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Schroders, driving automation through agile transformation

9 February 2018
Schroders’ ‘Agile Transformation’ programme illustrates how shifting focus to automation for improved quality assurance and faster product delivery can help major financial firms compete with market disrupters on their own terms. Schroders’ Melinda Chapple will outline some of the key drivers behind the programme at the 2018 QA Financial Forum London

Over the past three years, Schroders, the £400 billion investment manager, has completed what is arguably the most far-reaching Agile transformation of any financial firm. At the end of 2017, Schroders has reported a £683,000 saving of annual efficiencies, exceeding its original £500,000 target.

Melinda Chapple, the Singapore-based Head of Schroders’ global quality assurance practice, will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming QA Financial Forum London 2018, and will detail in her presentation the drivers behind kick-starting the ‘Agile Transformation’ programme at Schroders and the changes the firm has made to its testing and quality assurance processes.

For Chapple, Agile software development has been an important part of the response to a new competitive landscape. “We are no longer a firm with technology on one side and business on the other,” Chapple told QA Financial. “The two requirements are increasingly aligned, and being Agile allows us to provide our business community with the tools they need to better serve our clients.”

Schroders chose UST Global, the digital technology services company, to drive its Agile programme forward. The project started with both firms investing in the retraining of Schroders testers in Agile working methods, as well as hiring 60 new testers. The end result, said Chapple, was a unified team approach.

The two firms agreed to continue a separate testing function, and all retained testers were embedded in Agile teams. Waterfall testers were retrained to become automation experts and new test technologies were implemented throughout the enterprise.

As for the next stages of the programme, UST will continue its partnership with Schroders to further implement automation throughout the firm. “We are automating as much as possible,” explained Chapple. “If we can’t automate it, we look again at why we are doing it.”

The main objectives for the firms will include delivering quality metrics, environment and infrastructure management, and extending Schroders’ minimum QA standards to include third party suppliers for a consistent level of quality across the organisation.

Melinda Chapple will be a keynote speaker at the QA Financial Forum London 2018, taking place on 21st February 2018 at the Hilton Canary Warf. To view the full agenda, and to reserve your delegate space, click here.

QA Financial awarded UST Global the ‘Testing transformation project of the year’ in the QA European Software & App Awards 2017. For the full story, click here.

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