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Vicki Gerson
Vicki Gerson
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No Fear of Change

Navy Federal Credit Union automates application life cycle management.

Entering the new millennium, Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU; Vienna, Va.), which serves 2.4 million members, needed to gain control of its software changes. Due to piecemeal implementations over the years, the credit union had developed many processes to manage its software changes that were labor-intensive and inconsistent, which made it difficult to generate reliable and accurate information on application life cycles.

"The old system was subject to error, parts of it were slow and developers couldn't do any work from a remote location," says Angie Hatcher, supervisor of configuration management, standards and test environment, NFCU. "These problems also had an effect on other employees at the credit union and indirectly on the membership."

To eliminate the problems, the credit union sought a solution to automate and manage software changes in mid-2000. After vendors presented their solutions to NFCU's programmers, testers, technical support staff and upper management, the credit union surveyed its employees for input and, based on their feedback, selected Serena Software's (San Mateo, Calif.) enterprise change management solution ChangeMan ZMF, which moves code through an automated life cycle and provides impact analysis, in mid-2001.

With assistance from Serena consultants, ChangeMan ZMF was loaded on NFCU's mainframe within a week, according to Michael Moyer, systems analyst, NFCU. Since the software does not rely on proprietary languages or data structures, no hardware changes were needed for the implementation, but it took longer than an out-of-the-box implementation "because we were customizing the software and reviewing our own applications to see how they should be set up," Moyer says. NFCU followed the implementation with a six-month pilot program.

In 2002, the credit union also purchased Serena's ChangeMan DS for application development management. "Before this software, every development group had its own methods, and it was difficult for management to have a grasp of what work was being done," Moyer says.

Serena consultants again came on-site, this time for a four-month implementation. ChangeMan DS was installed on a server, allowing network access; a DS Client user interface was installed on individual PCs.

Both Moyer and Hatcher agree that ChangeMan ZMF simplifies audit compliance, prevents overlays, enforces quality assurance measures and reduces maintenance costs and regression errors. Moyer adds that ChangeMan DS allows NFCU to improve application uptime and reliability; provide auditable and traceable activity; and provide consistent enforcement of business processes across the environments.

"As a result of both systems, we have increased reliability and accuracy, reduced downtime and realized a savings of hours of manual labor," he points out. "In addition, the development staff is more productive, manual processes have been replaced with automated ones, there are better reporting tools for our management people, there's a much better audit trail, and the implementation time for large projects has been cut in half."



Institution: Navy Federal Credit Union (Vienna, Va.).

Assets: $21 billion in total assets.

Business Challenge: Streamline software changes.

Solution: Serena Software's (San Mateo, Calif.) ChangeMan ZMF and ChangeMan DS application life cycle management solutions.

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