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A Perfect Blend—Aligning Teams and Improving Throughput With Cprime Cloud Migration and Enterprise Agile Coaching
Industry: Networking Hardware and Telecommunications Equipment Manufacturing, Software, and IT Services
Company Size: 26,000 (excluding contractors)
Location: San Jose, California with offices worldwide
Products: Network Hardware, Security Products, Collaboration Tools, Managed Services, and IOT Applications
- Atlassian Jira Implementation and Customization
- Atlassian Cloud Migration
- Agile Training
- Enterprise Agile Coaching
Following years of growth, this global communications leader struggled against a variety of development frameworks and project management tools. Seeking a holistic solution, the company called upon Cprime for a blended transformation of both its agile ways of working and software tooling. The engagement resulted in unprecedented Levels of visibility, traceability, and communication.
This Cprime client is one of the world’s foremost networking hardware, software, and telecommunications equipment providers. Since 1984, it has created an expansive portfolio of routers, switches, wireless access points, security products, collaboration tools, managed services, and IoT applications.
Today, the California-based technology company operates in over 100 countries. Recognized for its innovations and commitment to delivering high-quality products and services, the company serves a variety of data-intensive industries, including healthcare, finance, education, and government.
The company reported revenues of over $51 billion in 2022.
The Challenge: Finding a Common Language and Reconnecting Siloed Teams
Because of the size of its workforce and complex portfolio of products and services, the network and communications provider faced a set of challenges typical of many established enterprises. Decades of growth and incremental process changes had created a disconnect between its leadership, departments, and teams.
“Over the years, the company adopted a variety of tools and frameworks—everyone interacted and worked differently,” explains Chuck Badger, Managing Director at Cprime. “If a developer transferred from one business unit to another, they had to start over, both from a tooling and a process perspective.”
“It’s a common dilemma for organizations of this scale,” adds Elida Parish, Managing Director of Customer Success at Cprime. “Throughout the company, they developed pockets of people using different tools and trying different things. Every team had adopted its own process. Moving from area to area, they were speaking past each other—not even using the same terminology.”
“Every team had adopted its own way of working. Moving from area to area, they were speaking past each other—not even using the same terminology.” — Elida Parish, Cprime, Managing Director, Customer Success
Increasing Transparency to Improve Strategic Planning
Besides creating communication issues, the information silos between areas hindered the company executive’s efforts to evaluate the business and plan strategically. The lack of visibility affected the company’s time to market and its ability to plan and invest in future initiatives. Declining quality and increasing costs and delivery times across the organization were also key concerns.
“With everybody on a different page, there was no way for the company to roll up consistent reporting,” explains John Kosco, Cprime Enterprise Agile Transformation Consultant. “They just didn’t have visibility into what was happening in their different agile teams. They needed to raise transparency so leadership could prioritize and manage portfolios to ensure that everyone was doing the right work. And, they had to implement a unified framework to ensure the work was being done right.”
“Leadership recognized that they had to standardize,” says Parish. “The goal was to improve throughput and deliver value faster by adopting a cloud-first, single project management framework, to drive alignment by moving disconnected teams onto a centralized tech stack, and to more effectively identify and meet business needs by creating a unified picture of the business.”
Besides aligning its teams under a standard framework using a central tool, the company wanted to move its infrastructure online to take greater advantage of cloud technologies.
The Solution: Cprime Cross-Functional Teams for Holistic Cultural and Technical Transformation
To accomplish its goals, the company needed to perform three core tasks—promote a common, internally developed agile framework, onboard a centralized platform as a single source of truth for reporting and project management, and migrate all production data onto that platform and into the cloud without disrupting the business. It was a hybrid initiative—both cultural and technical—affecting the company’s largest engineering groups, and thousands of people.
“Cprime was there to help the company find the best approaches to solve its problems and act as a sounding board to help build the internal capability to enable its teams long term.” — Dan Weikart, Cprime Director & Enterprise Agile Coach
“The agile transformation addresses the organization’s cultural mindset and processes,” explains Anthony Crain, Cprime Business Agility Coach. “The Jira Cloud migration and technical tooling transformation provide a standardized platform for the teams to break down the work, identify strengths and weaknesses, and give management insight into exactly what the teams are doing to achieve the company’s desired business outcomes.”
Enabling Cultural Change with the PRIME Approach
The network communications provider turned to Cprime to enable the multi-faceted transformation. It was a decision driven by over a decade of experience working with Cprime as a partner for change within the organization.
“Cprime’s method, PRIME—Prepare, Roadmap, Iterate, Measure, Enable— aligned perfectly with the company’s goals,” says Kosco. “We formed a collaboration infrastructure where the Cprime coaches and cross-functional teams provided the resources to help the company implement a common agile taxonomy. In practical terms, Cprime was there to help them find the best approaches to solve problems, and to act as a sounding board to help them build the internal capability to enable their teams long term.”
Creating a Template for Agile Unity
Using the PRIME approach, Cprime prepared for the agile transformation by meeting with the company leaders to establish a blueprint for forming and educating teams and teams of teams within the organization. With an approved roadmap in place, Cprime began coaching teams on how to execute a new way of working using the new Jira Cloud tools.
“As coaches, Cprime engaged with the leaders and the teams, acting as a translation layer between theory and practice,” says Weikart. “We presented the new ways of working in a consistent, practical fashion that rolled up across the organization.”
Besides traditional instructor-led, role-based workshops, Cprime worked with the company to create 27 Learning Bytes—short guides that reinforce context-specific agile principles and practices. Another eight Agile Primers provide detailed, always-available references that clarify core agile roles and processes. Over 18 months, Cprime’s on-the-ground coaching team expanded from 3 to over 30 members.
