Boosting Transparency and Building Alignment with an Agile Transformation
A global bond credit rating organization needed to rewrite the legacy ratings application it uses to create and publish bond ratings. The firm engaged a third-party systems integrator (SI) to develop the new ratings application; however, due to several software delivery and program management challenges, the program accrued technical debt, missed two critical milestones and was over budget. Recognizing the need to strengthen its large-scale software delivery capability and avoid a costly program write-off, the firm engaged AgileThought to conduct a program-wide agile transformation. The AgileThought team worked with the firm and third-party SI to conduct an agile assessment, provide agile coaching and training, establish a product vision and develop a product road map. Now, with greater program transparency and more aligned teams, the firm and the third-party SI have successfully launched the ratings application, and the firm is positioned to initiate a company-wide agile transformation.
- Poor program performance and increased costs due to lack of transparency and collaboration among program teams
- Inability to predict future success based on existing project management office (PMO) processes and delivery methods
- Lack of a clear business product road map and buy-in for the ratings application
- Inability to execute in an agile manner — including agile events, program tracking, team structure and tool configuration
AgileThought conducted an agile assessment of the program to gauge the firm’s existing agile maturity and deliver a plan for a program-wide agile transformation. Based on the outcomes of the assessment, AgileThought provided the following:
Hands-On Agile Training and Coaching
To help the firm and third-party SI establish a foundational understanding of agile delivery, AgileThought delivered several trainings and workshops to over 100 team members in the first three weeks of the engagement. From there, AgileThought provided ongoing training and coaching to help program teams instill agile practices like agile events, financial management and reporting metrics.
Product Backlog Development and Product Delivery Plan
In just 45 days, the AgileThought team helped program teams define a minimal viable product (MVP) for the ratings application. During this timeframe, AgileThought also used the MVP definition to create a product backlog and a delivery plan to align the program’s onshore and offshore development teams
AgileThought also helped program teams institute DevOps, which allowed them to automate the deployment, testing and acceptance of product features in real time. With this new approach, teams could predictably deliver working software each Sprint with a zero-defect policy and ease the product acceptance process.
Defining a Product Vision and Clarifying Program Roles
AgileThought created an agile training program — which offered foundational agile, Scrum team, minimal viable product (MVP) use case, and executive stakeholder trainings — to support ongoing learning across the program. Additionally, AgileThought implemented an agile organizational model, which assigned agile roles and responsibilities to all program members ranging from executive stakeholders to individual Scrum teams; this helped expedite decision-making and establish agile governance. Equipped with an agile mindset and a clear product vision, the firm and third-party SI were able to get the program back on track toward its scheduled release dates, allowing them to successfully release the ratings application and avoid negative financial implications.
Boosting Transparency and Alignment Between Teams
To help the firm gain greater visibility into the program as a whole — with a focus on offshore efficiencies — the AgileThought team taught the firm’s executive leadership and Scrum teams how to implement program-level agile reporting and use agile metrics like burndown, velocity, and backlog health to measure progress. Additionally, AgileThought helped the executive leadership team bridge the gap between agile product delivery and vendor contract management; this streamlined and simplified the procurement process while also strengthening alignment between the firm and the third-party SI. Furthermore, the AgileThought team helped the executive stakeholders create an executive Kanban board to visualize workflow and manage various value streams across the program, while also reducing work in progress to focus on top priorities.
Laying the Groundwork for an Organizational Agile Transformation
To foster ongoing learning and collaboration, the AgileThought team helped the firm strengthen its center of excellence for agile delivery and agile best practices. The success of the center of excellence — coupled with the release of the ratings application and improvements from agile training and coaching — has positioned the firm for a company-wide agile transformation. Now, the firm’s board of directors are backing an organizational agile transformation, and the firm is implementing agile practices and principles across 17 other programs.