Our client is a global logistics company, focused on supporting late-stage clinical trials. Pharma, Clinicians and trial managers demand speed, accuracy and reliability when delivering highly specialised treatments, urgent tissue and blood samples. The investments are measured in millions of dollars. Successful completion can mean life or death for those in the trials.

Our client has developed, maintains and extends key technology platforms that integrate with all key stakeholders and carrier systems in a genuine 24/7 business. Our client’s growth over the last five years has been phenomenal, with consistently high, double-digit growth year on year.

The Challenge

The CTO’s team was core to the company’s growth and success, building quality software with a stable team. But business growth was outrunning the team’s capacity, a situation exacerbated by key resignations. The use of an offshore resource was not able to pick up the slack and the commercial depts were increasingly frustrated with decreased delivery from the technology function. The CTO himself was a highly accomplished developer in his own right, with a deep understanding of agile development techniques. He and the team shared an unshakeable commitment to code quality, testing and team ownership. Being time-poor, he sought more management help and developers who were in tune with his very high standards and help address the issues of scaling

ABN focused on key areas to achieve success.

Third-Party Management

Business Case management

Recruitment Planning

Contract drafting

Project Governance

Sizing the need

If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.

We established ways to reconcile multiple requirements and backlogs. This helped frame the to-do list and likely order of value and gave insight into the amount of work (effort). This enabled us to gauge how many development and delivery people were needed.

We also established metrics that showed the dollar investment in the offshore teams was not returning good value for money. In fact, we could see code issues and processes decreasing output for the whole team and creating quality issues.

Finally, we identified Key Person Dependencies (KPD), including the CTO, which presented an unacceptably high risk to the business.

A costed business case was created for the CTO to present to the Board that clearly demonstrated a better way to invest money into growing the team, address the KPDs and the way back to restoring dependable delivery roadmaps. The CTO was genuinely excited to have the whole case approved.

Team Building

We designed the team profile, skills matrix, cultural fit and selling documents needed to brief agencies.

The interview process relied on our skill and judgement to find suitable people, with the right coding aptitude, delivery skills and product savvy. This allowed the CTO to focus on the day job confident we would only present people with the best fit at the final interview with him. Technical excellence was established throughout and the team were involved to ensure our approach was inclusive. Diversity was high on our agenda to reflect the global agenda of the company.

We also researched and searched for suitable office premises in London as the company was keen to have a co-located team (a pre-pandemic objective which was amended)

Third-Party Management

Recruitment takes time. Competing for the best talent in a seller’s market is harder still. We carefully scaled back the overseas operation saving several $000k within months.

Spend was redirected to local onshore services. Companies were selected based on technical excellence, delivery reputation and culture. We orchestrated the questionnaires for the RFP, presentations and the scoring to select the best and acted as point person for the third parties throughout.

We also drafted the original agreements between the client and supplier and worked with Legal Counsel to provide the refinements. The original drafting was key to building the agile way of working, risk sharing and governance. Both our client and supplier were keen to have an agile agreement (but not one that relied on points!)

Thereafter we facilitated the original governance meetings which were then handed to the new team to manage. Governance of Agile ways of working esp with 3rd parties can be notoriously difficult.


Scaling in a successful business is not just about technology choices. It also relies on some good old-fashioned business management and well-thought-out plans for bringing the right people in to support growth. And cheap does not always mean good. Our experience of working with suppliers and being able to get “get under the hood” allowed us to identify and unpick things that were subtracting value not adding.

Why we like working with the client?

Unshakeable commitment to quality
Real end-customer focus
Strong team ethos
Willing to engage in change

Imagine consultants that actually do something!

We work with companies who need the benefit and experience of senior IT practitioners, able to tackle challenging problems of scale, change and IT management, But, who don’t want or cannot afford the full-time salary on their books

With ABN you do not need to compromise on quality or break the bank to give your company a boost in managing technology

And yes we are a bit geeky but we take your business very seriously indeed

We would love to hear from you and see how we can help