Sparking Up End-to-End Agility
Nationwide Insurance had an existing ‘water-scrum-fall’ approach, with long, linear, up-front planning cycles that eventually fed work to “agile delivery teams” only to then have the completed work languish in further waterfall steps towards deployment. While IT had been agile for close to a decade with around 200 standing agile teams, business partners still struggled with inordinately long lead times for setting up projects, long waterfall requirements development cycles, and especially long funding cycles. In late 2016, the Enterprise Digital group began a business transformation to improve speed to market and increase flexibility in the highly competitive digital customer-facing channel environment. Working closely with LitheSpeed’s master consultants, the Nationwide executive team partnered across business and IT to successfully pilot an end-to-end model that is sparking up business agility across the entire company. Among other business agility “sparks” we: Re- organized from functional silos to Product-Based Value-Stream Teams, Redesigned the business requirements process to achieve a continuous flow of Minimal Marketable Products (MMPs) into the teams, Utilized Big-Room-Planning techniques to create alignment across a wide set of stakeholders and dependencies, Designed a Product-Manager-to-Product-Owner fan-out concept to achieve omni-channel digital delivery and Designed a portfolio-level visualization system to track the flow of MMPs across multiple investments simultaneously.