Product Development Maturity Assessment Offering
Seizing Market Expansion and Reopening Opportunities with University Buyers
Interfolio is a higher-ed SaaS platform whose Faculty Information System helps universities with the hiring, review, promotion, and tenure of their faculty and academic personnel.
Interfolio, backed by 2018 investments from the New York-based venture capital and private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, developed a series of successful products in academic recruitment, faculty reporting, academic dossiers and more, but they had reached their saturation point in the market. If they wanted to expand their footprint among higher education institutions, they needed new products and services to be able to re-open conversations with prospects in this market.
3Pillar Global worked with Interfolio to seize their market expansion opportunity by helping them conceptualize and build Interfolio Lifecycle Management, a new software product licensed to universities. Simultaneously, we leveraged our Product Development Maturity Assessment (PDMA) which encapsulates our proprietary Product Development Health Index (PDHI). The PDHI is an assessment framework for quality in all aspects of product development – including roadmapping, planning, sprint rituals, collaboration, build practices, deployment, non-feature quality (e.g. security, uptime), production monitoring and user feedback loops.
From the assessment, and in collaboration with Interfolio product and technology leadership, we were able to make specific recommendations that were adopted not only by our team and the individuals at Interfolio we were working directly with, but also by the other teams working inside Interfolio on other portfolio products in the Faculty Information System, helping improve product development practices across the entire organization.
3Pillar took the time to understand the way we were working and why before making specific suggestions for improvement. This helped our team hear those suggestions and ask questions.
Perhaps more importantly for me, their ability to connect those suggestions to how they can make us more competitive helped me make the case for shifting priorities with my stakeholders. The impact of these improvements will yield a dividend every sprint going forward. It’s hard to quantify the impact.
– CTO, Interfolio
While various recommendations were made and applied, one of the most impactful was 3Pillar’s suggestion to improve Interfolio’s Continuous Integration practice through the inclusion of more automated unit and regression testing. Upon code check-in, engineers would receive immediate feedback and were able to discover unintended consequences from the code they submitted, allowing them to make appropriate updates before resubmitting.
At the time, Interfolio was experiencing reduced predictability in their releases. Deadlines were frequently missed in order to complete last-minute discoveries, and releases had to be rolled back due to defects making it to production and being found by clients.
Based on the recommendations that were implemented from the PDMA, the amount of found work pre-deployment decreased significantly, leading to a higher rate of on-time deployments and a dramatic reduction of defects found in production. The client impact was immediately noticed. Interfolio’s Faculty Information System was increasingly becoming a business-critical tool for higher education institutions (for accreditation, resource allocation decision-making, faculty governance, etc.). By increasing the platform’s predictability, clients grew more confident that they could rely on Interfolio’s products for these essential functions.