Co-teaming results in scalable business platform and high performance Agile Team at Points International Ltd.
Points International Ltd. is the global leader in loyalty currency management and has been widely recognized among the loyalty and technology communities alike.
Shortly after launching its Loyalty Commerce Platform, Points found itself in the envious position of having to cope with rapid growth due to a large number of new partner sign-ups. This rapid growth was making it difficult for Points to efficiently onboard new partners with its current technology platform. Points’ Leadership recognized that re-platforming their system was necessary but, as a technology-based firm, believed that maintaining all development in-house was a key competitive advantage. However, re-platforming the current system was too large a task for the existing in-house team. In order to meet both of these objectives, the senior team at Points identified two opportunities:
- Co-team with a third party (Intelliware) to help re-platform the current system
- Adopt Agile methodologies to help their development team keep pace with their rapidly changing business environment.
Intelliware was engaged to conduct a technology Roadmap to address Points’ core business issues. This roadmap served as the basis of an actionable plan to develop the new platform. In addition, a detailed Agile knowledge transfer and transition plan was established for the ramp-up of Points staff on both the technical aspects and the Agile practices used to deliver each phase of the project. The delivery of both the software solution and Agile knowledge transfer occurred in a short period of time; months, not years, over three projects.
Project one – The team was comprised mostly of Intelliware staff with a few Points staff. The team members from Points were from multiple levels of the organization and acted as the change agents internally. In addition, because much of the success of an Agile culture depends upon the office environment – project rooms, whiteboards, etc. – this first high-impact project was located at Intelliware’s office.
Project two – Staffed by a 50-50 split of Intelliware and Points staff and the project team was first located at Intelliware and then the team was relocated to Points’ office. By the end of the second project, ownership of the deliverables had been successfully transferred from Intelliware to the Points team.
Project three – Staffing for the project was comprised of a fully functioning Points team, complemented by a few Intelliware support staff to ensure a smooth transition to Agile. The entire project took place at the Points’ office.
By the end of the third project, Points was able to manage the support and maintenance of the new platform as well as on-going development for new features, product lines and functions.
Today, Points has a high performing Agile team that is able to develop and manage its applications that enable transactions from millions of consumers worldwide. Points now generates over $200 million a year in revenue and has over 45 partners. From 2012 to 2014, Points’ stock (PCOM) has appreciated by over 200%.