Implementing Agile on a massive scale

In the midst of a transformation from traditional telco to converged network provider, our client faced serious competition from the deregulation of the UK telecoms industry. To combat this, they set out to make themselves number one for customer service by shrinking cycle time and exceeding customer expectations.

The situation

We discovered that they were using a traditional Waterfall methodology, which posed unnecessary hurdles in speeding up cycle time and delivery processes. For a FTSE-top-25 organisation with more than 85,000 staff worldwide, we knew that a move to Agile had the potential to offer massive speed enhancements and efficiencies.

The solution

We began the move from Waterfall to Agile by refocusing the organisation on Continuous Delivery. This allowed us to align end-to-end processes with the Agile Manifesto whilst ensuring that everything could be scaled to the size and complexity dictated by the organisation. We also introduced a number of new concepts to further benefit efficiency, including customer engagement, story hierarchy and decomposition, continuous prioritisation, estimation, fast feedback loops, re-use and scheduling. We then worked with the client to underpin the new processes with a bespoke technology platform. This included a centralised code repository, a centralised artefact repository, continuous integration, a story management tool and management reporting.

The results

Our work helped to deliver against the client’s two key measures for success – being right first time in the eyes of the consumer and improving cycle time. We reduced time to market by 75% by introducing hot houses, allowing the organisation to better understand their customers’ needs and the value they can offer. We also contributed to a 31% reduction in unit costs by establishing a quality delivery process.


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