“Because of the combined agile and tooling initiatives, positive change is visible everywhere. We delivered growth in earnings, revenue, and each of our key transformation metrics.” — Executive Sponsor
A Technical Jira Cloud Migration to Support a New Agile Methodology
Parallel to the coaches propagating the company’s new agile methodology, the Cprime Customer Success team worked to establish a Jira Cloud environment to centralize reporting and portfolio management, and to foster further alignment.
Leveraging their expertise as an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, the Cprime Customer Success team worked to onboard the provider’s teams to its new Jira Cloud infrastructure. This included overseeing a complex data migration from disparate on-site Jira instances.
“In many cases, the Jira data was already there,” says Parish. “But it wasn’t a simple matter of just lifting and shifting the data to the cloud. They were bringing together all their different tools and migrating them into Jira Align.”
Collaborating for Optimal Outcomes
To ensure a successful migration, the multi-disciplinary Cprime team coordinated across time zones to maintain the integrity of the migrated data. The entire process required constant cooperation between the networking provider and the Cprime Customer Success team.
“Not only was Cprime migrating live data, we had to make sure we weren’t stepping on anyone’s toes as they used the system. They had many scrum and kanban boards in production that contained broken workflow validators and other issues. Those needed to be addressed before migration,” says Parish. “To accommodate their data in the cloud, we had to create customizations and methodically massage the live data to avoid duplications. Post migration, clean-up involved working hand-in-hand with the client to reconcile and map the new data meaningfully.”
Working together and communicating internally, the different Cprime teams could avoid issues common to projects involving multiple vendors.
Results: Unprecedented Levels of Visibility, Traceability, and Communication
By overseeing both the migration and the agile transformation, Cprime was in an ideal position to ensure the networking communications provider’s new Jira Cloud infrastructure aligned with its goals and the updated development framework. The combined results have given the company an unprecedented view into its workflows and allowed them to make new strategic connections.
“The insights and synergy the company gained by combining both the tooling transformation and on-the-ground agile coaching provided an exponential return on their investment,” says Parish. “By blending the perspectives, Cprime has helped them see their data in new ways and align more effectively with their other efforts to achieve new levels of visibility and traceability.”
Quantifying Rapid Cultural Change
Using the new tooling and agile methodology, the network communications provider successfully launched over 400 well-formed agile teams—roughly 2,800 Cisco employees—in a single quarter. 90% of those teams aligned their long-standing backlogs with management’s newly formed strategic themes. To assist the transformation, Cprime coaches led 18 role-specific training sessions, training 525 people in under six months. This enabled the company to pursue other internal training initiatives. Overall, Cprime significantly accelerated the company’s ability to deploy a new way of working across its teams.
“They had a highly fractured working environment,” says Weikart. “Now, they have a unified but flexible working environment where everyone speaks the same language, sees consistent information, and is on a path that suits their specific context.”
Increasing Throughput and Accelerating Delivery Schedules and Response Times
With improved collaboration and transparency, the company has also seen an increase in throughput across multiple product lines, accelerated delivery schedules, and improved response times to customer support inquiries. It is continuing to work with Cprime to further transform the organization.
“Because of the combined agile and tooling initiatives, positive change is visible everywhere,” remarks an executive sponsor. “We delivered growth in earnings, revenue, and each of our key transformation metrics. We have even raised our outlook for the next fiscal year because of our healthy backlog and the steps we have taken to improve.”
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Featured Team Members
Managing Director, Agile and Technology Practice
Chuck has over 25 years’ experience selling and managing agile transformation and work management tools implementation engagements. Chuck specializes in the Atlassian “Ideation to Production” suite of tools and Agile at Scale.
Business Agility Coach
Anthony is an Agile Transformation Consultant who has over 20 years of experience in organizational change consulting. He has led some of Cprime's largest scaled agile transformations, assisting clients in adopting agile to solve real business challenges. His main areas of expertise also include business agility, lean portfolio management, coaching and training, and more. Anthony is passionate about business agility and helping organizations maximize product flow and people happiness. His unique agile transformation style is to focus on culture changing techniques to create high performing teams.
Enterprise Agile Transformation Consultant
John is an Agile Enterprise Transformation Coach with 30 years of experience in IT and Operations. He specializes in applying the Lean / Agile framework to data-driven technology programs. In both coaching and training contexts, he brings a product focus to Agile Program delivery and Lean Agile Budgeting. He has a track record of successful Agile Transformations in various industries including Financial Services, Life Insurance, Health Care, Government, and Energy sectors.
Managing Director, Enterprise Solutions Delivery
Elida Parish is a Managing Director of Enterprise Solutions Delivery at Cprime. Over the past two decades, her vast base of experience includes global digital transformations, as a Principal CX Advisor, Transformation Consultant, Enterprise Lean Agile Coach and Platform Consultant, Project Manager, Systems Engineer, and more. As an IT Leader, Elida also has experience in Business and Information Technology, expertly working with clients all over the globe in a variety of industries including Aerospace, Technology, Banking, Energy, Healthcare and more. Elida’s strength lies in her adaptability, flexibility, leadership and executive coaching skills, and is an excellent and highly collaborative communicator.
Director & Enterprise Agile Coach
Mr. Weikart is an industry-recognized agile transformation leader having achieved Scaled Agile Inc.’s SPCT certification. He consults customers scaling agility to achieve enterprise outcomes with distinctive competence in Lean Portfolio Management (LPM), Value Management Office (VMO) or traditional Portfolio/Program Management Offices (PMO), and Lean Agile Center of Excellence structures. His large enterprise transformation experience includes Healthcare (Cigna), retail (Lowe’s), big tech (Cisco), finance (T. Rowe Price).