Focused on Delivery: Focused Labs developers accelerated product delivery for one of Aperture’s largest clients, while building a primary source verification (PSV) API to enable verification and credentialing. During these projects, Focused Labs enabled Aperture’s team with the benefits of Extreme Programming.
Focused on Results: Quickly saved a time-sensitive project abandoned by previous development contractors. The PSV API made verification possible within hours instead of weeks. Aperture’s engineers have embraced more pair programming work and significantly improved the daily working relationships between Aperture and client stakeholders.
Focused on Partnership: Aperture partnered with Focused Labs to imbue agile work states within their engineering teams while also quickly building software for a client. This will give Aperture a more agile approach to building and deploying valuable software going forward.
Guiding an agile Transformation for Aperture’s Development Team
Aperture Health wanted to work smarter — an agile transformation in product and software development was the direction they wanted to pursue. When a few software development contractors decided not to renew their work before finishing a project for Aperture’s client, Troy Anderson, chief production and information officer, saw an opportunity to partner with Focused Labs. He wanted to both finish a project in a time crunch and extend the working relationships to guide his team toward a more agile way of developing software.
Aperture Health delivers provider management software for companies all across the healthcare space. Anderson’s goal in working with Focused Labs was to enhance his team’s ability to build and deploy complex, specific and impressive software to their clients.
Building time-saving healthcare API’s ahead of schedule
The first development project between Aperture and Focused Labs started in December of 2020. The previous team of developers had ended their contract before finishing the job, so understanding the work and its context was the biggest issue in getting started.
The project needed to be finished quickly and Focused Labs was up for the challenge. “Having partners who can quickly staff up like Focused is nice to have,” says Will Reed, former head of engineering at Aperture. “They basically hopped onto a speeding train from a standstill.”
Aperture needed Focused Labs to help build out a primary source verification (PSV) API for a client. PSV is the method a healthcare provider uses to verify someone has the right certificate, license or registration to practice a profession. This important piece of Aperture client’s work was taking weeks to accomplish due to lack of automation in sharing that data.
Focused Labs quickly built a self-service API that enabled Aperture’s client to accomplish PSV within hours —not days. By automating the data retrieval process between accreditor and provider, this software cut PSV requests — which could manually take more than three days — down to four hours. They further streamlined the process by then developing automated billing and invoicing for the API clients.
And they delivered it all three weeks ahead of schedule.
Proving the benefits of an agile transformation through pair programming
During this project, Focused Labs’ developers worked alongside Aperture’s to show the benefits of pair programming. Aperture wanted to move away from a waterfall type workflow to more iterative development. Focused Labs showed Aperture’s team the benefits of things like weekly team rituals and a cadenced release schedule for a project in progress.
Focused Labs also collaborated with Aperture to bring more modern tooling into their work environment. When partnering with development teams, Focused Labs always looks to implement new modern systems. With Aperture, the legacy applications they were previously working with made it virtually impossible to find out when the software Aperture was providing to its clients was faltering. To close that feedback loop between Aperture’s clients and Aperture, Focused Labs suggested and then implemented new tooling — such as New Relic — to facilitate performance monitoring. This way the client did not need to alert developers when things were breaking — they now had the tools to monitor performance themselves.
Through working in a more collaborative, agile process, Aperture was able to solve problems in smaller chunks which led to a greater end result. Focused Labs also worked directly with Aperture’s client development team to mend the communication and relationship that had been strained by the contractors who left the project unfinished. This direct communication and collaboration has led to significant improvement in workflow and understanding between Aperture and their client stakeholders.
Making an agile transition away from top-down workflow
Aperture could have used any other development partner, but what was appealing about Focused Labs was the culture and workflow they were able to model with Aperture’s team.
“Focused Labs are educators and modelers of new behaviors and new practices. Our team brought the knowledge of the tech stack and Focused Labs were bringing tools in terms of how to work and how to gain confidence about the software that is being built. Everyone’s adding value from day one,” says Reed. “Focused Labs are transferring their process to us and their job is to get out of here.”
Focused Labs embodied the best ways to produce valuable software to Aperture’s clients and worked alongside them to ensure they knew it was possible.