Join agile delivery champion, Bill Moroz, to learn how to break down how to leverage enterprise data, celebrate the success of your project and build long-lasting trust.
- Bill is an agile delivery champion and one of the latest additions to the DPM experts team. He spent the last 22 years leading enterprise-scale digital transformations, and as a veteran at implementing agile principles for globally distributed teams. [0:42]
- A recent successful digital transformation they took was a large mobile organization in the Caribbean. 22 different regions, different languages, different currencies, different regulations of compliance issues, and underlying infrastructure and network infrastructure that was different across each of the 22 regions, bringing that together in a centralized product and services catalog. [3:15]
- A long time ago in a valley far, far away… there was a CMO who put Bill on the spot for a data-related answer. At that time, Bill was 3 weeks into his new role managing the data warehouse. To get the answer, he leveraged data and analytics as well as his propensity for understanding the customer. And from that day on, he knew that data was key for using technological solutions to inform business decisions [6:04]
- Understanding how to mix products and services is important to generate more revenue and to provide a better breadth of those products and a broader breadth of those services to enhance the customer experience. [9:21]
“Your foundation should be in place to then ensure that you’re actually building on features that are revenue-generating.” — Bill Moroz
- Iterative development with your stakeholders, with your business, to the market launch, and then presuming that you have a strong analytics backbone in this case, Salesforce or Google analytics to then be able to measure the return. [14:00]
- After every sprint, Bill would do a retrospective with the team and would also include the business stakeholders in the rest of the respective. [19:03]
- The waterfall project is quite rigid. That’s based on requirements being confirmed. It’s based on development and testing. [23:22]
- Discounting was an extremely high priority because the mobile phone industry in the Caribbean and Central South America changes daily. [24:14]
- Bill had experience in a waterfall project where they built something to market. The market that they were building against was a year and a half old. So when they went to release it, they were a year and a half behind where the competitions work. [26:03]
- Bill and his team did try to pivot many times. There was just too much project stress on pivoting because the foundational elements were already built against a 14-month stale requirements document. [26:37]
“Understanding how to manage the data, is a big gap from actually having the data.” — Bill Moroz
- The data actually supported a business case, which led to a multi-million dollar infrastructure upgrade. [32:04]
- As you configure your analytics modules to your stakeholder requirements, they should expose that data to their expectations. [33:24]
- The power of data is extreme or it can be, depending on how you know how to use it. [37:37]
- Bill’s best advice for someone who is looking to leverage enterprise data and make things fun and rewarding for their teams and their stakeholders. [44:53]
Bill Moroz is a seasoned client-facing delivery champion who enables CX business transformations through the Agile delivery of complex technology applications and infrastructure solutions.
For over 22 years, Bill has been helping large organizations in the banking, financial services, and telecommunications sectors drive outcomes by successfully promoting, developing, delivering, migrating, and sometimes recovering complex enterprise-wide programs and projects.
He has a solid track record of positive on time and on-budget results, but his true passion is bringing out the fun in digital delivery through strong team-building, data-driven storytelling, and celebrating wins with teams and stakeholders.
“We start with not knowing or not completely knowing whether we will be completely successful, but if we’re measuring it in increments, we’re able to pivot, to reorientate, to ensure that we continue down to a successful path.” — Bill Moroz
Resources from this episode:
Related articles and podcasts:
- About the podcast
- Article showing key things to look for in project contract & scope documents
- Article explaining the questions project managers should ask in project discovery
- Video with how to manage sloppy teams
- Podcast about how to build a culture of data-driven estimation
We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.
Listen to this statistic. 84% of executive stakeholders said they cared more about business metrics than project performance KPIs. Okay. That’s not a real stat, but if you’re struggling to use project KPIs to tell the story of your project success and impact, keep listening, we’re going to be breaking down how to leverage enterprise data, to celebrate the success of your project and build long-lasting trust with your stakeholders, and your team.
Thanks for tuning in my name is Galen Low with the digital project manager. We are a community of digital professionals on a mission to help each other, get skilled, get confident, and get connected so that we can deliver projects better. If you want to hear more about that head over to thedigitalprojectmanager.com.
Hey everyone. Thanks for hanging out with us on the DPM podcast. My guest today is an agile delivery champion. I’m one of the latest additions to the DTM experts team. He spent the last 22 years leading enterprise-scale digital transformations and is a veteran at implementing agile principles for globally distributed teams.
Now he’s coaching leading brands to truly take advantage of agile ways of working and outside of digital project management. He’s a big astronaut and Spacebook who has seen many launches of landing live at Cape Canaveral and JSC in Houston. Today, he’s going to be sharing his philosophies and strategies for using enterprise data to tell the story of a project’s business impact throughout the life cycle of that project, not just for bragging rights, but also to keep things fun and gratifying teams and stakeholders alike.
Folks, please welcome Mr. Bill Moroz. Hello Bill.
Hey, Galen. Thank you for having me.
It’s great to have you on the show. And it’s also great to have you on the DPM experts team. So I’m really happy and excited to have your expertise on tap And I we’re both in Toronto right now. We’re enjoying a lovely, a state of emergency stay-at-home order.
So trapped inside. Oh, how’s that been going for? You? What’s been the biggest challenge for you at this sort of stay-at-home. Stay at home, locked down this round.
Well it’s, I mean, just keeping the place clean is a big challenge, but also just reminding myself that it can’t be stuck in front of a screen eight, 10 hours a day.
So I actually set an alarm clock to ensure that I get up, use my iPhone clock to alarm me every hour to get up, and walk around for about 10 minutes.
That’s. Excellent. Yeah, I’ve got my Fitbit to sort of remind me every now and again, little vibrates every now and again, it tells me they didn’t get up.
