Results / Benefits
Industrial Logic helped Nielsen safely implement XP, saving time and money, clearly defining information, building and enhancing their reputation and relationships, and increasing the overall happiness and health of the team members. Some of the many benefits included:
Communications: The Industrial Logic coaches taught the team how to raise issues without triggering a defensive response. After the Nielsen team became comfortable with retrospectives, they felt safe to talk, collaborate and open up with each other.
"The team felt more safe in that they could raise concerns, issues and risks and wouldn’t be criticized for it."Don Carlson
Code: After learning storytest-driven development, the Nielsen team felt more confident making code changes, knowing they had not introduced behavioral regressions.
Environment: The open workspace fostered interdepartmental communication, allowing insight and understanding into what each group’s role was and how they could contribute to help speed the process. It became a “tour stop” for Nielsen executives on how to do it right.
Requirements: The Nielsen team broke down the walls between IT and the end user and began holding interactive sessions directly with customers. The results helped to build prioritized lists of features to the delight of customers.
Culture: The entire approach and concept of coaching and collaboration resonated with the team. The culture created by the shift to an open workspace, training and mentoring by the Industrial Logic team, and increase in open interdepartmental communication had a positive effect on employee retention, especially among some of the top engineers.
"At the end of the project, trust among all of the departments – including sales, product development, testing and data administration was at an all time high. You were changing culture more than just changing a methodology."Don Carlson
Chairman’s Award: Because of the great success of the project and implementation of XP, Don’s team was awarded the Chairman’s Award for Process Improvement by the global holding company of Nielsen. Of the 20,000 employees worldwide, there were hundreds of projects submitted for the award. Only ten were selected as winners, putting the team in a very elite group.
After that initial project, Don’s team fully bought into the process of XP. They began crushing time estimates for completion from years to months. With this success, the ripple began.
The next project involved legacy code, new workspaces, and a team not as agreeable as the first. This second project also proved successful, setting up a much larger transformation: the transformation of the entire Local Division of Nielsen involving about 200 engineers, including an offshore team.
Industrial Logic was brought back to infuse the same successful process, transforming a home-grown waterfall method to Agile. Even with additional challenges, including globally-dispersed teams in multiple time zones, the training and coaching helped people feel safe.
And by spreading XP further into the organization, Nielsen could keep up with the small, nimble competitors (smaller companies were more nimble and agile, and were creating competitive products with 10 people versus 10,000, despite Nielsen having the data, resources and the talent).