A Lean and Agile Digital Transformation

$6.4B American specialty retailer

Client situation

Our client, a $6.4B American specialty retailer, had moved into omni-channel marketing just four years previously, striving to engage customers through different touchpoints to develop more engagement with their brand across platforms. They succeeded - in fact, they quickly surpassed their $2B digital ambitions and found that the omni-channel demands outpaced their ability to respond.

For this company, digital initiatives were rigidly planned and funded a year in advance. Even small marketing campaigns had to wait for more than a year to get approval, which was simply not competitive. Command and control management structures, a heavyweight waterfall delivery model, and a cobbled-together tech platform buckled under the stress.

Executives saw the impacts on customers and employees, but lacked leaders with the experience needed to modernize their operating model. The Project Management Office (PMO) and product teams were also worlds apart. So the client brought in Launch - to understand their vision and develop a tailored program to move toward a product-centric Agile model.

Our approach

Launch’s transformation team assessed the organizational environment for pain points and starting conditions. It quickly became clear that PMO coordination was necessary to manage integral business work streams alongside the digital work. We also determined that we'd need a bimodal delivery model, which would achieve end-to-end business agility without compromising stability. The PMO would also have to evolve their processes, roles, and mindset.

We reviewed recommendations with leadership, then built a cross-functional team to map the system of delivery, identify impediments to agility, and workshop the future state operating model.


The resulting operating model supported all delivery needs and maximized business agility across the enterprise. Pilot product teams delivered two new high value features in less than 90 days. That in itself demonstrated the enhanced agility of the project model, which - with incremental approaches and amplified feedback loops - will save the company $2.5M annually. That's partially thanks to the advent of Lean portfolio management, which shifted the log-jam of annual planning to a much more competitive weekly intake. 

All in all, this project was a true partnership that resulted in shifted behaviors, mindsets, technology, and - ultimately - a positive impact on the bottom line.