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Agile approach helps British Telecom align DevOps to customer solutions Posted on : Nov 21 - 2020

There’s a “telephone” effect that can happen in the software development process. The customer communicates a problem that information technology sets out to solve, but the delivered solution doesn’t match those original requirements.

“The testing team or the delivery team in IT think they’ve done a great job … but then our customers are saying, ‘Well, actually, that’s not working [and] this isn’t working,” said Glyn Martin (pictured), head of QA transformation at British Telecom Group PLC.

Martin spoke with Lisa Martin, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the DevOps Virtual Forum. Taking an inside-out view of DevOps from an evolution perspective, they discussed how BT is using Agile methodology to ensure the solutions customers receive are the ones they need. (* Disclosure below.)

BT takes an Agile approach to the transformation journey

Although it’s a global telecoms company and a leader in the British market, BT is still early in its cloud journey. As head of quality assurance, Martin is in charge of making sure it’s done right. And like every transformation leader dealing with decades worth of legacy processes and equipment, he’s faced with a complex and lengthy task only made harder by the coronavirus.

“In a world where the pace is ever increasing, and with the pressures on at the moment where we’re being asked to do things more efficiently and lean as possible, we need to be thinking about every part of the process and how do we put the stepping stones in place to lead us to a more automated future,” he said.

Instead of providing the customer with technology that doesn’t resonate with their problem, the team now uses Broadcom Inc.’s Agile Requirements Designer to implement agile testing principles in its software development cycles. By listening to and collaborating with the customer, they are not only matching requirements upfront, but making constant adjustments to continue to meet the customer’s needs.

“The approach that we’ve taken has not started with technology. We’ve taken human-centered design as a core principle of what we do within the IT part of BT,” Martin stated. “The heart of it is really about looking at the data, looking at the processes, looking at where the kind of waste is, and then actually then looking at the right solutions.”

BT may be only starting its cloud journey, but the results of adopting the Agile Requirements Designer are already visible.

“It allowed us to work with the business collaboratively,” Martin said. “For the first time since I remember working within BT, I had customers saying to me, ‘Wow, we want more of this.’” Source