

A phased rollout plan was followed to bring the agile way of working to life. Design thinking methods were introduced to build user buy-in.

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Transformation

Agile has transformed the way Sun Chemical develops and maintains its custom applications, significantly improving:

Productivity
The project has provided Sun Chemical with a platform that enables more throughput, higher-quality applications and shorter release cycles. With its agile model, the company is now delivering approximately 20 percent more custom software development work—at the same cost and with the same team size as before. Currently, more than 80 custom applications are available to Sun’s user base.

Engagement
With the traditional waterfall approach to product development, Sun Chemical’s end users were often not engaged in the development process and lacked visibility into the status of their requests. The agile model enables and encourages collaboration and easily accommodates changing business requirements. The result is greater end-user satisfaction.

Innovation
With agile development methods, Sun Chemical’s IT department is perceived as a strong steward for innovation and change by the business. This added trust is resulting in steady growth in the number of project requests coming to IT.

“Agile has totally transformed the way our team works. The result is a significant improvement in development throughput and improved relationships.”

– HENNIE PIETERS, Sun Chemical Enterprise Architecture Lead

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