How did we build a self-reliant 3,000 strong technology team?

The Challenge

Tesco’s Technology Group is a complex organization of 3,000 people. Its ability to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of internal customers is crucial to the health of the business as a whole.

But despite efforts to instil Agile ways of working, the Technology Group struggled to keep pace with requests. The Group needed to adopt new skills, and quickly. However, traditional training strategies offered by external operators were too expensive and too slow to deploy at the requisite scale.

Approach

We completed a thorough assessment of the Group’s needs in India and the UK. We then set about designing a tailored education program that was intensive and easily scalable for hundreds of learners.

We established the Agile Practitioner Pathway based on our Value, Flow, Quality (VFQ) principles to cater to the needs of more than 200 learners. We also seeded Agile practitioners across the organization. This combination gave the Group the confidence and capacity it needed to develop new ideas at pace.

To instill lasting change in a large and complex organization like Tesco’s Technology Group requires a self-sustaining model. Our Learning Skills & Capabilities approach not only delivered the training that the Group required, it also created an Expert Coaching Pathway for 15 people and seeded 10 pilot teams with two internal expert practitioners.

As well as directly coaching these pilot teams, we mentored 12 of the Group’s coaches. That way we could ensure that the transformation and adoption of new ways of working continued long after we left the building.

We also provided a bespoke, enterprise-wide VFQ license. This gave each of the Technology Group’ 3,000 people a pathway for improving their ways of working under the guidance of Tesco’s own coaches.

The activities, games and case studies helped me to relate the principles of VFQ to the challenges we face day-to-day in our work.

Gayathri Balyam, Engineering Manager, Tesco

Our impact

Our work with Tesco’s Technology Group had a rapid impact across all three of the most important business indicators: value, flow and quality.

The pilot teams we installed cut delivery times from more than three months to less than two weeks. And they reduced the cost incurred from poor-quality deliveries to zero.

Our approach cost Tesco around 75% less than a “direct” coaching approach. And our practice of helping the business look after its own needs is also reaping rewards. Tesco experts are busy rolling out training across the Technology Group. Customer satisfaction has grown. And there has been a 20% overall cost and time saving.

Delivery times cut from 3 months to 2 weeks

2 weeks

Cheaper than a “direct” coaching method

75%

Overall cost and time saving

20%

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