Need insurance for your fancy new refrigerator?
You can get it from the biggest company you never knew existed.
A global insurance company who supports, protects and connects major consumer purchases — but you only see them through their famous “white-labeled” retailers, who sell the products and brand the insurance policies themselves.
If you have an issue with your policy coverage or want to make a claim, previously you would phone up a call center or get stuck in a lengthy IVR or chat session. Neither of these solutions are customer-friendly and both are very expensive from an hourly employee basis.
The most efficient approach today is through a self-service portal, where the customer keys in the information themselves - reducing errors, speeding resolution, and increasing overall satisfaction.
This insurance company had begun building out its self-service portal, but the going was slow and after several years of development, they were behind on their delivery goals. Using an Agile approach, they produced a minimal viable product (MVP) but it was very limited in functionality. And their plans for an international rollout called for hundreds of very specific regional features to be added to address different country requirements.
They needed to mature their development processes, and do it fast, as many of their sales reps had made delivery date commitments with their customers. It is a very common occurrence when business leaders become frustrated by teams not delivering by agreed-upon dates.
Enter the predictability metric.
Increasing predictability of the development teams allows the business to make better commitments, achieve higher long-term customer satisfaction, plan utilization of resources better, and efficiently prioritize within the various teams.
To become more predictable and responsive, the company brought in MATRIX to fulfill tactical Scrum Master responsibilities while simultaneously coaching the teams. The MATRIX National Agile Practice Lead was embedded with the teams and immediately went to work:
“My first goal with any product delivery team is to become predictable. This is often a significant challenge given that the work they will do is littered with unknowns. However, by focusing on those blocking and tackling skills of transparency, small batch sizes, dedication, decentralized control, etc. we can achieve significant improvements in predictability.”
How do you improve predictability? Several tactics were employed:
Dedicating resources to teams so they can be accountable.
Enabling those teams with the resources and tools they need.
Increasing the transparency within and around those teams.
Coaching those teams to more effective, responsive product development.
“When you are predictable, you can throw better darts at a smaller wall. That’s where we wanted to take it,” he added.
Ultimately, these efforts would give the business better ability to make better future commitments. And give internal customers and their customers improved satisfaction.
So far, the web portal team has:
Increased collaboration across the distributed team.
Increased preparation of Stakeholder reviews.
Created better flow during the sprint, reducing work in progress.
Metrics captured before and after the engagement tell the story.
MATRIX used a simple, common measure of predictability: the ratio of what was completed to what was committed. This metric goes by several names including Delivery/Commit ratio (DC ratio) and Commit to Complete ratio (C2C). Here is the data on team predictability increases achieved by taking this approach.
Coaching Results - Increased Predictability
The web portal team has increased Delivery/Commit ratio by 117%
This metric indicates that the web portal team is increasing its predictability. The team is still below the industry goal of 80-100% for the third Coaching period but has averaged 71%. A 71% D/C ratio represents a 117% predictability improvement over the initial period prior to coaching, and shows continued improvement over all three coaching periods.
In both cases, the teams were stuck in the 30-40% range before refocusing their efforts. A 70-80% DC ratio represented a 100% increase in predictability and was achieved in 3-4 months.
Coaching Results - Summary
This is just one of several metrics provided by MATRIX. There was also a measurable increase in the team’s commitment to work:
The teams on average committed to 25% and 38% more during the coaching period than they averaged in the previous quarter.
What did the customers who were receiving value from these teams think of their deliveries during this period? Utilizing a standard 1-10 NPS scoring, the responses were all 7s or above.
So not only are our outputs showing progress, the company’s customers and validation of the outcomes have been positively affected.
How much more market share could any company gain, or how high could they move those Customer Satisfaction scores with teams that delivered 80+% of everything they committed to by simple blocking and tackling focus? No Leadership changes, no re-org, just coaching and focus on the key elements of enhancing the responsiveness and effectiveness of the teams.
Want to hear more about how this was achieved? Just ask.