software development approach and proactive, structured team formation by
Britehouse Digital has given payment gateway services provider, PAYM8 Secure, a
malleable, future-proofed technology and human resources platform on which to
develop and roll-out competitive products.
PAYM8 specialises in m-commerce,
e-commerce, financial collections, and payment gateway services. Using Visa and
PCI certified environments, the company provides access to a single platform
with corresponding application and product expertise, enabling companies to
offer their own m-commerce, e-commerce, and online payment collection solutions
using PAYM8's technology.
PAYM8 Executive – Products &
Services, Ilze van As, says Britehouse's commitment to solving PAYM8's
technology issues included advice on revising business processes in order to
make the organisation as a whole, and not just its technology, as agile as
"From the outset, Britehouse
understood us as an organisation. We see ourselves as game-changers. Britehouse
knew how to enable us to stay that way."
PAYM8 had two legacy platforms
that had been developed outside of PAYM8's environment close to a decade ago.
Although they had served the company well, they were unsuited to modern payment
"Enhancing and expanding our
product suite on the existing platform proved close to impossible and became a
burning issue for the business," Van As says. "We wanted agility,
speed, and savvy user interfaces and technology we could be proud of. We needed
to be able to change business direction easily, without losing grip on our
PAYM8 chose Britehouse Digital
(then 3fifteen) as an implementation partner because it went to the trouble of
organising a day-long workshop demonstrating agile software development's value
to PAYM8. Britehouse was also willing to take responsibility for team
Michelle Ramnath, Britehouse
Digital Consulting Services general manager, says a lengthy, fixed scope
implementation of a new system for PAYM8 would have been outdated before the
final blueprint was approved.
"Agile software development
was the only sensible solution. However, the Britehouse and PAYM8 development
teams came from different work cultures, had dissimilar organisational
structures, and followed varying software approaches. We first needed to form a
cohesive team and introduce simple proven processes before we could expect the
combined team to be effective."
With PAYM8's agreement, Britehouse
Digital took two weeks upfront to build team coherence. This included creating
a product vision, defining team rules of engagement, and establishing a
Once the project started, the
strong collaboration ethic that is a key element in Britehouse teams was
proactively inculcated within the combined team. Planning sessions were highly
interactive, ensuring participation and discussion. Decision-making was
democratic, encouraging and empowering team members to be accountable for their
tasks, actions, and decisions. Pair programming led to better quality code and
promoted cross-pollination of skills and knowledge.
"Getting to a point of a
self-organising team is the ultimate goal and a true measure of success in an
agile project," Ramnath says. "We were helped in achieving this by
the active involvement of our PAYM8 product owner and sponsor throughout the
process, ensuring that the rest of the business supported our
For PAYM8, the process brought
about a complete mind-shift.
"The transformation of our
own team was remarkable and Michelle continues to be exceptional at placing
people in our environment who understand what we're about as a business,"
Van As says. "That's an extraordinary capability considering that PAYM8 is
not your typical banking institution. We just move so fast."
Based on the success of the
virtual team model, PAYM8 has outsourced its development team to Britehouse
Digital, ensuring the sustainability of its software development needs.
"Because we have experts
taking care of our software, we are able to capitalise on the opportunities we
have and focus on taking product to market," Van As says.