StudyPortals’ Gapstars Journey
StudyPortals is an award winning global study choice platform. It started out 10 years ago and has now become a platform where 29 million students a year explore their study options to find the study programme that perfectly matches their personal preferences.
- 50 000+ courses covered
- 2450 educational institutions on the platform
- HQ: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
- ±155 employees
- 6 awards for business and social excellence
StudyPortals wanted to build an offshore capability through a dedicated and agile product engineering team. Since it was their first time working with a remote team, synergizing this process seemed like a big challenge for which they wanted a trusting partner.
For StudyPortals, their core requirement was to find the subject matter expertise on a technical level; the organization was looking for the technical excellence necessary to scale up their product. This included US capabilities, product planning and product development.
Only 5 months after partnering up with Gapstars, StudyPortals already benefitted from significant cost savings and a sprint velocity that had doubled.
We've built a scrum team with Gapstars for agile and scaling purposes."Edwin van Rest - CEO StudyPortals
A three pillar solution
The backbone of our StudyPortals strategy was made up of three different pillars.
Each pillar consisted of different elements and together they formed a fully tailored solution to the needs of StudyPortals.
The Gapstars StudyPortals team initially focused on 3 areas: Teamwork, Transparency and Standardization.
The team was entrusted with the development and maintenance of Uni Admin, the core of StudyPortals, which is the business’ logic layer for administration.
In order to achieve this objective, the team’s activities went beyond simply developing software; they worked together with Product Managers and stakeholders on elements such as the UX, the user journey and product innovation.
- Productivity Metrics
- Quality Metrics
- Number of delivered business demand
- Sprint velocity
- Commitment vs DONE ratio
- Defect rate
- Customer complaints
For StudyPortals, the Product Engineering pillar was made up of 4 different elements.
The Gapstars team contributed towards product planning and development.
Our Gapstars team excels in XP practices, such as TDD, Unit testing helped in achieving technical excellence.
Quality is key
Build-in quality ensures minimal bugs and is tracked through the Defect Severity Index and Defect Density.
The team had a lot of experience on UX and contributed hugely to this aspect.
Subject Matter Expertise
In order to build StudyPortals the solution they needed, the team had to hold a certain level of subject matter expertise in various fields:
StudyPortals started to work with Gapstars to build an offshore capability that gave them the technical excellence necessary to scale up their product. The organization also wanted to improve its time-to-market and get its teams to produce value faster while ensuring the highest quality.
At the end of its first 5 months of transition, the team already doubled its velocity in each sprint. Stakeholders of the team were satisfied with these results and started to endorse more complex responsibilities.
This is just the beginning. Together with the StudyPortals leadership and their scrum coach we scaled up the scrum practices to aim for an optimized value delivery and an even faster time-to-market.