Those of you who, like myself, have been leading on the long-term agile digital transformation projects, would have discovered that sometimes a PI planning session by itself just doesn’t cut it when it comes to planning.
For a real life example, I’d like to turn to Vodafone, a global enterprise-level organisation where cross-functional engineering teams located around the globe must work together to deploy digital solutions that enable Vodafone to deliver market-leading products to their customers at speed and scale.
Providing digital leaders with all the support they need
MMT Digital have been helping Vodafone UK Engineering team to accelerate their digital product delivery since 2017. Among other projects, we’ve led on the most successful iPhone launch to date.
How did we do it? First of all, by acknowledging that building enterprise-level digital solutions is a complex, highly involved process that is often nearly impossible for the company’s digital leadership to accomplish on their own. More often than not, bringing in a third-party solution provider or a consultant is key to succeeding on this journey.
To bolster up Vodafone’s internal web engineering capacity and capability, we’ve injected into their digital department a ‘booster’ team of digital consultants, DevOps specialists and best-in-class Web Engineers. This enabled MMT Digital to assist Vodafone’s web engineering leaders at every stage of their digital journey - from ideation, through planning to deployment.
Making lean agile delivery work for your business
Let’s be honest, there isn’t a cookie cutter solution that would fit every enterprise. Even the standard best agile practices like SAFe or lean agile delivery are very likely to give disappointingly limited results when applied in a one-fits-all manner.
Robert Greville, Head of Web Engineering at Vodafone commented:
“With a large team and business requirements to match we desperately needed all of our senior team leaders to be aligned on our goals and how we plan to deliver against not only the business objectives, but our technical ones too. Therefore, we needed an additional goal-focused workshop that could serve as a springboard for the year ahead. The workshop would help us to prepare our goals, set alignment between squads and allow us to also set focus on sharing with our other global teams.”
As a practical implementation of this idea, MMT Digital organised and facilitated the Strategy Day, an all-day workshop ahead of the PI planning session. At the workshop gathered were the Vodafone’s digital leadership and delivery team, who focused on what the business as a whole, the senior engineering leadership team and the individual project teams were trying to achieve in the year to come.
Every voice on the team matters
Agile only works if everyone is onboard with the roadmap and feels safe and secure in the knowing that they are well equipped, have cleared any concerns and are ready to start working on their piece of the digital product delivery puzzle.
Putting together a bigger picture or a roadmap at the start of the project is great but creating the space for continuous effective communication and making sure that all the voices on the joint strategy and delivery team are heard along the way is better. Otherwise, down the line, the unheard concerns can become risks or blockers to delivering the roadmap.
With Vodafone, alongside the strategy and planning, we’ve worked on removing the communication silos within and between the teams, instilling the culture of agility and improving the processes while ensuring that everyone on the team is comfortable with the nature and the scope of the tasks they’re working on.
This approach allowed us to deliver on the roadmap sustainably and at scale.
The results speak volumes about the effectiveness of this approach. In addition to securing DevOps, innovation, team effectiveness and business transformation awards every year since 2017, because of collaboration with MMT Digital, Vodafone have seen:
Digital investment and cost savings made during this time were unprecedented and not something Vodafone were able to achieve before. Not to speak of ground-breaking reduction in deployment time while continuously delivering digital products of an industry-leading quality and standard, at scale.
Following our Strategy Day 2022, we’ve seen that Vodafone’s future digital plans are as ambitious as ever and we’re really proud to be part of this industry-leading digital transformation.
About the author
Jenish Chandracim is an experienced Lead Engineer in architecting and developing scalable and bespoke web applications for big brands in multiple industry sectors.
Jenish works within cross-functional Agile teams supporting the shaping of new projects, influencing culture, facilitating technical delivery, and working together with the team and business on strategy and execution of digital projects.
Other responsibilities include public speaking and staying plugged into emerging technologies/industry trends and applying them into operations and activities.