In March 2018, CitNOW, smart video services for the automotive industry, was acquired by Tenzing Private Equity. The investment from Tenzing will facilitate an acceleration in CitNOW's vision for international expansion, sales growth and new product development.
About the company
CitNOW provide video applications that create a more transparent, easier car buying and owning experience for automotive dealership customers.
CitNOW produce over 10 million videos a year and with this growth and scale there is an immediate need to define required investment in platform and technology to support the continues growth and scalability ambitions.
Palladium were engaged by Tenzing PE to support CitNOW in achieving the following objectives:
Understand the performance and value delivered by the existing technical division, based on industry standards and CitNOW’s objectives
Validate the need for the proposed architecture re-development - and if required, make recommendations as to method, timescales, and budget required to deliver it
Assess the viability and impact of partial or total off-shore resourcing for both re-write and ongoing development
The Palladium approach
This project was undertaken through a combination of stakeholder interviews and review of existing documentation.
The work was broken down into three key assessment areas:
- Review CitNOW’s technology environment
- Baseline existing technology performance
- Identify performance and scalability requirements
- Assess the viability and feasibility of the product roadmap
- Validate the roadmap’s alignment to business objectives
Ways of Working
- Understand the existing team structure, capability and governance model
- Assess the product development methodology
Key findings, results and areas for development
This project identified findings across four key themes:
Key Person Dependency
- Significant reliance on the Leadership Team to drive product decisions
- Lack of documentation leading to substantial reliance on tacit business understanding
- Monolithic application with all features maintained on a single codebase
- Limited ability to reliably load test and implement Test Driven Development (TDD) and automated testing
- Lack of containerisation limits ability to scale
- Potential security vulnerabilities due to brittle application architecture
- Data hygiene could be improved to ensure continued adherence to data and information security standards and enable a reduction in the size of the database
Product Delivery Methodology
- Product Roadmap items are not supported by quantifiable benefits
- Testing is not incorporated into development sprints
- Siloed teams working in different release cycles
- Limited business analysis and lack of documented acceptance criteria
- Lack of automated regression testing
- Lack of defined business requirements limits the ability to test the product functionality
A scorecard was also completed to assess the impact of identified findings on CitNOW’s three key objectives (defined in the project background), and recommendations provided as to remediation activities.