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Man places colorful self-adhesive papers on glass wall. Man places colorful self-adhesive papers on glass wall.

Construction of strategic timelines

Timeline shows the evolution and entire volume of actions in the different areas covered in the work of the partnership between CWI and GPA.

With a partnership that has lasted more than 10 years, CWI and GPA have collected moments of great importance together. To emphasize this value, in a face-to-face meeting with GPA management, a timeline was created with a retrospective of deliveries for the years 2021 and 2022, highlighting the strategies and movements accomplished.

With the guidance and mentoring of one of our Agile Coaches, Tiago Weber, this action was revisited, which impacted the eyes of those who had the opportunity to witness it and left a positive impression on the minds of those involved.

Have you ever thought about creating a timeline containing the deliveries that made a difference to the customer’s progress? That’s what CWI did…

Where it all began…

The idea came from the CWI agility team involved with GPA. With the purpose of showing the evolutions and the entire volume of actions in the different areas covered in the partnership’s work, but mainly Design and Processes, the team, with its maturity model, separated the deliveries and actions based on these two lines.

Initially built on Miro, a visual collaboration platform that allows the creation of murals and project management simultaneously, the timeline gained colorful digital post-its that each represented an action carried out by the team. With very clear subtitles, it is possible to understand the responsibilities and deliveries of each area and the movements made divided by quarters over the years.
Photo of a table with a notebook and a TV, the screen of which displays a presentation titled

From digital to physical

After organizing in a digital medium, the CWI team prepared to physically assemble the timeline in one of the spaces at the headquarters in São Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul.

Post-its that were once digital now take a physical form and are tangible.

Counting the trajectory of just 2 years (of a partnership of 10), the room designated for this initiative became colorful, encouraging the curiosity of everyone who passed by.
Photo of colorful stickers on a window.

Strategic delivery

  • The timeline focused on agility deliveries, such as Agile Masters training, training in new methodologies (such as discovery of new products and services), onboarding of new roles (such as product managers and tribe leads), construction of chapters, guilds and maturity assessments.
  • In addition, it included team movements, such as the entering of Product Owners and changes of Agile Masters, among other positions that made a difference over the determined period of time.
  • Built with a focus on showing the value of the results achieved, the timeline shows some of the most important deliveries carried out by the team in terms of agility, being the implementations of: product discovery (discovery), quarterly planning, OKRs framework, Azure DevOps and portfolio Kanban.
  • These developments, which occurred over the 2 years described, contributed to strengthening the partnership with GPA. Some methodologies were applied that transformed production processes and had a positive impact on strategic actions.
Photo of colorful stickers on a window.
Illustration of a square paper with the word

The timeline

In February 2021, the first Discovery took place at GPA, taught by CWI agilists. Discovery is a product discovery model that traditionally occurs for about 2 weeks and brings the team’s stakeholders together to define the product or service that will be made. Using Lean methodologies, the product is established, both from the point of view of objective and functionality.

In addition to Discovery, there are also some Syncs, which synchronize a cross dependency of more than 3 work teams. This movement, inspired by portfolio management, is divided into 4 moments, the first being the monitoring of assumptions, in which in addition to reviewing agreements, we also review updates to delivery timelines. Afterwards, cross-time technical dependency management is carried out, which is one of the great benefits of Syncs. Risk management is also part of this action, in which risks are registered and whether or not they can be mitigated is understood. Lastly, it is seen how close the product is to development and production delivery.

In April 2022, the CWI agility team took the initiative to divide GPA demands into quarterly deliverables. This movement, in the opinion of our Agile Coaches, was essential for a more agile structuring of processes and resulted in an acceleration of the workflow.

In 2023, the implementation of OKRs in GPA takes 3 years, and to achieve this, the team went through intense training, going through the methodology and concept of OKRs, followed by the configuration of Azure DevOps and assembly of deliveries. The opportunity to focus more on management by objectives was observed and this need came to increase the focus. During support for implementing the structure, we also focused on establishing the level of trust, which, nowadays, is the responsibility of Product Managers.

The implementation of Azure DevOps was a game changer for a better strategic organization as, before, the client didn’t have a product backlog management tool. Therefore, when it was implemented, it offered greater control over production and demand management.

To organize the tribes and squads arranged in the GPA, it was necessary to introduce the management of a portfolio Kanban. This way, all demands are arranged in an organized and clear manner. Those that have already entered development are characterized as downstream, while those that have not been, upstream. This way, it is possible to measure the results and objectives of the tribes more easily.

The team’s movements are also part of the timeline, which shows highlights of deliveries, but also changes in Agile Masters and Product Owners, for example. In this way, these movements became transparent to GPA management (and to those who had experience) and helped to strengthen the relationship.

In May 2023, the team delivered the automation of the start date and target date of Microsoft Azure DevOps work items. Such automation provides immediate real-time visibility to BuDAs (Business Domain Advisors) and GPA Directors of all product and service deliveries from the squads.

Through a live timeline and integrated visualization of the tool’s Delivery Plans, it was possible that whenever a larger item, such as a Release, suffered the natural process of refinement, being derived into Epics, Features and User Stories, the visualization of the end of deliveries self-adjusts to the new reality of each team’s Sprint end dates. If bugs or stabilizations occur in sprints after the end date, the timeline self-adjusts to the new date, enabling full transparency for the dynamic environment of the food retail sector.

Years-long partnership

The CWI and GPA partnership has a long history, full of achievements and challenges overcome. There are 10 years of experiences that complement each other and help the evolution of both parts. The timeline, built with the aim of solidifying this vision, brought several insights to the team and added value to this partnership.

In 2023, the objectives are essential for the stabilization of the client, we will focus on consolidating processes and maintaining existing ones. Opportunities that may arise for the team will also not be left aside.

One of the biggest challenges proposed this year is the expansion of operations for GPA’s corporate systems. The CWI team has worked for years on the company’s digital products, and is now looking for new horizons on fronts such as Human Resources systems, store supplies and others of an internal nature.
On a navy blue background are the GPA logo, a plus sign and the CWI logo.

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Facade of the CWI Software building at the São Leopoldo office. Facade of the CWI Software building at the São Leopoldo office.

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