Agile Coaching & Product Transformation

Client situation

A leading global professional services firm that provides a broad range of risk, reinsurance, retirement, and health solutions was attempting a major overhaul of their annual enrollment web experience.

Applying an Agile framework, the client's product team had found the first phase of their project coming up short. For the second phase, the technology team had attempted to drive the project forward with an engineer-centric approach. Both phasess had missed expectations and amassed a substantial amount of technical debt.

The deadline was looming, and phase three was about to begin...with little confidence from leadership the deadline could be met.

Our approach

The client approached Launch to assess the situation and offer guidance that would enable the program to meet their deadlines.

Initially, the team assumed the challenges would be at the development level - but it quickly became apparent that in fact, leadership had competing views as to how to solve the problem.

So Launch engaged the team at two levels. First, a Team Coach provided assessment, training, and coaching for the development teams, both to ensure they were following best Agile practices and to help them keep their technical debt in check.

The second level involved a Transformation Coach assessing the organizational culture and proposing a solution to engage members of the leadership team in addressing the organizational impediments that were holding the product teams back. Only by aligning at that level could the leadership team shepherd the changes necessary to elevate all the working teams.

Results

  • Our agile assessment framework established a baseline and desired future state, identifying gaps in performance so the client team could focus their efforts for maximum impact.
  • Our Team Coach helped the delivery teams improve their understanding and execution of Agile while employing robust engineering practices, which resulted in a 97% decrease in defects. Engaging downstream testing resources in every sprint shaved a month off the delivery schedule, beating the enrollment deadline.
  • Our Transformation Coach formed client leaders into a scrum team who worked from a backlog of organization impediments to transform the technology culture. Nto only were they involved in the solution, but they also learned how to sustain the transformation without outside help.
  • We also formed a Product Owner Team which allowed improved focus on prioritization across multiple delivery teams and several products.