Agile Project Delivery
Big vision, small steps, rapid results
Many companies traditionally use the waterfall methodology to deliver projects: analyse the challenge, design the solution, then build it, test it and implement it. The completion of each project phase is the prerequisite for the next phase. This established, rigid approach does make planning, budgeting and monitoring projects easier. However, by the time a solution is ready to be implemented, the world – all too often – has moved on, rendering its design less fit for purpose or in some cases obsolete. In practice, every project should be a living, breathing organism – just like the people who work on it. It grows, shapes into different forms, takes surprisingly new paths. Individual project phases often run parallel or merge into each other.
The decision was made to apply agile methodologies across all departments for the first time – a true lighthouse project for the client.
The choice of the right delivery methodology is, therefore, much more than just a question of efficiency, costs and resources for companies that are forward-thinking and customer-centric. It is a cultural question that goes deeper than it may appear at first glance. Successful brands and corporations working in small, flexible teams, across departments and across functions, achieve higher productivity, better quality, and greater impact in terms of customer satisfaction. A responsive and adaptive project management, achieving more in less time with fewer resources, is vital in light of rapidly evolving competitive landscapes.
For most established companies, however, it remains a major challenge to alter their way of thinking and working so fundamentally. Where and how to start? How far can we push this concept? Which departments and functions can be reorganised quickly and which only gradually? How can we preserve our company’s DNA when undergoing such fundamental change?
A customer without support does not remain a customer for long.
Our client, a global retailer, also faced these questions. The goal was to disrupt an intensely competitive market with innovations in a somewhat neglected but critical area: customer service. The aim was to tap into the great potential for customer retention and increased sales before the competition did.
Historically, customers only had a few options to diagnose, correct or even prevent issues with their digital devices. The solution was to develop a proactive mobile service app that could address customers’ key pain points in the areas of hardware, software and data.
This app would not only offer customers extensive and user-friendly diagnostic options, but also other attractive services such as an easy way to book consultation and repair appointments or to purchase supplementary service products.
Combine existing resources in new ways and coordinate them more efficiently
The decision was made to apply agile methodologies across all departments for the first time – a true lighthouse project for the client. 2B DIGITAL was chosen to help shape and implement the project with its extensive experience in the field of agile project delivery.
The project was divided into three phases. First, the focus was on the development of the business case and schedule, prioritisation of requirements and the technical design. The second phase included the development of all high-priority requirements as part of the minimum viable product (MVP) and its roll-out in four major European markets. In the third phase, further requirements were worked on to add functions and features on a continuous basis as well as to launch the app in additional countries.
2B DIGITAL provided the coordination of all internal stakeholders across project teams such as user experience design, testing or app development. External service providers such as market research agencies, prototype designers, copywriters, translators and legal advisors also had to be integrated in the process in an optimal way.
A key external supplier was not as flexible as expected
Naturally, the project was not without its challenges. Initially, a third-party off-the-shelf app was used, whose design and user experience were intended to be fully adapted to the client’s requirements. However, the options to do this turned out to be very limited, as features and design were solely driven by the suppliers own product roadmap.
The solution was to shift the focus towards bringing the development of the app in-house so that it could be developed, designed and branded entirely according to the client’s specifications. As a result, the retailer was no longer dependent on a specific supplier, but could integrate several external partners for specific tasks or functions.
More freedom thanks to agile, in-house development
This project was intended to realise a promising idea with substantial economic benefits, but also to proof and promote the benefits of agile culture and project delivery in the client organisation. Progress and results were delivered in short, fixed intervals while requirements could be refined continuously as the project progressed – an iterative, flexible and transparent process.
2B DIGITAL used the agile methods Scrum and Kanban to plan, track and present all work for current and upcoming product releases. The work in cross-functional squads was strengthened further by the use of effective tools for collaboration and documentation.
This provided the client with the freedom to regularly use customer feedback to build a genuinely user-centric product.