Ensuring alignment around consistent development frameworks can transform the benefits you receive from Agile.
A premier mail order and eCommerce retailer was having issues with their technology development projects. Development was too slow and they were losing money on initiatives as a result. They decided to try a pilot Agile project to see if it would speed development and enable them to successfully seize revenue-generating opportunities in the marketplace. The pilot proved the concept, but adoption across their 120 IT staff members was inefficient and inconsistent.
The company’s executive leadership saw Agile’s potential for their organization and they were determined to succeed. They knew that adopting Agile frameworks – when done correctly and consistently– would offer more adaptability to inevitable changes over the course of an initiative, deepen stakeholder engagement, improve quality, place an emphasis on business value, and enable more efficient development. A fellow retailer recommended Celerity to provide a combination of both Agile training and coaching to establish a path for long-term success in their organization.
Creating a unified approach to Agile development
Celerity began by establishing an enterprise agility team made up of internal resources to lead and champion the project. Working with this team, Celerity built an Agile Transformation Backlog, prioritized projects, and began implementation of the highest priority items.
After establishing the current state needs, the Agile adoption roadmap included:
- Conducting intensive, hands-on trainings at the executive and team levels
- Ongoing Agile coaching
- Identifying a pilot project with three initial Agile teams
- Growing the pilot to five teams
- Scaling Agile across the development organization
Celerity’s success with this roadmap was due to an interactive, hands-on approach that was customized to the specific needs of the client. The Agile trainings had students working in a series of sprints, building software together, and facing real-life problems. The mechanics, roles, principles, and empirical process of Scrum were demonstrated and practiced. As the Agile pilots progressed, they were using Kanban for updates to existing products, while new product development teams were using Scrum. Common missteps and misunderstandings were discussed so students grew into a greater self-awareness of the problems they would face. In addition, Agile coaching of pilot teams and executive stakeholders increased confidence and provided fast answers to key questions.
Moving up the Agile adoption maturity curve
By the end of the coaching and training period, the teams were able to realize and demonstrate the benefits of Agile frameworks, including team cohesion, transparency, and speed to market. Moreover, they were aligned in their approaches, creating a confident, cohesive Agile community.
The Agile Transformation Backlog was embraced by all the teams and became an evolving mechanism that tackled present-state challenges and ensured successful transformation. The retailer continued their journey up the maturity curve and initiated plans to adopt a scaled Agile framework.
Inconsistent adoption of Agile frameworks across IT staff of 120
Informal use of project roadmapping and prioritization
Lack of confidence among executives and development teams around Agile
Sluggish development due to lack of consensus on Agile processes
A unified approach to Agile development frameworks for all 120 staffers
Adoption of an Agile Transformation Backlog and prioritization process
Newfound confidence as executives and developers united through learning
Faster, more efficient development through alignment around Agile principles