Sometimes I do it sometimes. I actually listened to my Fitbit cross.
The trying to get those 10,000 steps every day.
Exactly. Exactly. How about silver linings, any silver linings for you in this sort of stay at home lockdown
Cooking and eating were healthier. Galen.
Just venturing out, pushing the envelope on different On different meals with everything being locked down on restaurants and bars and such doing a lot more, in-home in house dining.
The Bill Moroz restaurant, it’s going to be
Open for business.
There you go.
And having a lot of fun doing it too, having a local on healthier. Yeah.
Well, what are you looking forward to the most about being able to kind of go outside and sort of safely live a normal life?
Actually travel my wife and I have already, and I miss the you being able to travel.
We have friends in Japan, in Tokyo that we have not seen the zoom the teams as you know, is nice, but it’s not the same. So being able to travel well, same thing with Friends in Palm Springs that we wish we were with them, especially in this cold weather here in Toronto. So yeah, that’s the biggest love, I guess, downside right now.
Can’t wait. Thank you. Fingers crossed.
Yeah, very nice. Soon enough. All right, let’s get into it. Let’s talk about how project managers and project teams can leverage enterprise data to make project work fun, gratifying, and recognized for the impact it’s having on the business. So not just after a project is complete, we’re talking about celebrating wins and using that data to tell that story along the way as well.
But before we get into it, I thought maybe let’s first talk about professional. You so what kinds of digital transformations have you led in your career?
So a lot of large-scale customer experience business transformations taking what used to be a paper. Multi or Omni data points into a centralized clear line of sight end-to-end digital platform, right?
Being able to you don’t have full reign and full view of all of the data points and the components in your platform to be able to then leverage that into information and to be able to take advantage of content and content display all the well knowing the you know, the anticipated result of that.
It’s funny, like digital transformation. So much of this digital transformation is sort of like unraveling all the spaghetti and making sure that you know exactly what kind of noodles you’ve got and then not to minimize it. But that’s actually the biggest effort is trying to like, get everything centralized, get that like line of sight and that centralized view and all the data and all these various data points around the business and cleaning up
And cleaning the data.
Then, you know, you don’t know, you don’t know what you got until you actually unravel it. And he, you know, you ended up with understanding that maybe on average industry average, about 25 to 30% of what you have is is, you know, not no longer valid. But you want that cleaned up
Totally fair. And then on an enterprise-scale, I mean, we’re talking about, well, a lot of data, but probably like a lot of different teams too.
Right. And sort of rallying everybody together across continents, trying to understand how everybody works, what data is available, whether or not it’s consistent, and having these sort of project teams that are distributed around the globe, I’m imagining
That’s correct. So in the, in one recent successful digital transformation, we took a large mobile of organization in the Caribbean across Latin LATAM and in parts of South America.
So multiplicative 22 different regions across the Caribbean, different languages, different currencies, different regulatory compliance. Issues and underlying infrastructure network infrastructure that was different across each of the 22 regions bringing that together in, in a centralized product catalog, product and services catalog to in a centralized we’ll say omnichannel call center.
So an Omnichannel platform to be able to quickly understand offers promotions, discounts across all of the 22 regions. So giving the senior VP, essentially the executive team, the senior VP of marketing, the senior VP of sales, the power at one stroke to have impact within. What used to be weeks now turned down to half a day, right.
Of launching offers bids across the region to you know, not only to meet but also to exceed competition data points
The picture, this process of like the defragmentation almost, you know, like taking all these pieces across 22 regions, figuring out, you know, what’s different about them.
What could be the same, bringing that into unity and then just surfacing that up to the executive level so that it’s something that they can execute against more rapidly, more consistently. And in sort of that region-specific context as well
This was, this was all integrated into Salesforce.
So, so, you know, not only taking the spaghetti off of the Excel sheets and the different homegrown systems. Right. That’s I think again, this organization that grew through acquisition so you inherit a whole this, and you inherit the surprises and you want to you know, bring it, bring them into the organization as one organization with a clear line of sight across the regions that you are that, you know, that, that account for your revenue stream
It’s a big job and it’s a lot of data.
And I mean, in, in the conversations we’ve been having, like, I know you’re someone who feels very passionately about data and a big question for me was, okay, well, what was that moment that. Made you realize that data was so important to what you did? Like what was that sort of time where you’re like, dang it, I need better data to be able to tell this story of what I’m doing here.
Yeah. So a long time ago also stayed in a Valley far away or Toronto. There, there is CML came up to me. I was managing the data warehouse and then essentially starting a revamp with the CRM program have really leveraged on data and analytics and you know, propensity and understanding of the customer.
CMO came up to me. I was, I think, two weeks into the position into the newly created position. Asked me how so how many customers in the customer base of 4 million customers that we have? How many customers have an ARPU value of over $50? And that’s a monthly essentially monthly combined billing factor of over $50.
I was not able to answer him
Aye. Yeah. It was embarrassed. I was like, yeah. And that’s when the bells, the bell rang. I was like, I should know, guess what I did. I went to found out. I went to find out and you know, too, to my surprise 80% again, I’m generalizing, but roughly about 75 to 80%. Of our customers had a value of $50 or more per month.
And you know, that then opened interesting and open to campaign management for again, understanding our customer base and understanding what can we, what do they have first of all? And then what can we cross-sell upsell basically make their digital experience heightening on you know, on their customer value, under customer experience with the organization.
Okay. And you were mentioning previously when we were chatting about, you know, that kind of opened up that rabbit hole, so you can then go and segment that data other ways and sort of building that mechanism to segment that data, to tell the story that you need to tell and prioritize the things you need to prioritize and some of this transformation initiative.
