A supplier of point of sale systems for the retail and commercial fueling industry faced an immovable deadline from a major client. While their teams were said to be practicing Agile, getting a working, shippable product was a constant struggle.
Agile Velocity was asked to assess their current practice and find ways for Teams to truly become Agile.
Unique Team Challenges
The assessment uncovered way process, culture, and organization structure prevented true agility. Big challenges included:
Poor backlog management
Continuous drip of new features into the backlog led to project scope creep.
Teams were distributed across four continents and multiple time zones.
Key team members were asked to move to different priorities at critical times.
Limited User Feedback
Lack of understanding for users’ needs led to faulty product vision and waste.
Lack of dedicated Product Owners
Lack of alignment between business stakeholders and teams.
Led to resource waste and mismanaged expectations.
Struggling Agile Technical Practices
Integration threat due to individual teams working on separate branches of code and lLack of testing during Sprints
Agile Velocity Scrum coaches worked on location and implemented the Scrum framework with the team. At the completion of the assessment period, coaches worked with all levels of the organization to accomplish the following:
Product Owner Training and Coaching
Worked alongside Product Owners to define the scope of the release and groom product backlog to only items needed to deliver a minimum viable product (MVP).
Fostered collaboration between home base and distributed teams
Led Release Planning Workshops
Led a release planning workshop to educate teams, gain alignment across all levels, and create buy-in for the release scope of MVP.
Staffed Product Owners & ScrumMasters
Supplemented current system with tools that increased visibility
Provided technical coaching for improved integration and test strategy
Key Takeaways from the Client
Release management is intended to involve all of the teams contributing to the release and starts with a shared understanding of the goals. Visibility and frequent communication through Scrum of Scrums and better tools supported decision making and resulted in a quicker resolution of issues. In addition, Continuous Integration, a good branching strategy, and a well-planned testing strategy are important when working with multiple teams who may be distributed across different locations.
Measurable business outcomes include:
- Tighter product vision
- Measurable business outcomes to help set expectations and measure activity
- Improved trust between business stakeholders and development teams
- Better decision-making and improved expectations
- Decreased Scope Creep
- Predictable and accelerated Release Cycles
- Sustained Agile technical practices
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Learn details about this particular engagement with a product company and other examples of our work.
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