The challenge

Martin was in charge of a small development team. Increased demand meant that the team was expanding from two people to a team that flexed between five or more depending on resource availability. The fluctuating demand and ad-hoc nature of requests were pulling him in multiple directions, while he was also trying to coach new team members.

Martin was looking for assistance with project/process and workload structure, as well as a clearer image on the development strategy – something he simply didn’t have the time for.

The solution

A number of areas of support were required to service the challenge. Initial discussions took place to understand the nature of the current work and future opportunities. In order to assist with getting the right process and structure, we needed to first look at this future to understand how best to structure the team accordingly.

An initial review of the types of development opportunities was undertaken, as well as a review of the customer base, the level of product maturity and the potential direction of the overall business.

There were a number of opportunities already in the pipeline, and after the review took place, these were given new priorities. Some were pushed back because they had a low potential customer uptake, as it was discovered that the product maturity was greater than the level of customer maturity. This meant that products would be developed in line with customer maturity with a 60/40 rule (60% of the operation was devoted to creating products in line with the customers’ current level, while 40% was devoted to products at the next level and future levels).

To support the new strategy and the ad-hoc nature of requests, it was recommended that the team work with an agile project approach – in this instance, working on a two weekly sprint cycle to support new urgent requests. Support in establishing the new processes, documentation and structure was given to allow time for it to be embedded, while ironing out any potential updates that were required