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Directing service-oriented agile product management through business analysis & product ownership

Updated: Nov 14, 2022

Fortune 50 Telecommunications Company

What was the business challenge?

A global media and technology company turned to NorthStar Solutions Group to improve the volume and quality output of their agile development group that was responsible for maintaining and enhancing key foundational content management software and infrastructure throughout the organization. This group was struggling to translate the needs of the business and deliver on its objectives. NorthStar focused on changing the culture of the relationship between the business and technology teams by introducing product leadership to promote change through improved communication, collaboration, transparency and integrity.

The organization struggled with a growing negative culture of Business vs. Technology that was impeding progress and lowering morale. The ever-evolving and fast-moving business lacked the time and resources to properly educate and articulate their competitive challenges. The technology team lacked the “big picture” thinking and interpersonal skills needed to gain a deeper understanding of what was being asked of them. These behaviors and skill gaps put the two groups at odds and created a crisis of confidence. With the technology team veering off course and becoming less solution oriented, the amount of usable product being delivered slowed to a crawl. The two groups were at a proverbial stalemate and sought NorthStar’s expertise in Product Management to move the team forward.

What solution did NorthStar provide?

NorthStar embedded a proven structure within the organization where a Product Owner sat squarely between the Business and Technology teams and served as a liaison and change agent to help build a stronger working relationship between the two groups. NorthStar used a service-oriented approach to provide value to the organization and implemented the following to deliver results:

  • Strategic Alignment. Manage an evolving strategy and roadmap development together with socializing the vision and goals across all teams to ensure transparency, buy-in, and alignment.

  • Actionable Problem Solving. Field all requests and engage with the business to fully flesh out problems that need solving in terms that can be executed on.

  • Collaboration. Identify solutions to the challenges that provide value to the business.

  • Accountability. Ensure both teams are setting proper expectations with each other.

  • Communication. Facilitate routine prioritization, planning, execution, guidance, feedback and approvals. Continuous Improvement. Provide and seek out routine feedback on delivered products.

What are the quantitative results?

NorthStar took a potentially toxic situation that could have cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity and turned it around to be a productive and highly collaborative relationship. In the timespan of just a few months the overall output of the technology team increased by 50%. In addition to the increased velocity and throughput, there were also fewer defects and a higher level of stakeholder satisfaction.

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