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Case Study

Harnessing the Atlassian Ecosystem for Agile Transformation at Utilities Company


Over 280Projects Being Run
Over 200 Portfolios and Programs

Company Details

Industry: Energy

Company Size: 8,000 Employees

Location: FL, US

Cprime Services:

The Problem

Their teams began using Kanban to track projects and generate more and more reports. But while the new system prompted high employee engagement, one manager said the wealth of reports was “almost becoming too much.” Additionally, the company lacked a standard system and set of metrics for reporting across the board. The fact that the company is funded mainly by business cases created a further challenge. Because they were bound to business timelines and project-thinking in many respects, they couldn’t solely rely on Agile reports.

Overview

Fixing a Burnt Fuse

The company provides utilities to more than 10 million Florida residents. To do so, they run over 280 projects, including solar panels, solar battery storage, wind farms, natural gas, energy commissioning, energy decommissioning, and software implementation.

The Challenge

Reports, Reports, and More Reports

The company began exploring the possibilities of introducing Agile frameworks. With the help of Cprime, with whom they had previously worked for successful tooling and coaching engagements, the company implemented Jira Kanban as a test run because the system offers a basic foundation. And at first, Kanban seemed like a good fit for the organization. They were able to see the benefits of Agile and visualize their work better than ever before.

Their teams began using Kanban to track projects and generate more and more reports. But while the new system prompted high employee engagement, one manager said the wealth of reports was “almost becoming too much.” Additionally, the company lacked a standard system and set of metrics for reporting across the board. The fact that the company is funded mainly by business cases created a further challenge. Because they were bound to business timelines and project-thinking in many respects, they couldn’t solely rely on Agile reports.

The Agile-centric reports that provide insight, like the sprint burndown, velocity, and release roadmap, were all helping at the product level. But the company needed the program and portfolio-level metrics and dashboard that can roll up to show the current and forecasted financial health. Furthermore, they required more insight when it came to resource management. They needed a tool that would be able to bridge all of those gaps.

The Solution

Digging Into the System with Cprime

The company had already enlisted the help of Cprime for setting up a Kanban test run. After finding their sea legs in Agile, they engaged Cprime to complete their Agile transformation. Briana Hall, Senior Solutions Architect at Cprime, started working with the company during this subsequent process. Her team began by trying to understand and assess the Agile tools they already had in place. “We took a deep dive into each one of their projects,” said Hall.

Cprime unearthed hundreds of different Jira projects, dashboards, and reports. They confirmed that the company, indeed, lacked a single set of reporting standards. Cprime also found that while many different Agile plug-ins and tools were available, they were often underused. In many cases, the company’s teams were unaware of the full functionality on hand, or the integrations between particular plug-ins and tools weren’t being used.

Hall and her team also observed multiple operating models of Jira amongst the company’s many working teams. Since their projects encompass everything from software development to the physical construction of solar farms, Hall said various tracking methods were to be expected. “We wanted to make sure we used what we had available to us,” said Hall. “So that meant using existing tools and data and making sure we didn’t change the way teams were doing their work.”

An Outcome-Based Agility Model with Atlassian Tools

The company wanted to find an outcome-based agility model, focused more on results than methodology or process. And what they discovered is that it doesn’t matter what methodology they’re using on the Jira side; they could use all the same metrics for understanding their project health and financial progress. With the Jira framework settled—and with Cprime’s guidance—the company began using Tempo tools to resolve their previously identified challenges. As part of the Atlassian ecosystem, Tempo products enhance Jira through several time-tracking and management tools.

First, Cprime equipped the company’s Agile system with Tempo Budgets, which created a centralized reporting system. Now, the company could rely on a standard set of reporting metrics. Additionally, Tempo Budgets allowed the company to integrate financial information as an overall health indicator and visualize the expected project and portfolio lifespans. Using Tempo Budgets, Cprime also developed custom power scripts to translate between teams using varying methodologies. This way, teams logging work through different methods, such as through hours and story points, could use a common language, and aggregate data could be rolled up into financial reporting models.

“This helped us define a standard for reporting that aggregated product and project health—all without having to change the way teams are working,” Hall said. “In many cases, we had zero impact on the teams—and very few changes to the configuration.”

Next, Cprime helped the company implement Tempo Teams. This tool provided much more insight into their employees’ workload and overall resource management. Finally, Cprime showed the company how to use Jira for aggregating data. Drawing on information from Tempo Budgets and Tempo Teams, Jira was used to simplify data for creating a larger story. For example, the company used this tool to demonstrate how COVID-19 affected them in a single graph—all while factoring in over 200 portfolios and programs.

The Results

Bridging Traditional Business and Agility

By equipping their initial Agile system with Atlassian Tempo tools, Cprime helped the company bridge its previous gaps.

Using a centralized reporting system as a foundation, the company has achieved more transparency over its projects. What’s more, they have integrated traditional business metrics, such as schedules and finances, into their Agile system. For the company, Cprime was key to refining its Agile transformation.

About Cprime

An Alten Company, Cprime is a global consulting firm helping transforming businesses get in sync. Cprime is the partner of choice for Fortune 100 companies looking to achieve value and agility. We help visionary business leaders compose solutions, execute implementations, and exceed business goals. With our key partnership recognitions, including Atlassian Platinum, AWS Advanced, and SAFe Gold SPCT partner, our industry-leading software and services work in synergy to deliver transformations.

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