Correct. I mean, it’s, you got to understand your customer, right? You got to put your you know, I often put myself in the. In the seat of the customer in the what do we want, what do we, don’t, what don’t we want, right. Do we want to be you know, do we want to be drowning in in information or do we not you know, everybody, every customer, every industry is different in that way.
Customer segmentation, to be able to understand who the customer is and what they want, we’ll drive our technology in terms of you know, the data that we need to turn into information, to meet their wants and you know, and their desires in terms of a heightened customer experience from, you know, start during and afterward, but extremely powerful.
That’s the lens that I love about what you do is that it’s very data-driven, but human-centered it’s always about, yes, sure. It’s about revenue. Yes. It’s about how the marketing and sales teams can operate more effectively. Yes. It’s about call center operations, but really it’s about creating that human relatable experience at the end.
And being able to sort of gather this data that measures that, so, okay. Yes. We’re selling more, but why are we selling more? We’re selling more, we’re selling faster because you know, we’ve created an experience that is driving you know, some of the more human metrics, which we’ll get to in a second to have that experience so that people are happy and people are buying and people are satisfied.
So that driven, that driven the project that drives that human experience is. I find it important to I mean, many of the project teams program teams that I’ve managed are multicultural. We leave Virginia, India leave Virgin Costa Rica, Poland you know, here in Canada, in the States as well.
The understanding, why are we doing this? What is the actual business value and the importance for our program’s success, right? You can say. Yeah. Okay. Well, you know, we’re doing parallel sprinting in B2B and B the scene, we’ve got eight sprints you know, going in parallel or we’re going down the agile journey where, you know, we’re on sale.
It is great. But how are we demonstrating value to the business, right? Sprint over sprint. All right. And so showcasing, but you know, showcasing by the team. The team needs to understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing this. Why are we making a difference, right? While we’re making a difference, cause we’re doing offers promotions.
So, products and services that we’re putting together to be able to understand how to mix that to, to generate more revenue and to provide a broader breadth of. Of those products and broader breadth of those services to enhance the customer
I really liked that sort of use of data to describe impact.
And so that the teams are seeing the forest for the trees. And I think maybe like now’s probably a good opportunity to get our listeners oriented. So like, we’re talking about enterprise data here. So like bill and I, we’ve had several conversations leading up to this, and sort of where we netted out is that yeah.
When we’re talking about enterprise data, we’re not necessarily talking about project metrics, we’re not talking about the data that allows you to compare across projects. We’re talking more about business data. So bill, maybe you could talk to us a bit about that. Like what do you consider to be enterprise data?
What are some examples of enterprise data you’ll leverage throughout a project?
Well, a reference back R. Or a recent customer in the Caribbean. What we created is we created 2300 entities. So 2300 data points for a complete product catalog and product services, essentially it equates to just generally about 252 products that were digitized.
And as you digitize the product, you create rules, relationship rules against pricing against, you know, region against infrastructure certain products you can surface certain services just because of. Inexistent or not, you know, let’s say not yet their infrastructure cannot be offered.
Right. So that would you know, initiate a view to your network on where different products, different services can be offered. And yeah, 23.
Thank you. You mentioned something important, which was like a, just even just product availability. In a certain region might be one of the metrics that you are looking at.
Like one of the data points that you’re looking at, you might have a sprint or a series of sprints dedicated to getting some of the products that are, you know, available in a certain region that has certain infrastructure to other regions you know, with a consistent experience with consistent data feeding back to it, but really like measuring success as, Hey, we weren’t even able to offer this product here before you know, of the twenty-five products.
Products were addressing this one wasn’t available in the region. We needed to put in the plumbing, we needed to build this infrastructure. And now, you know, all 25 products are available in that region. And that is a success metric.
That’s what it’s understanding that the as we, once we complete, let’s say foundational sprints to ensure that the Franz foundational entities are in place, we can then build on those entities.
And again, I’ll generalize, but usually after sprint three six, six, six weeks into the project, your foundation should be in place of, to then ensure that you’re actually building on features that are revenue-generating. Right. And you know, as we look at prioritization of sprints or prioritization of features and stories within each of the sprints you know, the, I typically like to start with the heavy hitters, right?
So the big ROI features that we can then demonstrate as quick wins. Right? So, sprint, let’s say sprint five you know, showcase we’re. We are launched to market in production being able to then demonstrate a tangible revenue increase on a product or a service that we digitized that is now in production that is now bringing revenue back to the organization that is now bringing maybe a higher C-SAT customer satisfaction back to the organization, right, because of a of an ease of of product breadth may be a higher speed internet service, so you can watch the super bowl.
You know, it those are very tangible, very very measurable data points that come back to showing project success. Right. Or at least the road, the project success as you keep moving forward.
And I think that’s a really important distinction for our listeners as well. Because many of us have probably been leading agile ish projects, you know, maybe using a scrum agile methodology or running in two-week sprints.
But at the end of all the sprints, there’s this sort of go-live sprint and then everything kind of goes live. So it’s incremental and it is iterative, but it sort of culminates into this big launch. But you’re talking about is genuinely using these sprints to take something out into market. So not just potentially shippable, but actually the actual product goes out.
It goes live at the end of sprint four. And by sprint six, you can go look at that data and go, yeah. Okay. It’s working, it’s in market, it’s enabling the business. And we can start talking about this and we can start making decisions about this because we use an agile way of working to build something and actually push it out into the world so that we can then get data back from it.
So it repealed development. With your stakeholders, with your business to the market launch and then create again, presuming that you have a strong analytics backbone in this case, Salesforce or Google analytics to that be able to measure the return.
Right. And celebrate that success based on the measurable return that was created by the project team, across their sprinting journey.
