Engineering productivity company Haystack has today announced winners of the 2022 Haystack Pioneers awards. The awards program assessed different engineering teams’ ability to adopt Continuous Improvement strategies and whether these teams were empirically able to use these approaches to improve their DevOps metrics, like Cycle Time. The four disruptive winners spanned multiple industries, from FinTech to HealthTech.
Bought By Many
FinTech company, Bought By Many, has been improving insurance since 2012. Their insurance cover has received multiple awards and they were voted the Best Pet Insurance Provider in the 2020 Insurance Choice Awards.
Technology is at the core of Bought By Many’s offering, having been the first UK pet insurer to offer online form-free claims and boasting a focus on user experience. In 2018, Wired magazine listed Bought By Many as one of Europe’s hottest start-ups and they ranked 30th on the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 for 2020. In June 2021, the company announced it had secured $350m in Series D funding, giving a pre-money valuation of over $2bn and thereby becoming a unicorn.
Bought By Many’s efforts on ever-better engineering productivity is led by Timothy Kimball, Russel Rhodes, Shaun Dobson, Andriy Rossoshynskyy, and these efforts achieved remarkable improvements over the second half of 2021. Engineering throughput has trended up by 37% as production deployments have seen an increase of 24%. Haystack Analytics data also shows the engineering team has seen a 30% decrease in Cycle TIme over 6 months, allowing them to complete and deploy new work even faster, resulting in delivery of business value to their customers even faster.
Luscii team photo (pre-COVID)
HealthTech start-up Luscii is on a mission to bring healthcare from the waiting room to the living room. Based in the Netherlands, the remote patient monitoring app is used in 7 countries, including 70% of the hospitals in the Netherlands, within England’s National Health Service, and within Africa.
Over the second half of 2021, Luscii’s engineering team increased production deployments by 89% and saw a 29% increase in engineering throughput. Over that time, Luscii has seen a 20% improvement trend in their Cycle Times.
Luscii’s efforts to drive engineering productivity were led by Roy Pereira, Joris Janssen, and Boite Witte. Reflecting on their success, Pereira emphasizes Luscii’s internal values: “Be free and spark energy”, “Grow to last” and “Show courage for integrity”.
Forto was founded with a vision of delivering a highly transparent, frictionless, and sustainable digital supply chain. Forto’s platform technologies address the entire process stream, from offer, booking, document administration, tracking, and tracing to proactive exemption processing and analysis, supporting customers with greater visibility, insight, and control. Leading manufacturers and e-commerce brands are among the 2,500 customers using Forto’s digitally-focused offerings as part of their supply chain delivery. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, the company currently has more than 700 employees with 15 locations across Europe and Asia including offices in Berlin, Hamburg, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. In 2021, the company achieved unicorn status as it secured $240M in Series C funding at a valuation of $1.2B.
Masashi Beheim, the engineering team’s Chief of Staff, has driven dev productivity improvements in Forto. During the second half of 2021, Forto’s data trends saw an 81% increase in deployments and a 54% increase in engineering throughput whilst keeping Change Failure Rate stable within the healthy range. This all culminated in a 41% decrease in the Cycle Time of working on product features.
Beheim summarised his approach by saying: “We are doubling the size of our engineering org every year. Our main goal is to provide the team with a clear vision, effective structure, as well as great tools and processes. The team is motivated and has what it needs to be effective. That has been the key to our success.”
In 2021, the EdTech company Unibuddy raised an additional $20m for their student recruitment platform. The company helps boost university enrollment for 450+ universities globally.
Kimeshan Naidoo, Chief Technology Officer, has driven efforts to allow the company to measure Accelerate DevOps metrics and deploy services independently. These improvements have resulted in deployments increasing by 641% and throughput trending up by 28% over a 6 month period.
Accepting the award, Naidoo said: “We relentlessly focus on outcomes. Our engineering OKRs are all about driving a drastic improvement in the Accelerate metrics and a key focus for the past two quarters was increasing deployment frequency. This allowed our squads to invest in moving to independent deployment through developing their own services and to implement better development practices like trunk-based development, which helps increase deployment frequency.”
The importance of psychological safety is underscored in Unibuddy’s success, Naidoo continued: “We invested heavily in psychological safety by first measuring it, and we’re now holding workshops with all of our squads to improve it. Without psychological safety, squads won’t take technical risks and try new things which are needed to drive the improvement of the Accelerate metrics!”