The Client

The client is a financial services company specializing in OTC derivatives, helping counterparties protect their margins and manage volatility. Its customers are often mid-size and underserved, and include the producers, processors, and end users of virtually every major traded commodity.

The Challenge

The client recognized that to better serve its customers, it needed a solution to optimize the pricing of customer hedging strategies. While the client understood the problem it wanted to solve, it needed a technology partner with deep domain experience to help determine a feasible roadmap to accomplish its goals. The client also needed a partner with experience estimating large scale solutions in order to approximate the budget (time and cost to implement) and the return on investment of such an undertaking.

The client and Connamara’s staff held several preliminary meetings that allowed the client to learn the depth of Connamara’s experience in capital markets, how Connamara approaches complex projects, and how Connamara manages project scope, time, and cost once the project is underway. Armed with the needed information and a clear roadmap for success, the client awarded Connamara with the contract to implement its solution. 

The Solution

Through the initial client meetings, the client and Connamara agreed that a short engagement focusing on project discovery was needed. Connamara proposed a six week analysis and discovery project. The project had the following concrete deliverables:

  1. A prioritized list of features and user stories to describe the project plan required to build the solution
  2. A list of use cases
  3. An implementation roadmap for a phased release schedule
  4. A list of technology recommendations for the solution
  5. A system diagram showing the recommended architecture of the solution for all client products, while maintaining compatibility with the business lines of the client’s affiliates
  6. An estimate of the capacity, scalability, and availability for the recommended platform
  7. A time and cost estimate to implement the platform

Connamara staffed the analysis and discovery project with a managing partner, a senior engineer, and a senior business analyst. 

Armed with the features, user stories, and implementation roadmap from the analysis and discovery phase, Connamara applied its proven agile project management and implementation techniques to deliver the specified solution. Connamara follows the disciplines of test-driven development, automated testing, and continuous integration to control quality and show project process. Connamara project management relies on complexity points assigned to each user story or feature to measure team velocity and calculate delivery dates. Connamara also standardizes project reporting through regular reporting of the calculated delivery date, hours billed, and budget expended/remaining. Having these metrics consistently reported to the client allows them to manage project delivery expectations and internal upstream reporting. 

Connamara further promotes project status transparency by providing standardized project reporting through regular reporting of the team velocity, remaining points, calculated delivery date, hours billed, and budget expended/remaining. With these metrics consistently reported, the client is able to manage project delivery expectations and internal upstream reporting.  

The Results

The solution was rolled out into production and provided immediate, measurable value. By reducing costs, the new platform provided an immediate return on investment for the client. The platform is a major success and adoption by the firm’s brokers has been incredible, with 100% of the firm’s OTC swap business now on the new system. 

The client has continued expanding and enhancing the solution by engaging Connamara to implement new features and devise a roadmap for future releases. The subsequent releases have broadened the market coverage and product offerings, providing even more value. 

The initial release, including a project discovery phase, took 18 weeks, and subsequent releases followed at an eight week cadence.