Yeah. And you were talking about sort of foundational sprints, right? It getting up to sprint three. Maybe it’s a lot of plumbing, but some of that plumbing, like you mentioned, 25 products, you know, 2,500 different data points.
You have to figure out what those are, how are you going to get that data? You know, what you’ll need to measure and how starts early on in the project for you? So that as you’re iterating through and releasing, you know, chunks of a product or experiences that you already know that you’re going to be measuring it, you already know how you’re going to get the data back.
So by the time you’ve developed that part of the product you know, it’s not even a question about, do we have this data that was all figured out earlier in the sprints
It’s built into the sprints as part of this is built into the sprint planning to ensure that, that it is measurable along the way
Or listeners, just to clarify, you know, when we’re talking about enterprise data, we’re talking about sort of business impact.
We’re not really talking about project metrics where, you know, yes, we do need to pay attention to things like velocity. Yes, we need to keep an eye on the budget, but this is, we’re talking about what we’re delivering to the business. So, I think maybe just to kind of bring it back around to digital project management, As a delivery specialist, as somebody who’s managing the project.
Why should you care about enterprise data? Is that sort of, you know, could that be seen as beyond what a project manager needs to care about, or do you think it’s more important than that?
Well the stakeholders, key stakeholders, and executive sponsorship, right. That are essentially supporting the budget for the project certainly want to understand the quick wins and understand the ROI that’s being generated on the business case.
So I would say that yes, it’s extremely important in you know, in the, in your status reporting, right? Again, if you are able to, depending on the type of project that you were managing to be able to demonstrate the business value you know, ideally sprint over sprint.
So there is business value in foundation because that. That is well, I’m in, this if that’s your platform to build on, right? Then, I would say more tangible is the business value in the features that are being launched to market, right? Where you can get a succinct, clear line of sight return on, you know, on the project team as well.
An understand that, Hey, that those are features that we developed. We developed in the last two sprints ago that are now in market that are generating revenue and coming back and that is a good wine to celebrate.
Right? As you keep going forward in the project
We’re talking about, we’re talking about sort of this enterprise scale. And yeah, the thing that resonates with me is that it’s the language that your stakeholders speak at that stage. You know, you mentioned earlier chief marketing officer, right? The C-suite they want the numbers, they want the data, they want to know how it’s impacting the business.
And like you said to me and has said to me, and iterated many times, you know, every project has a business objective. So, you know, yes, we can talk about all this qualitative stuff. And yes, we can talk about the fact that we’re on schedule and sprints are going well, and teams are being really efficient, but how is it actually delivering against that business objective and data becomes that language almost
And, you know, the actual project tools support the organization of that, of getting to that business objective. So, yes you know, certainly your burndown chart very important, your planning important your, you know, all of the. All of those are your Kanban board important as well.
Right. But they are all supporters to actually showing that value that you’re able to demonstrate yeah, show an executive, right. It Kanban board, it’ll say. Okay. That’s nice. Very nice. But we’ll do where’s the money. Well, yeah. But it, you know, important for the project team, right? As a grounding and as an accelerator to understand where we’re at with her different features.
Let’s circle back on that. Cause I love that. And I think, you know, yes, enterprise data is going to be that really important language to speak to your stakeholders. But you were mentioning about sort of your multicultural sort of internationally dispersed teams. And one of the things that you hang your hat on is sort of, you know, still making this sort of stuff fun.
Yes. It’s complex. Yes. It is high stress. Yes. It is. You know, very much the sort of everything you’d think of with a sort of enterprise-wide transformation. But you know, how are you using this data to sort of, you know, make it fun for folks?
So if I find it important for the project team to understand how we’re making a difference and what the business case will yield it, you know, relate to that.
I mean, in this case, this is a mobility, so it was mobile phone. Right. And. You know, what different services and how secure your phone will become right with the advancement of the project as to what we are doing.
Right. So related to well, they want to do secure banking on my iPhone.
Okay. I’ll, you know, sprint six and you know, and that, that tells a human story. I behind the technology that actually enables that, that business to be launched to market or to be hardened to market in this case.
And I think, I mean, and you know, maybe not all projects are like this, but, you know, one of the things he had said to me is that most of the folks on your team.
They have a mobile phone, they have a bank account. This is something that they can experience relate to, and sort of understand why it’s so important that, you know, they had all worked together as a team that last sprint to uplift the customer experience to uplift the security of the experience and like what benefit that has to like the end-user and of course the business.
But again, swinging back to that sort of human-centered digital transformation aspect of things, you know, the fact that, Hey, we made somebody’s life better in sprint six, and now it’s sprint eight. And I can tell, you know, almost quantifiably how much we made that better and I can feel good about it.
And I think the other thing that I really liked but you had mentioned in one of our previous conversations was, you know, I’ve kind of separated it in the, in our dialogue, right. I’m talking about stakeholders and then I’m talking about the team, but one of the things that you brought forward was that.
It starts to sort of close that gap and you kind of have this one team mentality. It’s not just, you know, stakeholders and the team, but also the stakeholders are part of the team. And you’re talking about these wins together and celebrating and building trust together along the way.
So it’s a partnership right from the start and that partnership that, that gel comes together with the wins that you’re celebrating.
As you keep moving forward
You were talking about your telecom project across the various regions, 22 different regions. And I thought maybe you might be able to just, without going into any sensitive specifics, maybe just paint a picture of what that project looked like in terms of, you know, you mentioned concurrent sprints, you mentioned some early sprints to sort of lay some groundwork and then, you know, we’ve been talking about, okay.
Yes, sprint four. Is this feature sprint five? Is this feature sprint six? Is this feature can you. Tell us a bit about sort of how you sequence those sprints, how you would sort of prioritize based on ROI. And then also just where in the sprint, you start to see the results from previous sprints and how you work that into the conversations that you have with your team.
