Smart Pension: The Story of a Powerful Product and Team Augmentation

How to maintain Formula 1 growth speed without losing product and development quality

London, United Kingdom

Project Management, Team Augmentation, Web Development
Ruby on Rails

Smart Pension is a high-scaling fintech company that has inspired a new approach to pension systems in the UK and abroad. Once their concept of an auto enrolment product proved a huge success, the software team started growing exponentially. The only way to keep up the pace and quality was to hire developers externally and leave further recruitment to an experienced provider. Here’s how Smart Pension ensured quick growth and top software quality by joining forces with Code & Pepper.

About Smart Pension

Smart Pension is a perfect example of fintech revolution brought to the areas normally operated by state institutions and banks. The platform offers automatic pension schemes based on a defined contribution plan, handling the whole process through a digital platform. 

Challenge

Smart Pension, a UK-based workplace pension platform, started as a product dedicated to their domestic market, but it proved to have the potential to conquer global markets. The new ambitions were followed by an increased demand for new employees – in 2019, the in-house development team growth exceeded 400%. At this pace, the company needed to find new sources of employees with appropriate skills to avoid compromising the product quality. 

Solutions for Smart Pension

“The fast fish eats the slow fish” – agile teams for fast-paced growth

In today’s business, the size doesn’t matter as much as the speed of development – even a small player can win with a big enterprise if it reacts quickly to the changing market. As a consequence, such companies need to find ways to optimise their performance and maintain high standards. One of the ways followed by Code & Pepper and cultivated in Smart Pension was agile team management with such elements as:

  • a dedicated product owner that stays in touch with the client’s team and is available for constant communication
  • project management based on Kanban, put together by a dedicated Agile lead supporting the teams in all locations
  • self-organising development teams working independently, but keeping each other up to date with their progress

Currently, the team built by Code & Pepper is working from two different locations (Warsaw, Kraków). They are fully synced with the core team in London, participating in online meetings on a regular basis.

Strict product requirements vs. customisation

As a fintech product, Smart Pension faces the necessity to comply with strict regulatory requirements. More importantly, the evolution from a UK-based workplace pension to a globally adaptable platform requires constructing features that are highly customisable. To resolve the two matters, team built by Code & Pepper in Poland worked hand in hand with Smart Pension engineers to create an advanced pension forecaster. It is based on complex conditions, which results in just the right level of flexibility to adapt the platform to different regulations.

Continuous deployment for irresistible code quality

Smart Pension has cultivated a strong developer community with high standards in terms of code quality and development process. There was no other way for Code & Pepper but find skilled developers and quality assurance specialists who would follow the client’s requirements including:

  • Clean code – universally compatible with previously developed branches and easily maintainable
  • Continuous deployment – the new branches are merged 20+ times a day
  • Focus on testing – the code features nearly 100% test coverage

Code & Pepper have been instrumental in helping us scale our Engineering Team.  
By building dedicated teams of Ruby Engineers for us they have helped us hire highly skilled engineers into our business.

Martin Warner, Head of Talent at Smart Pension

Technologies and solutions for Smart Pension

Ruby
ruby-on-rails Created with Sketch. Rails
java-script Created with Sketch. JavaScript
kanban Created with Sketch. Kanban

Code & Pepper Services for Smart Pension

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