Overview Considering SAFe and Finding Cprime This organization is a large, publicly-traded Property & Casualty…
Agile Transformation for Fortune 500 Transportation Company
Industry: Fortune 500 Transportation Company
After being a strictly Waterfall organization for decades, a Fortune 500 Transportation organization decided it was time to implement Agile. Their long, complex, projects, and the inability to switch gears easily and manage interruptions, resulted in a system that was inefficient and unproductive. Because of their methods, projects were taking longer than expected and the Fortune 500 Transportation organization was in desperate need of a solution.
From Waterfall to Agile
After being a strictly Waterfall organization for decades, a Fortune 500 Transportation organization decided it was time to implement Agile. Following the Waterfall model, requirements gathering would occur at the beginning of a large project, and by the time execution and delivery took place, sometimes 6-7 months later, they no longer aligned with the wants and needs of stakeholders. These long, complex, projects, and the inability to switch gears easily and manage interruptions, resulted in a system that was inefficient and unproductive. Because of their methods, projects were taking longer than expected and the Fortune 500 Transportation organization was in desperate need of a solution.
Several employees believed that Agile was the answer early on, so they attempted to take steps towards Agility without proper training. Unfortunately, as is often the case, this hurt more than it helped. Within the organization, employees were frequently moved around among teams, and because some teams were practicing different levels of Agile while others weren’t practicing at all, the processes were different throughout the organization. This created an unnecessary adjustment period that occurred every time someone moved teams. Because of the lack of consistency, they decided to look outside of the organization for formal training. They knew that in order to be truly Agile, the mindset would have to change from the top all the way down.
Private, Onsite Agile Training
To initially create awareness around Agile within the organization, Cprime started with private, onsite deliveries of Agile Boot Camp and Agile Executive Workshop for select employees. Although these courses were a great way to get the teams excited initially, they quickly realized a need for additional solutions in order to create more alignment around an Agile Transformation. To help pinpoint areas that needed improvement, Cprime performed an Assessment of the organization’s current Agile practices by bringing in a subject-matter-expert for two days to conduct interviews and observe the current teams and processes. After completing the Assessment, Cprime designed a solution to help them reach their business goal, which was then presented to the organization’s executive management team. Based on the results of the Assessment and deliberation from the executive management team, it was determined that Cprime would provide one Agile coach over the course of 3 months, as well as conduct 7 to 10 training courses throughout the process whenever deemed necessary.
Agile Coaching and Consulting
Jointly, Cprime and the organization hand-picked an Agile Coach for their Agile Transformation. The Cprime Coaches role as an outside Agile expert was to assist in auditing and measuring how people were using Agile, and helping them work through their implementation in real time, putting it to practice rather than just learning it as a concept. The Cprime Coach worked with internal leaders and change agents to act as a guide and provide a positive outlook on the transition to Agile. She helped leadership initiate a movement across the organization, which was even tag lined internally as “Move the Needle,” in order to generate awareness and excitement around their Agile Transformation.
Technical and Cultural Success
Although many teams had discussed implementing Agile for years, the employees at this organization truly believe that bringing an outside expert coach in to assess their current practices and help structure the new Agile teams was exactly what they needed. It was not only a technical success, but an internal cultural success as well. By using Agile across teams, they are now able to pivot more easily by working in smaller increments, giving them the ability to prioritize and re-prioritize as they go. The Agile environment has drastically increased collaboration, transparency and productivity.
With Cprime ’s help, this organization was able to construct their own internal Agile training that focuses on the basics of Agility for new teams and new hires. They also hired internal employees to take over the roles of Agile leadership, and are confident and mature enough in their practices to continue improving their Agile practices on their own.
They saw the following results:
- Reduction in turnover of development staff by 25% from the previous year
- Implementation of new Quality Assurance tools which reduced defects in production by 82% over the previous
- Successful release of one product on time and two products earlier than originally anticipated by using the Agile
methods, which increased forecasted revenue by approximately $4M.
- Training and development of internal, full time employee Agile coaches