Utility companies face several challenges, mostly due to changes in energy regulation policies; putting them on the edge of disruption and forcing them to develop new business models beyond traditional/existing revenue streams, especially in a local context. Being aware of the situation, our client implemented a Digital Lab which used software development teams and cross-functional project setups to work on ideas that might become future pillars of the company.
Bloom Partners was asked to implement agile development and management procedures to speed up the process, improve efficiency and ultimately enhance the success of launched products.
After analyzing success drivers and barriers of the Digital Lab, a variety of measures were initiated to tackle existing challenges and enable an agile way of working.
1. Process Review and Develop Agile Approach:
At the beginning we assessed innovation and product development processes to identify key procedures to be streamlined. We assessed processes based on several factors, to ultimately design the ideal approach for agile product development including the establishment of an open innovation platform and new consumer insight tools.
2. Implementation of Individual Agile Work Methods:
Next, we implemented several templates, formats and activities specifically tailored to the agile development in the lab. These tools were designed to support the cross-functional teams and especially the Product Owners in their everyday work. Furthermore, agile principles for supporting processes such as consumer testing, market analysis and test-automatization were implemented to speed up the development of products and at the same time ensure a high-quality standard as well as consumer centricity.
3. Prioritization of Digital Service Innovation and Coaching:
A multi-level coaching concept was built to strongly develop and empower all members of the cross-functional teams on different levels. First, a continuous coaching of Scrum Masters through our agile trainers, to improve process management and the methodology of scrum. Second, Product Owner shadowing to support the POs on their day to day tasks and to speed up the development process. Third, Constant mentoring and consulting of the project management team (with regards to portfolio management, stakeholder management and the strategic alignment of the Digital Lab).