Agile Transformation Spotlight: Driving Change in a Fortune 500 Healthcare Company
Cohesion has been providing IT Consulting and Staffing Services for 20 years, and recently was enlisted by a Fortune 500 Healthcare company seeking assistance with their Enterprise Agile Transformation Initiative, implementing Scrum, Kanban and SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) across all lines of business.
With a strong track record helping companies succeed in their transformation activities, through a structured approach, Cohesion set forth to drive both Application Development Agility, as well as overall Business Agility throughout their newest Customer’s organization. They do this through the identification and adoption of innovative strategies targeting business process reengineering, technologies and modernization, and cross division engagement models designed to tear down existing silos and increase the flow, and quality, of organizational communications.
Cohesion’s Agile Services & Solutions Capability is built around seasoned Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) that work closely with their customers. They ensure the message and customer education reflect the intent to build a lasting partnership through Agile Bootcamps & workshops, Agile Assessments, pilot projects, and further Agile transformation activities. Cohesion prepares their customers to become self-organizing, self-managing, and self-sustaining, in accordance with Agile values and principles, as they mature in their journey.
Agile: The Competitive Edge
In order to succeed in our constantly changing environment, the speed of the marketplace today is an intense driver to find a more efficient, more flexible, and more “Agile” way to do business. Customers are increasingly researching models, frameworks, and tools to achieve this, as well as looking externally for guidance in order to:
- Increase Flexibility and Ability to Adapt to Business Change and Market Conditions
- Reduce Cost and Increase Revenue
- Increase Speed-to-Market
- Increase Quality and Customer Satisfaction
- Increase Productivity
- Improve Employee Morale
Agile methods, including Cohesion's preferred methods of Scrum, Kanban, and SAFe for large scale organizations, are highly regarded by industry experts as avenues to enable a sustainable and competitive advantage above other traditional application development methodologies. All while reducing planning time, defects, and the total cost of each project. These benefits are derived from the paradigm shift that occurs at every level of an organization driven by experienced Agile Consultants.
Understanding Customer Goals & Challenges
Like most Fortune 500 Companies, this Healthcare Company’s goals were to increase productivity of all team members, reduce cost and increase revenue and increase breadth of knowledge of all team members. These goals were established to substantially improve the capability of working with greater collaboration, greater efficiency, and increase quality as well as business satisfaction while driving faster delivery of business value to their customers. To this end, the organization invested in an Agile Transformation Initiative, and began discussing how to drive the change.
Immediately, it was obvious that, as with any change initiative, there was resistance to the change. Process challenges, communication complications, and in spots, a general heads down, wait for it to pass position was being taken.
With the understanding of the importance of accelerating the Enterprise Transformation strategy, Cohesion deployed seasoned Agile Transformation Coaches / Consultants, and Scrum Masters.
When undertaking any major organizational transformation such as the adoption of Agile across a large organization, it is imperative to fully understand the dynamics of that organization. This is accomplished through a comprehensive organizational assessment with the following objectives:
- Observe Business and IT environment in order to understand the culture, habits and values of the customer's Business, IT teams and that of other onsite vendors (if applicable).
- Reach a shared understanding of the level of maturity for use of Agile methods and the level of requisite Agility to implement.
- Identify and prioritize specific impediments and risks for the effective use of Agile methods across the targeted area
- Sketch high-level transformation roadmap for subsequent phases in the overall Agile Adoption.
Once understanding the unique environment, and the often, not so unique challenges their customers face, Cohesion Agile Transformation Coaches and Consultants, and subsequently, Scrum Masters, establish a structured, consistent message, a consistent training style, and institute of a consistent process execution approach organizationally, which was something that had not previously happened within this Healthcare provider.
Cohesion put the foundational elements in place to drive change in a responsible manor, allowing this customer to continue to deliver on their commitments while revamping their internal processes. This was done through the delivery and implementation of:
- Healthcare tailored workshops aimed at teaching people not only how to think about Agile in the new world, but also how to operate were conducted on a national scale.
- Business process re-engineering models were developed and socialized, with feedback built back in so that in the end, everyone had a shared ownership of the new processes.
- Engagement models illustrating the structured and open flow of communication between divisions and between traditional waterfall teams that have not transitioned yet, stand alone Agile teams, and SAFe Agile Release Trains (ARTs) were developed to ensure everyone was working in alignment toward the same goal at the same time.
- Tooling automation was implemented to drive a DevOps implementation that was on-going in parallel with the Agile Transformation.
- Global reporting dashboards were created to make everything visible and fully transparent to the highest levels, enabling leaders to make informed decisions.
With strategic investments in Agile Transformation Initiatives across the market, and companies depending on their Strategic Partners to guide them in the right direction, leadership expects measurable results. With Cohesion as this Fortune 500 Healthcare companies chosen Agile guide, results are exactly what have been, and continues to be delivered.
To date, this Transformation is in its second year, and going strong. There are multiple SAFe ARTs operating with more and more launching, Centers of Practice being formed for Scrum Masters, Coaches, etc., teams across the enterprise that have fully embraced Agile, and teams that are slated to start up, or activate, that now have a clear path forward. And while there will always be challenges and improvements to be made, the foundational pieces for success have taken root.
At Cohesion, their mission is to, “empower people and companies to thrive.” While individual Cohesion Agile Transformation Coaches or Consultants may vary customer to customer, the results driven, people focused, pragmatic approach Cohesion brings to the table is always consistent, and the key success factors for their customers.
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