The retail market has changed beyond all recognition in the last ten years and retailers have scrambled to keep pace with changes in consumer buying behaviour and the move from bricks to clicks. These changes in the retail space meant this major UK retailer needed to radically transform its digital front end and underlying data infrastructure.
In order to deliver this rapidly, our client needed to use Agile methodology for the first time. But the programme quickly ran into trouble due to a number of issues. Firstly, the retailer and its suppliers hadn’t been able to establish a clear Agile way of working together. They were also working with a weak lead systems integrator, which was failing to deliver. And there was also confusion over the business requirements for the transformation.
Valcon was asked to establish an Agile programme management office across the digital transformation programme with the goal of:
• Creating visibility into what had happened to date on the programme and what needed to happen to get everything back on track
• Gaining control and defining new ways of working across the programme with suppliers
• Establishing a pragmatic governance structure to improve decision making and increase the businesses ownership of the transformation.
Valcon conducted a maturity assessment of the situation using its Agile PMO model as the “gold standard” and then presented a PMO implementation plan to stakeholders. This solution utilised Valcon’s PMO toolkit to quickly transform the quality of the PMO, including Valcon’s PAC (Programme Analytics Centre) tool, which provided the mechanism to capture both a realistic delivery plan and an automated tool to drive reporting.
Valcon also established a strong governance structure built around weekly internal programme decision-making forums, which focused exclusively on the plan. Monthly business forums were also introduced to focus on the product roadmap and programme benefits.
Valcon delivered this transformation using its PMO Agile transformation methodology, which proved to the client that we “got” Agile. This allowed us to do the transformation in an adaptive fashion, while bringing the scrum teams onside with what we were doing.
Within two weeks, the Agile PMO reported progress and within four weeks, it was providing programme-wide burn up charts and analysis of that progress. This allowed the programme to swiftly identify areas where the system integrator was having problems, enabling them to assess and correct their performance.
By month two, Valcon had refreshed the governance structure, making the governance forums much more relevant to the attendees. This radically improved the business engagement and our ability to both make decisions and adjust the progress to better suit the business.
By month three, the PMO had established a detailed transformation plan which identified considerable gaps in the initial plan for delivery. This allowed the programme to challenge the SI and put in place the measures to fill the milestone gaps.