”Belive it or not, our IT function didn’t use to enjoy a great reputation in the C-suite! The business side felt the IT people were always saying ’No, hold on a minute now!’ in response to all development ideas,” chuckles Petteri Miinalainen, Fennia CIO. And there were many development projects indeed. The insurance industry is moving at a fast pace and facing a myriad of demands from customers, legislators and evolving technology.
”At one point our development backlog was 240 items long. For the top management, a situation like this looks chaotic. We needed to find a way to focus our development work on the areas that best support our group-wide strategy,” says Tapio Korttilalli, Director of Service Development and Partnerships at Fennia. ”We just didn’t have a proper prioritisation funnel and governance,” summarises Miinalainen.
A unified model of organising development work would not only help make decision-making more effective, but also bring down costs, shorten product lead-times and simplify vendor management. ”It was clear we needed a model to organise ourselves. But we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel,” Korttilalli says.
BT STANDARD AS SPRINGBOARD FOR ORGANISING OPERATIONS
Reinventing the wheel didn’t turn out to be necessary, as Fennia decided to utilise the open-source Business Technology Standard.
”The BT Standard is a great springboard for constructing a model. It had already been tried and tested by hundreds of companies, so we could take it as a starting point and then fine-tune it to our own needs,” Korttilalli says. Fennia understood from the start that an outside perspective would be beneficial when implementing a new model of working.
”Sofigate had helped many companies of different sizes and in different fields implement the BT Standard, so their expertise was very valuable,” says Miinalainen. ”An external partner helps keep the focus on a sufficiently abstract level and avoid getting hung up on particular company-specific eccentricities.”