Okay. So a lot of that is in the sprint planning. I call it a phase zero and that’s, you know, working with the stakeholders on, on, on establishing those priorities w what are the foundational elements and getting, you know, having an understanding with the stakeholders on their buy-in that the foundational elements need to be in place to be able to build on.
Right. Know agile things just don’t happen magically in Agile, right? It, there’s actually a lot more work in that, because there’s many unknowns as you start an agile project. Your requirements aren’t necessarily you know, very well known what say, but you start with you know, your user stories, right.
And you know, with that you use, you, you build that you know, that, that program So again, getting that buy-in in sprint planning understanding. So after foundation, right, what are the heavy hitters for my ROI? What is you know, what do we understand? What is maybe less complex you know, or again, you, maybe you want to start with the more complex aspects, right?
But that buy-in with your stakeholders is important in terms of managing those expectations. Right. And you know, this is what we see again, being able to launch to market with you know, with a digitized product CA product and services catalog in this case integrated to Salesforce.
So what are we looking at the end goal? You know, from a numbers perspective, there were 152 sales engineers. That were that use Salesforce. So this is across 22 regions, right? In three languages, English, French, and Spanish because the Caribbean is a three-language region you know, and that, and then looking at managing those expectations as to where we expect to be where the business expects to be with the new features that are being launched to market.
And it, you know, in that to a certain point revenue forecasts but again, against the business case that the businesses put together those revenue forecasts against each of the sprints or the features that are being launched market. Right. So in, in parallel streams in this case the B to C and the B2B were.
Let’s say equally important. Okay. For different reasons business to business business to consumer, a lot of the consumers obviously are in the business. So, so you know, that customer experience across those two streams it was a very high priority which is why we did you know, both of those in parallel with two actually two different teams working in parallel to be able to get this done within 14 months.
And then, I mean, one of the things that I was thinking of when I was picturing this is that. And I was picturing sort of past agile projects that I’ve been involved in. Yeah. Is it sometimes the case that yes. You know, sprint one, two, and three might be even a bit underwhelming for stakeholders because you’re like doing this plumbing and infrastructure and your quick wins are, you know, we have pipes now instead of shiny objects.
And then do you find well, Hey, do you find that’s the case? And then B do you find that, you know, arcs that people get more excited about the output after you get past some of those foundational sprints and are actually releasing things into market and, you know, data is being fed back
Very much so because that’s at least in my opinion, what I’ve seen is that’s when the teams can relate to the work that’s being delivered.
I like that. I really like that.
And, you know, and that relationship again, propels. The teams to keep moving forward. Then it’s also you know, for those teams that are new to agile your first couple of sprints if you’re not an agile you know, veteran rehab you know, number of agile projects let’s say experience those first couple of sprints sort of, you know, lay the groundwork for that knowledge understanding that, that, okay, well, so this is how it’s done, right?
Then this is what it’s about you know, and getting that, that grounding to, to move forward so that you’re as less They’re didn’t use the word stumbling and bumbling you know, you, you crawl right, then you walk and then you run. So the first you know, couple of sprints the team is crawling along sprint three, and I’m expecting, you know, Hey, we should be in a position to be able to start walking.
Right. And then beyond sprint, maybe four we could look at app running and then even going into marathons. Right. And you know, bringing in bringing the velocity into the fold and you know, and understanding that the team is doing the right things and the right way to to be able to to meet the objective.
You know, understanding that, you know, standard classic, right, stand up is not a progress or a meaningful meeting. Right? We look at it very quickly within 10 minutes, I’m expecting to understand where are you at, what you need and where you going, and then what wasn’t done so that we can address that.
Where are you blocked? What do you need to remove the blocker? And you know, everybody keep moving forward. I don’t, it’s not status talk. Don’t talk to me about status. They’ll talk to me about solutions. Talk to me about what have you done. Well, what do you still need to do? And then where are you blocked?
So you can keep moving forward. Yeah.
And what are, you know, you’re following a scrum, agile methodology. And I find in most of the projects that you and I have talked about what are some of the ceremonies where you would surface that data of, Hey, here’s the impact we’re having?
Here’s what the dashboard says in Salesforce. Let’s give ourselves a Pat on the back.
So the retrospective after every sprint we would do a retrospective with the team would also include the business stakeholders in the retrospective. And you know, get as part of that partnership understanding that the retrospective is you know, let’s look at what went well.
And what went well? Well, You won’t be able to measure revenue, right. That’s going well or what didn’t go well in that and what didn’t go well to assure that you know, that’s put together as an action for him to then be able to with the assignment on, you know, who’s going to take that action plan forward to then fold that into the upcoming experience
Actually and I think you answered my next question, which I was going to laugh at you, which was, you know, what happens when we’re talking about sort of building trust, right? We’re talking about accelerating and getting better. It starts slow, but then after sprint three, we start seeing results. And it’s really exciting.
What about when the data doesn’t tell you the thing that you wanted it to, like, for example, the needle is actually moving the wrong way as you measure, you know, you’re in sprint six, I’m a thing you did in sprint four, actually increased, you know, the time it took for one of the sales engineers to, to make a sale What do you do then?
Well, then we’re able to, again, we’re able to pivot right on understanding that you know, something resulted in in a, in an unexpected data point or a a below let’s say below acceptance data point were they able to you know, pivot on that in upcoming sprints or in backlog to assure that that that, that comes back to where we expected it to be.
Right and I mean, you, we start with not knowing or not completely knowing. Whether we will be completely successful, but if we’re measuring it in increments, right, we’re able to pivot to reorientate to ensure that, that we continue to down a successful path.
