At AgileSparks, we’re known for speaking out against what we call Agile Theatre where a company goes through the motions of adopting Agile but stops short when it comes to changing the way the business operates. Real agility affects every aspect of an organization and therefore, requires a massive cultural and operational shift.
SAFe is a path to agility, but the organization does the heavy lifting
So, what does SAFe implementation look like when an organization goes all-in to achieve agility at scale? We wanted to give our readers an understanding of what it takes and invited Canadian firm, RAPID RTC to share its story of transformational change.
Jump to the full case study now or read on for a summary:
Success can bring challenges
RAPID RTC delivers market-leading, proprietary software solutions to several verticals including the automotive and agriculture sectors that enable comprehensive lead management and lead generation through real-time customer conversations via its Lead Manager, Chat, and Text products.
At the time of our engagement with RAPID RTC, this successful company was poised for continued expansion and growth. It had goals to enter new markets and had interest from customers in new verticals. But the company’s evolution had revealed challenges that were impeding its ability to capitalize fully on the opportunities. These challenges included:
- Too much time estimating and prioritizing
- Lost momentum
- Decision-making inefficiencies
- Products consistently take longer to release and cost more than expected
RAPID RTC was experiencing some of the classic product development challenges. What was encouraging was its level of commitment to invest in real change. Together, over five months, we undertook the following:
- Leading SAFe workshop + Implementation Strategy Workshop with the leaders of the Product Development organization
- Design and launch of an Agile Release Train (ART), including the following key activities:
- Navigating the switch to Agile teams
- Identifying team-level and program-level roles (Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Product Management, Release Train Engineers)
- SAFe Product Owners/Managers course
- SAFe for Teams course
- Program Increment Planning
RAPID RTC has made a remarkable transformation. In 2018 it was an organization looking for ways to keep up with its growth and business opportunities due to challenges resulting from a waterfall development approach. Over that pivotal year, the company changed its team structure, development language, methodology, and deployment strategy.
Results to date have included:
- Significant improvements in time-to-market
- The ability to monetize product development faster
- Deeper staff engagement and satisfaction
- Momentum results from every part of the organization creating and investing in business objectives and working together to achieve them.
“AgileSparks gave us the foundation to help us mature as a company. In business, a company continually evolves to meet new challenges but over the years, our development and product management processes became bloated, and cumbersome, and we could feel the nimbleness slowly eroding away. We needed a way to involve multiple stakeholders and provide accountability to each other to create a unified path forward that was responsive to our customers. Make no mistake, Agile is not a pill that makes everything perfect overnight. It takes time and applied commitment from every level of the company, but if the commitment is there, I can’t speak enough about the results I have witnessed.” – Glen Demetrioff, President & CEO, RAPID RTC
How did RAPID RTC do it?
Get an inside look at how RAPID RTC approached its SAFe journey alongside AgileSparks. Learn how it put Agile to the test before committing to it, what went into orchestrating the foundational event that launched the transition, and how teams along with the whole organization reorganized to become more agile.
“We felt it was important not to move too quickly in our transition. I compare it to cracking an egg—you don’t want to swing it too quickly, but if you don’t swing it hard enough it won’t break. It’s a balance.” – Keith Meyer, CTO, RAPID RTC