It is always an eye-opening experience when you hear real-life cases of successful Agile implementations. This is even more profound for cases of companies that were more legacy oriented. Enter Agile Transformation.
Özlem has 12+ year of experience in e-commerce, software and product development, she is a frequent speaker at conferences all over the world and an avid surfer.
Özlem will take us a trip into the waves with the real case of Agile transformation of Maersk Line.
Let’s read her interview.
Q: Could you briefly introduce yourself?
I have been working in product management and software development teams for more than 14 years. Throughout my career, I worked with various companies from Fortune 500 behemoths to fast-growing Inc 5000 startups. I lived in 7 different countries including 5 years in Denmark working for Maersk.
Along the way, I have lead and been part of many Agile transformations across multiple industries. I have engaged with all sorts of organizational cultures and have a passion for helping them learn and improve. I love building high-performance teams that deliver products that delight customers.
When I am not traveling around the world consulting, teaching and speaking, I enjoy reading and going surfing.
Most of all though, I love bringing people together and helping them change the way they work – so they love what they do.
Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?
So why this topic? I think there is a lot anyone can learn about Maersk Line’s journey. Participants will hear about how we drove change by focusing on changing the whole end-to-end value stream and improved the speed of product delivery. I will also touch upon some systemic improvements we made along the way – changing the funding model and changing the KPIs of the whole organization. Also how we made make massive improvements in cycle time *without* any changes in downstream practices like automated testing and continuous delivery. In the end, we were able to change the common perception that Agile is for Greenfields only.
Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session?
We then decided to take a more outcome driven approach and initiated a four-week assessment of the end-to-end innovation system at Maersk Line. We involved many stakeholders across the whole organization, interviewed key stakeholders as well as people working in the teams. The study also collated and analyzed data about the value being delivered, the flow of work, and the feedback loops that drive quality.
Alongside the interviews and analysis of data to understand the problem, we began to consider which Lean-Agile practices might help solve the problems we had seen. We narrowed down to 8 Lean-Agile practices that would fit with Maersk Line’s current reality. These were practices that could scale up to enterprise level and across the whole portfolio. They also aligned with Maersk Line’s outsourced delivery model and complex system landscape.
We have become more focused on outcomes as a result of the transformation. Across the organization, we implemented a common language with new guiding principles that are better suited for the complexity of a 21st-century organization. People talk about how they can break ideas down in order to deliver value early and often. Teams talk about how we need to optimize the whole end-to-end value stream, not just their team or department. We talk about how we can increase the speed and coverage of feedback loops, knowing that this is how we improve quality.
As you can see there is a lot to share from Maersk Line’s agile transformation.
Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organizations that are transitioning to agile?
Q: How do you see the evolution of Agile in the future?
Q: What you like to say something in advance to the Greek Agile community?
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