A large insurance provider achieves 47% increase in productivity by increasing IT reuse

TCS helped a large insurance provider improve productivity by 47%, reduce cost per developed function point by 62% and evaluate the usefulness of its Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) investments. We recommended using a combination of standard and customized Function Point Analysis (FPA) techniques for different project categories to make the measurements more effective.

The Customer:
TCS’ client is a Fortune 500 company, providing a full range of highly competitive financial planning, insurance, investment, and banking products in the United States.

Business Scenario:
The client, a large American insurance organization, realized the importance of using key metrics to measure performance, benchmark against competition and plan for the future. It was looking to use standard FPA techniques to size its IT projects and measure their productivity and reusability. However, the limitations imposed by the standard FPA techniques led to the following:

  • Incomplete measurement: The methodology only sized end-user functions and did not assess business services, application infrastructure and data warehouse components.
  • Inability to measure productivity of each individual group: The organization did not have a breakup of the contribution of various groups involved in a project.
  • Inability to measure reuse: The client’s FPA technique did not measure sizes at the layer level and, therefore, ignored the reuse achieved through the implementation of SOA.

TCS’ Solution: 
TCS’ consulting team delivered a comprehensive solution using a three-phased approach.

In the first phase, after reviewing current processes and identifying gaps, we decided to continue using the industry standard FPA methodology for the user interface functions. We developed customized function point sizing methodologies to address areas not adequately covered by the standard function points, such as business services, application infrastructure, and data warehouse and business intelligence components. We also developed an algorithm to combine the sizes of the different types of components to determine project size. The customized methodologies were developed in conformance with ISO/IEC 14143-1 standards.

In the second phase, we recomputed the sizes of projects completed during the last three years using the new methodology, to ensure that the metrics remained comparable as far as possible.

In the final Business As Usual (BAU) phase of the engagement, we are managing the Sizing Center of Excellence (SCOE) for the organization. Based on the list of projects and expected closure dates provided by the client’s metrics team, the SCOE collaborates with the project teams to solicit the necessary inputs and count function points using customized function point sizing methodologies.

Our solution has resulted in the following:

  • Increase in productivity by 47% over a three-year period between 2010 and 2013, achieved through effective IT reuse
  • Decrease in cost per developed function point by 62% over the same period (2010-13)
  • Increase in the number of projects for which productivity and reuse were measured from 50% to 80%, due to the inclusion of application infrastructure components as well as projects that develop or enhance business services
  • Increased awareness about reusable assets, including measurement of sizes and growth trends, with the creation of repositories of reusable business services and application infrastructure components 

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