01 Who is epay?
Epay is a leading processor of financial transactions and prepaid content. If you’ve ever used a gift card or conducted a pin-based transaction, epay was probably involved. They have helped to facilitate over 10 billion transactions since 2003, and their software modules connect customers around the world with hundreds of thousands of products and services.
epay’s customers are a varied group with divergent needs, so epay has to work hard to make sure every segment is being taken care of properly. They serve retailers, content providers, distributors, and service operators in 35 countries around the globe. Agile practices make it possible for epay’s teams to develop a partnership-based relationship with each individual customer.
02 Culture and Process
The Agile Methodology has enabled epay to be more nimble in their responses to shifting customer needs. Rather than relying solely on the project requirements by provided by clients, epay goes the extra mile to get to know their customers. They then propose comprehensive solutions based on the client’s business. Work is done in iterations, and the standard company process contains strong flavors of Scrum.
Many of the projects epay works on are contract driven with specific start and end dates. Managers must provide project plans to stakeholders and keep track of key milestones in order to meet customer deadlines. Teams are encouraged to formulate their own process and work independently, but must also be able to report progress up the hierarchy in a more traditional fashion. The resulting process is a functional compromise between the responsiveness of Agile and the reliability of more traditional structures.
03 Problems that needed solving:
Before Targetprocess, epay’s teams used different software tools for QA, development, and support. Management would use Excel sheets to plan projects, and team members would have to manually transfer requirements, progress updates, and completed work between the multiple solutions. This system worked, but much time was wasted, and many headaches were caused.
epay needed a solution that could eliminate extraneous work, reflect the real-time status of multiple projects, and unify the efforts of their teams in one central location. The new tool had to be able to encourage the company’s rising Agile culture, while still fulfilling the company’s more traditional needs. To find such a solution, epay set several goals for their new tool:
- Get all or most teams working on the same software
- Must be flexible enough to model different processes across projects
- Consistently release quality work on time
- Must be able to help manage customer expectations
- Must allow for easy traceability for all work items (especially requests)
04 Switching to Targetprocess:
Nick Ide, a Senior Software Engineer at epay and the architect of their switch to a new management solution, was initially skeptical of Targetprocess. However, after seeing a product demo and playing around inside the tool, things began to speed up. Internal resistance to the change also fell after a few training sessions with our Product Specialists.
To tailor Targetprocess around epay’s process, Nick created some new custom fields for project start and end dates (we have since implemented built-in fields for this data). He also created a mashup to assist with creating audit reports. The mashup visually alerted users when any required fields were left incomplete. Epay no longer needs to use this mashup, because our visual encoding feature now satisfies this requirement for them.
05 The benefits:
- Increased acceptance and adoption of agile practices
- A central place to manage work and spot problems before they happen
- A marked decrease in emails, meetings, and headaches
- Visibility across teams and projects has resulted in more effective change management
a Fewer Headaches:
Testing requirements and change documentation are now easily available from one central location. The ability to link work items and change management requests has helped to drastically reduce the amount of management headaches. Creating reports for audits is now a much simpler task, because management does not have to hunt down data through multiple software tools: almost every work item can be traced from start to finish through Targetprocess.
b More Flexibility:
The ability to model any process and use varying processes across teams (even within the same project) is a key benefit for epay. Their teams need to have the freedom to build their own process and not be shoehorned into a predefined setup. Targetprocess’ visual approach and focus on transparency helps managers to oversee these different processes in a unified manner, without sacrificing personalizations at the individual and team levels.
c Time Saved:
The integration of Request Management, our Service Desk, and our Inbound Email Integration has helped epay’s teams save immense amounts of time. They are able to triage incoming work items, send replies to customers, and assign work to team members, all inside of Targetprocess. This saves time, reduces extraneous emails, and improves the traceability of these work items, making it easier to keep track of customer requests.
“One of the ways Targetprocess helped us was with our solutions center (a tier-2 help desk). We would get bombarded with emails and requests would get lost in the ether. Keeping customers happy and making sure we were working on the most important thing was tough. Then, we set up email integration in Targetprocess and began using the Helpdesk. Now, everything we do that’s non-project related comes through our email integration and ends up as a request in the system.”
Request management isn’t the only area where epay team members have been able to save time; improvement has also occurred at a more granular level. Daily tasks that aren’t normally thought of as time consuming have been made more efficient:
06 Recommendations for other companies:
Nick Ide spent a lot of time evaluating different solutions for epay. In his opinion, it’s important to consider the whole picture. You can’t just think about a new solution from a macro management perspective; you have to examine how usable it will be for employees at any given level of the hierarchy. Most importantly, you have to pick a tool that can evolve around your process, rather than one that forces you into its own preset workflows.
Targetprocess works for epay because the tool's open structure matches their culture of democracy and personal responsibility. When a more traditional approach is called for, epay is able to model the system to match those requirements too.
- Targetprocess was recognized as a Visionary in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools” and was included in the related “Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools”
April 2019, “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools” **Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
- We have been using Targetprocess for more than three years by now and still been surprised when our teams find news ways and work areas to use it...
It is really so flexible that we can nearly model and effectively use in each workflow we need. New departments request me from time to time to show them "that tool you have with nice cards :-)Jorge Rivero SanchezInnovation Director
- I love how adaptable and flexible Targetprocess is. It meets the various needs of so many different departments within our organization. We manage all of our IT, creative and legal workflow through Targetprocess. It's helped create a centralized location for our cross-department needs – as well as providing a history of our work.Katie MacCabeAssistant Director
- I used Targetprocess at some very large multi-team multi-program clients and had a consistently good experience.
I've got a lot of experience of Jira, Rally, PivotalTracker, Trello, Mingle and open source agile lifecycle management tools. I like Targetprocess better - it covers a lot more ground, the information architecture is really consistent, it's solid as a rock and fast too. Best of breed.Peter MerelCTO and Agile Coach