That makes sense. And actually that ties in perfectly to my next question, which was, you know, is it agile that enables this?
Could you do the same thing with a waterfall-style project in terms of using enterprise data to tell a story, but then also like measure and pivot along the way?
I think that I think that we hopefully answer that question waterfall and hybrid I mean, yes. However, you know, the, it was not available pivoting to the point of you know, against your two weeks sprints.
So. You might be out you know, against, I guess, the timeline to not be able to pivot in time to recover in your project. Again your waterfall project is quite rigid. It’s based on requirements being confirmed. It’s based on, you know, development and testing against a not necessarily a, you know, real-life timeline as life goes on.
Particularly for, you know, industries like the high technology the mobile retail consumer, we’re, you know, the expectation changes, you know, not going to say daily, but it could, but the expectation does change weekly with this organization down in the Caribbean, across 22 regions.
Offers promotions, discounting was extremely high priority because the industry, the mobile phone industry in the Caribbean and central South America changes daily. You have people doing based on you know, a, I don’t know, a free pizza promotion coupon. All right. I’m using a very.
Very rudimentary example, but yeah, I think you get the picture. It’s that fine? Right. And when you know, when you have a competitor that suddenly is giving you a free pizza for, you know, activating a cell phone it’s pretty cutthroat and you gotta be able to react to that. And I have been in cases where we have lost a significant percentage of our subscribers based on those types of promotions, those types of offers.
And then you know, they eventually do come back. Right. But that turn is you know, it was very stressful and expensive. Yeah, it’s very expensive.
I think that’s a really good point in the sense that, you know, there are a lot of enterprise organizations still wondering whether or not they can be agile or whether they should do agile.
And I know that even in conversations I have, and I fall into this trap myself, which is like, you know, the reasons to do agile. So, especially, you know, I come from an agency background. A lot of the time it’s like, just make sure that we’re building the right thing for the client. So that way, every two weeks we can check-in and get feedback and make sure, you know, our sponsor, our client thinks it’s right.
Whereas actually, the bigger picture is, you know, making sure that at any given point, you’re still building the right thing because the market is moving fast and you have to pay attention to the market and what you’re building. It’s not necessarily just managing expectations of clients and sponsors.
It’s making sure that what you’re building is actually going to do the thing it’s supposed to do when you actually take it out into the field.
Yep. And you know, I’ve had that experience again, it’s about, you know, life keeps moving forward, right. Things go wrong. I’ve had the experience in a waterfall project where we built something to market the market that we were building against was a year and a half old.
So when we went to release it to market, we were a year and a half behind where the competition or certain competitions work
Ladies and gentlemen, color television, everyone’s like, eh, yeah.
So how do you account for that? I mean, you know, even trying to pivot, and we did try to pivot many times there was just too much what I call project stress on pivoting because of the foundational elements.
We’re already built against you know, a 14-month stale requirements document.
There you go. There you go. Good luck.
Don’t want to be in that quadrant again. Those are lessons learned that you don’t want to go back to.
I mean, and while we’re talking about challenges, I mean, even agile and this sort of notion of data-driven storytelling throughout your project, I’m sure a fraught with challenges.
One of the things you and I were talking
It is not easy
What don’t you just plug it on the Salesforce and it’s just like, boom, it’s all done for you. No, I imagine it’s like a heavy lift. One of the things we were talking about was even just data literacy of teams and stakeholders. So in other words, people have to get it.
It’s not just gathering 2,500 data points and tossing them at people and hoping that’s going to, you know, get everyone to believe in your project and celebrate it and build trust. So I mean, w what are some of the times, have you encountered a scenario where maybe some of the stakeholders or your team just don’t really get the data and how do you help them kind of wrap their heads around it?
So, you know, we all know that data is extremely important, very powerful, right? The ensuring that you have clean data is firstly a critical point then being able to understand what data you have. The transparency of the data in terms of it being understood the retrievability of the day.
Great to say I have it, but if I can’t get to it it’s a little bit of a no starter. And then, okay, so I got clean data. I can get to it. I understand it now. How do I use it? And that’s where the rubber needs to hit the road. Right. It’s to understand the power of the data that you have, but then how do you use it in the way that would meet what you were expecting to get out of the data?
Right. So having that you know, having that plan in place, that plan in place understanding. You know how to manage the data is I would say a big gap from actually having the data. So a lot of that is you know, I’ll say teaching you know, coaching even C-level of across the organization on what they have on what it can be used for and on then how to understand how to interpret the results that they’re getting from that data based on the different algorithm formulas are reporting together to to to source out of them out of the warehouse.
And one thing that I really liked that you mentioned to me was sort of that again, circling back to making it human, making it relatable, you know, what does all this data mean? Doing the actual storytelling. That’s the storytelling aspect of it is. Okay. Well, we can take this data, like, for example, you had given me the example of like peak network hours, for example, like, okay, that’s great.
I see all these peaks and valleys bill, but I don’t know, like how does that help us plan our business, but you know, how do you kind of weave that into a story that, you know, folks can understand if they’re struggling with the debt?
So in this case it was actually based on infrastructure investment.
And should we invest in infrastructure because of different data peaks that we were seeing in the network, right? And then how much should we invest in men? Should we invest to flatten those peaks. Right. So taking a, in this case, user data not revenue data, but user data on usage across the network across the this, the 24 hours.
And you know, the example is in herein, in Canada typically early in the morning, so say six 30 till about nine 30. There is a peak of usage. So you would need to ensure that your infrastructure is robust to support that peak and continue with customer experience in terms of you know, limited degradation and, you know, ensuring that you’re providing a, again, a seamless continuous customer experience.
