Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof

View each team - Vodafone Germany Project

Call To Future — Dec 2018

Es war einmal (Once upon a time)…

Celfocus was challenged by Vodafone Germany’s ETO team, responsible for the transformation of the online experience of the enterprise customers’ users (ETO = Enterprise Transformation Online), to share our vision of Digital Transformations.

Like all projects, an assessment was initiated to find the most suited vendor to implement myVodafone Business Self-service portal at Vodafone Germany. The Agile Assessment focused on three streams:

  • Functional stream to identify relevant initiatives to drive value from the online business, considering for example the shift of assisted customer interactions to online unassisted channels and transforming the digital products offer catalogue;
  • Architecture stream, focused on the creation of a roadmap to transform the systems supporting the digital transformation, identifying gaps and missing capabilities on the existing solutions and sharing best practices;
  • Value stream to assess ETO’s maturity to adopt an Agile delivery approach and to define a new delivery model, considering the processes and responsibilities for managing the environments, testing and acceptance, dependencies on API deliveries, and the support model.

The decision came in, awarding Celfocus with the delivery of the portal to provide SoHo and small enterprise customers an unassisted channel for their “care” needs.

The beginning

  • Defining the agile delivery method
  • Setting up a team
  • Detailing processes

Defining the agile delivery method

This project is both about delivering the Enterprise Self-service Portal as well as about changing the delivery methodology to Agile. The shift to agile delivery is eliminating the usual “quality gates”, like the sign-off of a complete and detailed functional design of the solution, and this constitutes an understandable concern. To overcome it, the Agile assessment was quite useful to shape the client’s mindset, mitigating some of these concerns, but – nonetheless - every day delivery must show the benefits of an iterative delivery.

Setting up a team

The Agile mantra regarding Teams is that they are autonomous and self-organised, so team setup is an important matter: the team needs to be autonomous to deliver its product and this requires different skills, expertise and experience… to setup a high performance team it’s necessary to provide proper conditions for team members to know each other and allow them to define their way of working and organisation. Team’s autonomy carries with it the absolute responsibility for its product delivery and, as such, in order for the team to perform, the project structure should be built focusing on serving the teams’ needs and remove any blockers that would prevent them from delivering at the desired level.

Furthermore, the short Agile delivery cycles are not compatible with a dysfunctional team and everybody needs to commit to the team principles and objectives – that each one must make their own. As team performance is such an important issue in the Agile delivery, we are reviewing each person’s performance according to the common team delivery goals and their individual commitment towards its achievement.

Detailing processes

The two-week duration sprints present a set of detailed user stories ready for implementation . As we render results and continue to incrementally demonstrate pieces of the solution, we show the competence and know-how that differentiates Celfocus.

Relevant decisions in this project are taken with the participation of different stakeholders, with representatives from the business (including ETO or Enterprise Marketing) and IT (Enterprise IT, including Architecture Office, Enterprise Solutions, or Operations).

The end

Communication plays a relevant role in building and maintaining trust. In this project no one is communicating in their native language and the potential losses in translation is high. The team must cooperate permanently to ensure clear communications, both face to face, in conference call or written.

There are good perspectives for future in the short and medium term that we are proactively following. All things considered, we’re definitely working to come to the usual conclusion of all fairy tales: Lebte glücklich bis heute…

This is the tale of two Agile teams. It wasn't just an organisational separation: it was an AGILE separation.