• Case: Agile transformation at SalesDoubler.  IT changes at a non-IT company.

    Case: Agile transformation at SalesDoubler. IT changes at a non-IT company.

Case: Agile transformation at SalesDoubler. IT changes at a non-IT company.

Area: A number one network in Ukraine of partnership payment action programmes.

Tasks to be solved: to help bring order in platform development, i.e. streamline tasks in IT division, to make a plan for its scalability and to implement it within the shortest possible time frame. Particularly, it is essential to identify the best way to organize the product development having taken into consideration the already existing needs and limitations of the business.

Background: The company per se is not an IT one, it rather provides advertising services using its own platform. Thus, IT expertise is nonessential at the company. The requests for development come from 5 various operations teams, hence, all the time was dedicated to solving their tasks. The backlog kept growing consistently, however, there was no visible development of the platform. The main task was to provide the speed and transparency of the development process, as well as to combine the fulfilment of strategic and current tasks.

Results:

  • The level of portfolio was built, in particular, management of the launch and prioritizing IT projects by the top management of the company was achieved;
  • Visualized and evaluated the backlog on major IT systems of the company, and implemented the process of backlog system management;
  • Calculated a set of various scenarios for scaling the IT department taking into consideration strategic plans of the company, current financial and personnel constraints, and, as a result, helped in choosing the best scenario;
  • Key personnel of the company were taught the basics of Scrum;
  • Identified the missing roles in the company and helped fill those positions with the most suitable candidates.

About the company:

SalesDoubler is a partnership network of action for payment programmes. To have their own platform is a crucial resource and their competitive advantage. First reason for that being that all SalesDoubler’s transactions are made through the platform (up to a hundred of thousands database entries within 24 hours). Second reason being that own platform possibilities are greater than of the company’s competitors who use ready-made solutions.

At the time, the company, just like many others, had to face a choice: either to develop its own platform or to use a ready-made one. The company opted for the development of their own platform as the management decided it would be the best choice from the competitive advantage point of view.

Working on the platform is being done simultaneously in several directions:

  • Consistent maintenance, optimization and upgrading of the system.  For such a highly loaded system which practically maintains all the company’s activities, it is critical to sustain its stability, and it is given the highest priority too.
  • Tactical development of the platform for the company’s personnel and the employees’ convenience.
  • Strategic development of the product for advertisers and webmasters, as well as new business opportunities and functions.

What was the transformation process like? Initially the company’s top management set a clear enough goal for the experts of E5, i.e., to sort out current development process, develop the platform, reduce time to market and to provide clarification to the vision of what the further development strategy of IT would be at the company. It was pivotal to identify the options for scaling IT department overall, as well as to identify which option would be the best specifically for SalesDoubler.

 

Transforming itself included the following several steps:

  1. Evolving an overall and commonly acceptable vision of the scaling with the top management, anchoring business plans and requirements for the future IT department of the company, debating the company’s business content and limitations.
  2. Working with a leadership team and auditing the existing processes in IT department, putting forward suggestions for further improvement.
  3. Providing a variety of workshops: on collecting requirements for various products and projects within the company, on prioritizing high-level requirements to different projects and products, on developing an overall and commonly acceptable vision of the product.
  4. Approving already developed high-level requirements with the top management, as well as approving the plan on reorganizing processes and teams.
  5. Teaching Scrum to the company’s key specialists.
  6. Assisting in hiring the Product Owner.

At the time of publishing the case, SalesDoubler has already its backlogs on IT products formed, the process of systemic data collection, prioritizing and requirements evaluation were implemented, shortfall of personnel was tackled by hiring specialists and the work agreements between the top management and IT department were formed. The company’s top management is satisfied with the changes their company has undergone and is actively continues their Agile transformation autonomously now utilizing their own resources.

“Before, while ordering new features, we had to wait for months just for their evaluation. There have always been important tasks with high prioritization such as optimization of the current structure, updates, minor and urgent tasks for accountant-marketing-managers. At present, we are consistently moving in all the 3 key directions of development. We have transparent priorities, clear and transparent terms and dependencies. I clearly understand the terms when we receive various features. At the same time, it is interesting to note that not only has the IT aspect improved, though the sorting out process was mainly in IT, but also Marketing and Business units have been improved. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the experts of E5 mainly for the following two things: firstly, for demonstrating us that it can be done differently, and for helping bring the order we needed; secondly, for the specialists whom we have hired with their help. Majority of our ongoing improvements are happening owing to them”

Volodymyr Sakharov, CEO Sales Doubler.

 

Conclusion

Agile transformation is an ongoing process at SalesDoubler and is in its active phase. The available profound base for visualizing all the company’s projects and products at various stages, for backlog evaluation and prioritization, for levelling off the top management and teams’ vision allows now to scale development teams in a flexible enough and fast manner.  The company has received a whole new department which can now easily implement top management’s business ideas with a foreseeable timeframe and high quality.

 

If your company also in need of a transformation or building efficient and effective processes, but you do not know where to begin, contact us at: info@e5.ua. We will be happy to help you.

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