With CAD $191.1 billion in net assets and approximately 1,200 employees, Ontario Teachers’ is Canada’s largest single-profession pension plan. It pays pensions and invests plan assets on behalf of 327,000 working and retired teachers. Since Ontario Teachers’ establishment as an independent organization in 1990, it has built an international reputation for innovation and leadership in investment management and member services.
As part of its modernization efforts, Canada’s single largest professional pension plan wanted to improve its in-house development competencies, practices, and output by adopting Agile. Ontario Teachers’ selected Intelliware based on the company’s expertise with Agile development, local presence, Agile adoption services track record, and collaborative approach.
However, even with both organizations in Toronto, the distance between Intelliware and Ontario Teachers’ North York headquarters made typical Agile co-teaming challenging. Without an open, focused, and cross-functional Agile environment, the team had to ﬁnd alternative ways to enable multiple Intelliware and Ontario Teachers’ work streams to deliver concurrently.
Intelliware developed a distributed Agile solution with Ontario Teachers’. This Agile adoption solution started by setting up virtual desktops and a team room where all co-team members could meet in person and virtually. The co-team initiated stand-up meetings and conducted retrospective reviews, as well as sprint planning and backlog review sessions to identify and discuss unplanned work, refinements, and emerging issues.
As the engagement progressed, various online rituals eventually gave way to scheduling in-person, face-to-face discussions, including celebratory quarterly reviews with the entire co-team present. While the digital versions of these rituals reduced the travel costs and time requirements of physical meetings, they proved no substitute for frequent, co-located, face-to-face collaboration.
Ontario Teachers’ has future-proofed its technical team by empowering them with best-in-class development practices. Working together with Intelliware within the Ontario Teachers’ environment has resulted in a consistent codebase, eliminating risky code migrations. Regular touchpoints, a shared set of digital tools, and other Agile practices proven to facilitate collaboration and creativity all translate into greater internal cohesion and higher project success at Ontario Teachers’.