It was an amazing ride!
I was given a mandate:
- Increase speed to market
- Achieve cost efficiency
No problem! The company was in the online recruitment space, had incredible brand recognition and was well funded. Problem was they had an antiquated product development methodology (“Waterfall”), a legacy codebase that felt lke a Rube Goldberg machine and mounting competitive pressures. Upside was they had awesome support for change both top-down and bottom-up!
Everyone had heard of Agile software development and some had even practiced it at other companies but what they had currently was not Agile. I just had to take one look at their physical office layout and it was obvious they weren’t agile.
Developers were huddled together in one spot, QA were bunched together in another spot and the Product Managers were on another floor altogether! They communicated with each other through email even if they sat right next to each other with the backs of their heads touching. Meetings took weeks to arrange in order to align everyone’s schedules and of course everyone had to attend every single meeting. Decisions took forever to make and then when they were made took no time at all to change. WTF?!