PGGM is a leading provider of pension funds for the Dutch market. The not-for-profit cooperative works together with Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (PFZW) in creating sustainable funds for people working in the health care and welfare sector. It was founded in 1969 as a part of smaller Dutch pension funds in the healthcare industry. In 1970, the fund took over the pensions for healthcare workers in the Netherlands. PGGM is headquartered in Zeist, Netherlands and manages over €160 billion in assets. Its investments are long term and aim for sustainability. There are 22,000 affiliated employers and 1.9 million participants in the fund
Room to Improve
To keep up with the demands of clients wanting premium features faster, and well-priced portfolio management, PGGM needed to tighten up its IT infrastructure and working methods. This would help lower costs, while reducing churn, making the pension fund even more competitive in its field. The addition of Agile testing techniques to its toolkit, with help from Xebia’s Agile consultants, would provide PGGM with the right mix of knowledge and skills to increase ROI, productivity and create better products. As test lead Harriëtte van der Kloet observed:
“Rolling out the Agile test method provided us with key insight into how we could improve functionality for customers.”
Pensions funds strive to remain competitive and PGGM was no different. PGGM’s work with Xebia and its Agile experts gave the company the bandwidth to fundamentally improve customer value. To do so, a thorough analysis of its IT infrastructure and organizational methods was necessary. Fine-tuning software and ways of working to speed up production times would enhance productivity. Development and delivery were freed up considerably through software quality assurance. Employees were empowered by Xebia’s experts to self-strategize and gain an even better understanding of concepts, with a team quality mindset.
Agile Quality Assurance
Cost awareness was but one of the main forces for PGGM’s move to Agile. An architecture of Agile working from the IT department to sales and marketing created a more harmonious transition from development to end product. Teams aligned with a common goal: testing and quality assurance would be the de facto focus of the project. Does the software actually work? Are the teams working in tandem or separately? These were important questions asked to understand how to implement procedures that worked best for PGGM. Taking a collaborative approach with Xebia helped PGGM gain better insight in changing and streamlining workflows and reduced overall cost with increased delivery speed.