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How to replace wheels in a speeding car – Agile transformation in Reckitt Benckiser

Agile transformation is primarily about improved performance, flexibility and shorter time-to-market while maintaining high quality. It allows the company to gain a competitive advantage and strengthen a leadership position. Reckitt Benckiser, a global leader in the production and promotion of consumer goods, could see its impact after a successful transformation towards an Agile organization carried out by Sii Poland experts.

Agility is the key to a market advantage

The key to a competitive advantage is flexibility and readiness for changes that will ensure efficiency, innovation, and thus a victory in the business race. Businesses need to be agile and respond quickly to a changing market to achieve superiority over rivals. If you only respond to what the competition has done, it means you’re not the best. So how should you act?

− It is a change that is synchronized with the need – proactive and thoughtful. To become a leader and maintain this position, we must know and understand not only the competition, but above all our clients. It’s their needs we meet and their requirements we adapt to. The better and faster we understand them and follow them, the greater the chance of winning our race. But how to do it  when the race has already started and every stop increases the distance to winning? It’s like a pit stop – if we have a plan for these short breaks and they are as effective as possible, then after each of them we are better prepared and move on safely – says Maciej Szostek, Agile & Atlassian Offering Lead at Sii Poland.

Plan based on small steps – Agile implementation

We used the small-steps method in the Agile transformation project at Reckitt Benckiser.

– Agile transformation in an international organization with huge dynamics and distributed teams, for which it is necessary to maintain continuity of product delivery, has proved to be a challenge. Making changes can be compared to replacing wheels in a speeding car. An additional difficulty was the fact that the client had already undergone one transformation, the effects of which blurred over time and the only thing left was the feeling that they had already tried what we were proposing and it did not work out – says Katarzyna Kulhawik, Program Manager at Sii Poland, managing the whole project.

Our program included gradual changes in the scope of:

  • organizational culture, now focused on mutual respect, responsibility, transparency, communication and willingness to change for the better,
  • work with people based on changing the way of understanding what an Agile organization is, perceiving their own role in such an environment and taking care of continuous improvement not only of themselves, but also of the entire organization,
  • understanding the challenges ahead of the transformation process and the importance of responsibility for maintaining the changes introduced,
  • teaching teams that work in such a dynamic environment can be based on a partnership between business and IT teams, management and employees,
  • processes and tools that should support the Agile organization’s activities and not be an obstacle to everyday activities and the transformation process.

The right tools are the key to the success of Agile transformation

Today we are sure that the changes introduced in the company will be continued because:

  • the strategic goal of Reckitt Benckiser for the current financial year is: “Be Agile”,
  • there was a change in the organizational structure that supports “Be Agile”,
  • the company continues to transform teams into SCRUM teams,
  • an Agile approach to work scaling was introduced,
  • there is a huge involvement of the business side in the transformation process of “Be Agile”.

One of the critical success factors was the operationalization of processes optimized during the transformation and the implementation of a new attitude in everyday work. Remembering that all the pillars of Agility should develop proportionally, placing emphasis primarily on people and their interactions, as well as processes and products, we have not forgotten about tools that systematize work, visualize its effects and help manage its scope. We based on the Atlassian platform already implemented in the organization.

As the Atlassian Gold Partner, having extensive experience in this type of venture, we have implemented a framework based on Jira and Confluence. It allows full management of all activities:

  • an idea and its submission by a business,
  • rationalization at the stage of business analysis and design,
  • the entire delivery process,
  • monitoring of agreed quality of the final product,
  • necessary documentation,
  • transfer to maintenance and the actual maintenance.

Thanks to the implemented changes we have made Reckitt Benckiser employees aware that it is possible and worth changing. Can you change the wheels in a speeding car? Yes, all you need is a well-chosen, competent Agile Team.

Check how we can support Agile transformation in your company.

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