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Comparethemarket.com optimises HMTL5 mobile site for iOS and Android, not Blackberry

Derek du Preez | Feb. 5, 2013
Comparethemarket.com has recently launched a HTML5 mobile site for users searching for car insurance quotes on iOS and Android devices, but has decided against investing in optimising for Blackberry handsets.

Lomas also told Computerworld UK how since joining comparethemarket.com two years ago, with the help of consultants ThoughtWorks, he has transformed it into an agile organisation.

"When I first walked into comparethemarket.com it was like a traditional IT department. It was very difficult to work out who was working on what, whether it was the right priority, when it would go live etc. Since then we have moved to product-based teams, and these have really been fundamental to our success," said Lomas.

"They are small groups, where we give the teams the opportunity to develop strong working relationships, optimise their processes and have a joint mission to continuously improve their product."

He added: "I know Amazon have a saying that if a team can eat more than two pizzas, it's too large. To be frank, we have subscribed to that view."

Lomas said that this approach has given comparethemarket.com clear accountability and allows the teams to 'self-organise'. There are eight product teams in total. However, he did warn that the agile approach can create challenges for the departments need to work across teams.

"This has been incredibly successful, but I guess the challenge is how do you get cross product consistency? We might be talking about a UI framework that has been developed by Team A - how do we make sure that is spread and disseminated to Teams B, C, D and E too?" he said.

"It is also a challenge to change the 'IT mind set' that change equals instability. Our primary objective is to have a stable system for people to compare and buy products, but stability and change don't have to be enemies."

He added: "If you recognise that with the right rigour and process you can actually change frequently in a repeatable manner, you can deliver working pieces of software to an incredibly high degree of quality."

 

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