Agile Project brings Substantial Performance Improvements

Significant Improvement of Quality, Efficiency and Flexibility at a UK Energy Company

To substantially increase its earning power, a UK electricity and natural gas supplier with nearly 10,000 employees is pushing ahead with a series of cost-cutting programs. One focus is to generate cost savings through the reduction of IT platforms.

Mission

The formerly three IT-landscapes (Domestic, Small & Medium Enterprises (SME), Key Account/Multisites) were reduced to two. Thus, around 90 percent of SME customers were to be transferred to the B2B sector and 10 percent to Business Solutions. This was a result of price transparency measures enacted by the regulatory authority, which made the SME segment legally similar to B2C clients.
consistency was commissioned to implement a scaled agile management approach. The goal of which was to facilitate the migration of SME customers to the new target landscape and to methodically support the client and its external software service providers – friction-free and with as few system adjustments as possible.

Implementation

Scrum was used instead of the classic waterfall model. This helped to ensure significant quality improvements, more efficient implementation, faster adjustments and a strictly prioritised procedure. Founded on a scaled Scrum approach with three IT-implementation teams and six “Non-IT” teams, an entire program (including the Program Management Office) was managed using agile for the first time.

In the beginning, all-day training sessions were conducted to teach the basics of agile and Scrum. The executives learned about the opportunities and challenges of agile working in so-called “Agile Awareness Sessions” – divided into 30-minute sprints.

In addition to the ongoing learning and change processes, nine Scrum teams spread across two continents needed to be set up, coached and managed. Another challenge was using an external service provider to harmonise software implementation with internal customer requirements. The added value of the iterative procedure needed to be demonstrated in practice. Thus, an agile method was already chosen for the assessment of the new IT service provider as well as project initialisation. In addition to intensive technical consulting, one consistency consultant took on the role of Agile Coach. Furthermore, a contract was set up to promote continuous agile cooperation with the service provider – through the use of an Agile Balanced Score Card.

The Chief Scrum Master led by consistency supported the entire non-SAP environment in six workstreams, as well as customers and suppliers in agile implementation. Meanwhile, coaching a total of seven Scrum Masters. Thus, after only a short time, a continuous agile approach was made possible – from senior-level management right through to software development.

Conclusion

With the agile-controlled program, the IT landscape for small & medium-sized enterprises was dissolved and the customers successively transferred to the new domestic landscape – As per request by the client. Furthermore, the program established a new strategic IT partner with an agile skill set and, by using the Agile Balanced Score Card, promoted agile collaboration with all service providers. With the help of Scrum, the still vague legal requirements were efficiently implemented. Finally proving that agile methods ensure success! This certainly set a new precedent in the organisation – from which many projects will follow.

“Due to its “lighthouse” importance, there was no way this project could be allowed to fail. consistency consultants came equipped with a combination of sound industry- and utilities-knowhow. Thus, the international project team was able to meet and even largely exceed all project goals in “time, quality and budget.”

“It was fascinating to see how, after overcoming the first hurdles, agile thinking spread almost virally in the house. For example, in order to work even more intensively, the Scrum teams took on the responsibility of creating their own workspace. In the end, success was the result of a collaborative effort. When teams do their job with so much enthusiasm – it’s a really great feeling!”

Sebastian Lemke

Sebastian Lemke

3

SAP SCRUM TEAMS

6

Non-SAP-Teams (IT & Non-IT)

> 20

MIL POUND BUDGET

approx. 3

MIL POUND SAVINGS PER YEAR

> 150

PROJECT STAFF

9

MONTH IMPLEMENTATION PHASE