Through your network usage piece as well as through your network lows as well, do you want to, do you want to be investing in you know, providing full coverage, right? When you know that, you know, only maybe 30% of your subscribers are using that work at that time.
Right. Do I get critical decisions? You know, and I’ll say that, you know, as we were Canadians down and in Latin America usage peaks are different, right? Again it’s listening to the stakeholders, it’s listening to the customers based on their experience. A lot of the culture in, in Latin and South America, is based on afternoon siestas, right?
So your peaks are no longer at the end of the day. They’re now maybe at around three o’clock. Maybe about 1130. Right? So that’s, you have to fold in the culture to that as well.
I like that. That’s yeah. Regional aspect of things. And then also, I mean, in this day and age also reallocating certain resources of the company to sort of focus on those peaks and deliver service when you’re sort of in front of the customer and where those, these valleys, maybe that’s where you’re pulling from, in order to sort of make the right investments for other peak hours elsewhere in other regions.
Well, in this case, the data actually supported a business case which led to a multi-million dollar infrastructure upgrade.
Right. And I mean, all of them centering around this notion of like, not dropping a call, for example, like to really humanize that data or like, look at this peak, it’s stressing the system out.
It’s when you’re facing most of your customers in this region, this is when they’re going to judge you. So let’s invest here because as soon as you drop that call, that could be a deactivation right there. And that’s like, and that’s a story that anybody in the business will understand,
Especially with our calls with my mom
I’m calling her attention.
One thing I wanted to circle back on, I made a joke about it earlier, just this, you know, this, the tools question, right? Okay. You’ve got all this data, you’ve done your foundational sprints. You’ve decided this is the data we need to measure. We figured out how to retrieve that data, integrate with the systems that are feeding this data.
And then, you know, how do we then sort of surface it? And you mentioned it’s all, you know, going into Salesforce. And then,
All right, there you go. There you go. There’s that value of the enterprise CRM. If anybody listening was not sure why CRM was such a big deal to enterprise organizations, this is why.
And then once it’s in there, how do you sort of put it in front of stakeholders? How do you put it in front of stakeholders and your team so that they can see it and react to it?
Again your analytics of modules, right? As you configure your analytics modules to your stakeholder requirements should you know, should they should expose that data to their expectations, totally dashboards, or you know, I know that the dashboards are, you know, extremely also let’s say extremely popular, right?
It’s a good buzzword. But you know, you want to make sure that you have maybe an Uber dashboards for what do you really want to see, right. And what do you really want to measure? And then based on the information that you’re gleaning from your dashboard, right?
What decisions and decision points is that taking you to, so it’s nice to have. No, I used to have a dashboard that’s telling you everything because I wanted to know everything, but what am I going to do with everything? I well maybe I don’t need to know everything at the same time.
Maybe I need you know, anytime I understand four or five critical areas that we need to measure and those four or five critical areas that we need to measure, it might be a combination of compliance, right? In the finance and the banking industry extremely important to be compliant.
Otherwise you, your charter might be at risk of being pulled. Again another quadrant you don’t want to be in. And you know, and then what to do with the information that you were getting, right? What are the actions, which, you know, might mean support, again, support on investment to shore up?
Some of those indicators that you’re getting.
I like that. It’s like, let’s just hear something, you know, it’s like the it’s just accepted, but yeah. Coming back to that pivot, right? Like you see smoke and you’re like, Hey, we need to focus some energy there. You know? And that’s also a good conversation in terms of actual, you know, financial investment in the project itself is like, okay, look what we discovered in our dashboard, this needs attention.
We need to prioritize this. Actually, we need a bit more money for this and resources and time to focus on this. And that’s what supporting, you know, a change in scope or a change in priorities or pivot in your project.
Well, you know, it exposes risk, right? These are areas that are at risk and we mitigate that risk.
We made at the gate that risk really, but an action plan or a mitigation plan. And we communicate that risk across the organization. And you know, then there’s a. There’s an acceptance of either the medication plan against the risk or an acceptance of a priority to close on that on that issue against the risk.
And then I wanted to return to something because you made a really good point about data transparency. Which is that okay? Yes. Part of the project scope is building these dashboards, but it’s not like this handoff. It’s like, okay, we’ll hand it over to the business and we never see it again. The dashboard that your team built actually becomes their dashboard for looking at the data sprint over sprint.
So like, for example, and correct me if I’m putting words in your mouth here, but like you bring up the Salesforce dashboard, the one that you’re delivering to the client, that’s the one that the team is looking at as well going, Hey, look at that needle, moving. You know, it looks like C-SAT is up you know, compared to you know, what we had before sprint for like, that’s really exciting.
And just having that data and then again, integrating that experience so that stakeholders and team members kind of care about the same things as a result, right? Like success is actually shared because I was looking at it together, understanding that data and understanding, you know, what’s being measured and what that means for the project in terms of like, okay, well maybe we should pivot because that looks like a risk and sort of being all on the same page together
And you know, and you were able to quantify why we should pivot right.
Or quantify the pivot, the fact. So it, I mean, with that is, you know, the importance of a transition any transition plan, right. And you know, once you create it great. But now we know we need a prof process, life cycle management element. Into this to continue to assure that that the you know, that there is a supportive process and that there’s a, you know, an evolution at a management of what has been created and launched that day.
I really liked that. That was very cool.
It’s not just a one-shot. It’s a one-shot with support, right? Cause it’s constantly evolving constantly. Again, the power of data is extreme or can be depending on how you know, how to use it
And speaking of that, have you ever worked with any organizations you don’t have to name names, but have you worked with any organizations that didn’t want you to expose that data back to the team?
No. I have not had the ArtMark is most of the time. Are organizations that I work with are transparent. There are elements that are masked. Okay. But the mask, the elements are exposed to the team, but you know, an example of that is credit card numbers.
