Change Management Approach and Agile Coaching Save Business from Major Project Failure

Dilemma

A French company in the transportation industry needed to deliver a major project to save its business. With a crucial and upcoming deadline to meet, the project was progressing slowly and was still plagued with bugs.

The group working on the project was composed of 70 individuals, structured as a waterfall team. However, this structure for managing product development wasn’t working and was slowing down development and bug hunting. The requirements of the project also kept changing. It didn’t help that its architecture was a bit complex and the software and hardware involved were still unstable to release.

With past release dates missed and possible project penalties that could potentially bring the company down, the upcoming deadline within 3 months had to be met.

Solution and Approach

Given that the current management structure wasn’t working, we had to make changes within the organisation. To make the transformation seamless, we did the following:

  • Worked hand in hand with the branch CEO
    • Using the Change Management approach, which deals with transforming organisational goals, processes, and core values, we were able to help implement strategies that made it easy for everyone in the team to adapt to the changes that needed to be put in place.
  • Identified key project persons and collaborated with them to form a clear and effective strategy for the project
  • Reshaped the whole project organisation to Agile
    • We formed four feature teams for cross-functionality, a leadership circle for continuous leadership development, and several chapters to create collaborative teams of highly skilled members.
  • Empowered all project participants
    • We made sure that participants were equipped with the skills and attitudes to form self-organized and cross-functional teams.
    • Additionally, given the stakes of the project, we also fast tracked training and team coaching to ensure that everyone is up to speed with all the important Agile practices.

Aside from the three-months of intense coaching, we also provided a 7-month follow-up coaching with the IT division to ensure that all Agile practices and structures were stable and working.

Success Story

By using the Change Management approach and providing intensive coaching and training, we were able to bring about the following outcomes:

  • A new Agile organisation was set in place within two weeks after the crisis was declared. The Agile practices used within the company were also stable and resulted in high performance after only six weeks.
  • The company was able to meet the deadline and the project was validated by the client. Even after a year, the division and its project were doing well. Along with this, technical debt of the organisation also dropped.
  • Finally, several individuals also stepped up to take more responsibility. The Agile organisation was delivering value and it has, in fact, gone through iterations and proved to be sustainable.