Those are masks. It could be a, you know, healthcare information that could be maybe masked as well. But the elements are exposed in a mask fashion to our teams
But no scenarios where it’s like, no, I don’t want your team to know what our C-SAT or NPS score is right now.
No, I have not. I have not worked for the organization to look back
That’s, I mean, that’s promising because you know, like data fluency is going to be so important to some of these organizations. If you can’t trust the teams to sort of interpret and digest that data to make a better product, then you’re probably missing the boat on how valuable this data can be.
I think there might be a bigger question to that agenda. So no, again I don’t, I wouldn’t, you know, based on my character personality and the experience, I probably would have difficulty actually working with that type of a project or type of a program. And if you can’t, if you can’t see why you’re making a difference you know, I, I would find that, I mean, personally, I haven’t found that limiting
And I think that’s maybe a good tie-in, into just like, humanizing the data.
Right. Sort of. Understanding the impact that folks are having on the world around them. You know, whether it’s the customer or whether it’s, you know, frontline employees we talked a lot about things like, you know, revenue or, you know, length of call or, you know, like just, you know, peak usage and some operational stuff.
And we talked about customer segmentation, but you know, how do you use data to sort of paint a picture of how you’re making a quantifiable difference in people’s lives? You know, the field, good data,
Again, very good question. Gala today, I feel good that it would maybe come from an element of social media.
And I’ve tried to. W looking at this it becomes very artsy in terms of, you know, trying to get a, I would say, a tangible picture from social media elements or social media data elements because of the different influencers you know, and I’ll use the recent game stop experience where, you know, that might not necessarily be giving you the right indicator to, to what you’re looking to do.
But again, if you do take, you know, the number of maybe data points from social media you know, Facebook can arrest all the guys out there Twitter you know, you might Instagram you might be able to maybe create a trending or, you know, some sort of propensity but it would be again I personally, I wouldn’t like I wouldn’t hang my hat on you know, on, on that being a measurable, it would, Hey, we’re going in the right way.
But, you know, again, with too many influence influencing elements that that might sway that that data that wouldn’t find it a, you know, to be a to be the only source. So what I would look at is this supporting that or adding on other data elements, data points you know, just even going out and going out and calling some of our high-value subscribers you know, and we’re asking them, or we’re doing focus groups or you know, just you know, reaching out through other channels on you know, on supporting that you know, and unsupportive, that information that we’re looking to get.
So not just relying on, on, on social media that you know, having an omnichannel approach.
Well, I think it’s a good point that maybe some of the, you know, the human side of data, isn’t always quantifiable. Sometimes it is qualitative data. And like, I liked that. I liked the notion of like sentiment on social media.
Yes. It’s not the only data point you’re going to pay attention to. It’s like, Oh, look, somebody complained about, you know, their service. We must have failed at our project, but just getting a sense, you know, are there sort of positive tweets out there as well? Is it arguing the right direction? And then something you mentioned to me previously is like also just that feeling.
And it might not be measurable, but that feeling internally for the project, right? Like, are people wanting to talk about the project or get involved with your project? You know, our team’s excited to work on it or is everyone kind of not showing up for meetings and, you know, your standup is just you and one other person who forgot to skip it, you know, is it, you know, is it having an impact?
And if it’s having an impact, people are probably going to want to be involved. People are probably going to want to talk about it. So even though that’s a very sort of vague, qualitative gut feeling, it’s still part of the picture of what kind of impact your project is having.
You know, the, again,
the importance of having the executive sponsorship, right?
That executive sponsorship you know certainly launches the project and creates that support. But then the project itself we need to you know, demonstrate the credibility. Demonstrate the confidence that we’re going in the right direction. Right. And that creates that propels creates a rhythm, I would say.
And it propels the team to continue working together again, continue moving forward, right. With understanding the differences.
And having as well. And it’s not just work. It’s also fun It’d be, you know, you have to enjoy the day over day
Celebrate the wins, consolidate the quick wins incrementally.
And then certainly as the project is accepted, as it is closed, that is, as it is delivered, as it is closed, there is an importance for a. To celebrate that milestone as well.
Bill, these insights are all super valuable. The one thing, the one concept that I think really stood out for me that changed the way I think about this is just that notion, combining that theory of yeah.
One team bringing stakeholders and team members together. I think a lot of us talk about that sort of one-team mentality, but then using that and looking at the same data, I think that’s a game-changer for me. You know, we always kind of are trained to think as project managers. Okay. You know, our sprint retro is about, did we.
You know, did we close out as many story points as we thought we were going to close out, you know, what’s our velocity, but it’s also about, Hey, are we moving the needle? Are we hitting our business objectives? And just understanding that a project team can also interpret and ingest that information you know, is mature enough to look at those business metrics and make decisions about the project based on that.
Not just velocity and not just, you know, are we on schedule, but are we doing the thing that we said we would do? I think that’s huge. I’m just wondering, I’m going to end out with a loaded question. My loaded question is this, what is your best advice for someone who is looking to leverage enterprise data and make things fun and rewarding for their teams and their stakeholders?
Where do they start?
Just assuring that executive sponsorship is in place.
I like that. I like that. That buy-in. And you’re using this, you’re using those foundational sprints to set that up.
Thanks again so much for joining us on the show. I think our listeners will learn a lot from you hoping to have you back sometime soon.
And again, welcome to the DPM Experts Team.
Thank you very much, Galen. It’s been a blast. Thank you.
So what are you, I think what hacks tips and tricks do you have for telling the story of your project using real-world data that’s worked for you? What hasn’t have you ever had KPIs blow up in your face? Let us know in the DPM forum.
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Thanks for listening.