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The Warehouse Group implements Atlassian for Major Agile Transformation

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"The outcomes of this partnership have been overwhelmingly positive, with TWG experiencing tangible improvements in collaboration, efficiency, and strategic focus."

Clayton Coetzee, Agile Coach, The Warehouse Group

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The Opportunity

Background

The Warehouse Group (TWG) is New Zealand’s largest retail group. It was founded by Sir Stephen Tindall and evolved from a single store to become the country’s largest general merchandise retailer with more than 250 stores and a growing online presence with its brands The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, Torpedo7 and TheMarket.

As its operations grew, TWG sought to enhance its agile transformation and align its tooling with best practices. Elegance Group was engaged to undertake a multi-phase initiative to reconfigure their Jira instance and integrate various Atlassian tools to improve efficiency and collaboration across their 250+ projects and 1600+ Jira users. The successful partnership between TWG and Elegance Group, highlights the strategic use of Atlassian tools to develop a more agile and responsive business environment.

Challenging Times

TWG faced significant challenges in managing large-scale projects across its multiple brands. The existing tooling and processes were fragmented, leading to inefficiencies and a lack of visibility in project priorities and dependencies relative to the company’s strategic goals.

The impact on TWG’s business was significant and multifaceted. Primarily, the reconfiguration and integration of Atlassian tools, notably Jira and Advanced Roadmaps, have enhanced the operational efficiency and collaboration across all levels of the organization.

Why Elegance Group?

Clayton Coetzee, Agile Coach at The Warehouse Group says, “Our partnership with Elegance Group started when it was initially established by Brett as the sole proprietor. Brett had already delivered excellent results for The Warehouse Group, prompting us to invite EG and other competitors to propose their services. EG’s genuine approach set them apart, convincing us that our collaboration would be rooted in a mutual commitment to support and enhance the business over the long term, making it feel more like a lasting partnership rather than a mere transaction.”

The Process

Audit and solution implementation

Elegance Group conducted a full audit of TWG’s existing setup and implemented a comprehensive tooling governance program. There was a complete overhaul, then reconfiguration of their Jira instance, with the Elegance Group team providing guidance for best practice ways of working going forward.

Atlassian’s Advanced Roadmaps based portfolio management toolset with an innovative automation solution was used to surface work in terms of OKRs. Further enhancement was achieved through integrating Jira with ServiceNow to handle inbound user point solutions and rolling out Zephyr Scale test management to facilitate onboarding new businesses into the group.

Focus areas

An Elegance Group Lead Consultant coordinated all aspects of the engagement which was broken down into areas of focus:

  • Toolchain governance
  • Delivery orchestration and program alignment
  • Agile Coach, Tribe, Chapter and Business collaborative and on-demand solution services
  • User point solutions and support
  • Proactive maintenance
  • Power BI reporting, data visualization and integration services

Breaking the work into areas of focus allowed Elegance Group to appropriately plan the implementation with TWG to forecast resourcing and milestones and manage expectations. Elegance Group set up a direct Slack messaging channel with TWG including key stakeholders, transformation leads and technical subject matter experts. They also established an internal direct messaging channel specific to this engagement for all internal staff associated with the various areas of the engagement to collaborate and maintain visibility of progress.

Gaining and maintaining momentum

Momentum was maintained through a range of regularly scheduled progress meetings for the key stakeholders where the plan could be adjusted and scope realigned where required. Ad-hoc meetings and workshops between EG solution engineers, consultants and the clients technical matter experts and team members were pivotal to the continued delivery of solutions throughout the engagement.

Key elements of the solution included:

  • Reconfiguration of Jira: Standardizing workflows and merging disparate projects to support the tribe model
  • Advanced Roadmaps Implementation: Enabling better portfolio management and visibility into project objectives and key results (OKRs)
  • Integration of Jira with ServiceNow: Enhancing user support and ticket management
  • Deployment of Zephyr Scale: Improving test management capabilities
  • Training and Support: Conducting intensive training sessions to ensure smooth adoption of the new systems
  • Atlassian products, notably Jira and Advanced Roadmaps, played a crucial role in the transformation, supported by ongoing consultancy and optimization services from Elegance Group

Clayton says, “The management of coordination and communication during the term was handled with high proficiency. EG established direct communication channels on Teams, enabling effortless interactions among key stakeholders. Frequent progress meetings and spontaneous workshops allowed for necessary adjustments and scope alignment, crucial for maintaining momentum and ensuring the success of our initiatives.”

The Impact

Improved Visibility and Alignment

With the implementation of Advanced Roadmaps and Power BI dashboards, TWG has gained better visibility into organizational objectives and key results (OKRs) and all associated work items. These tools ensure that priorities are closely aligned with the strategy of the organization and provide a clear, real-time view of progress towards these strategic goals as well as associated risks and issues, facilitating transparency across all levels of the organization.

Enhanced Operational Efficiencies

The standardization of workflows has created consistency and allowed freedom within frameworks across TWG’s operations. This standardization, coupled with custom automations, has enabled the capture and tracking of the most complex, business-critical functions. Each solution was designed not in isolation but with consideration for the larger architecture, significantly reducing complexity and minimizing technical debt. This holistic approach has provided TWG with a robust and scalable framework that supports ongoing growth and complexity.

Key Outcomes Achieved

  • 100% of group, tribe and squad outcomes and outputs visualized and tracked in Jira
  • 100% of risks and issues tracked on enterprise and tribe level
  • Group OKRs tracked through a Power-BI dashboard on a fortnightly basis by the executive team to align on progress towards OKRs
  • Visualize and automate day-to-day business-critical work such as major trading events through automation in Jira resulting in 95% time savings
  • Visualize and track 100% of critical-path (sourcing through to stocking of products) through roadmaps and dashboards to enable greater alignment, tracking of tasks and any potential blockers

Testimonial

Clayton states, “Collaborating with EG has been an exceptionally positive experience. ‘Customer First’ really shines through, as Elegance Group consistently went above and beyond to build trust and relationships, ensuring that all objectives were achieved. Their integration was so seamless that it often seemed as if Elegance Group was an internal part of our organization, which made working together incredibly smooth.

Elegance Group always went the extra mile to ensure we received the best value, even if it meant providing solutions that would require less ongoing support from them in the future. The outcomes of this partnership have been overwhelmingly positive, with TWG experiencing tangible improvements in collaboration, efficiency, and strategic focus. The training and support from EG have also equipped our teams to fully utilize the new systems, contributing significantly to the successful adoption of the updated tooling environment.”

Elegant Solutions

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Solution Design

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Implementation & Integration

Atlassian Products

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Jira

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Confluence

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Jira Product Discovery

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Atlassian Guard

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  • Industry Retail
  • Location HQ Auckland, New Zealand
  • Company Size 12,000+
  • Atlassian Users 2000

The Warehouse Group (TWG) is a New Zealand success story, founded by Sir Stephen Tindall and evolved from a single The Warehouse store to become one of the country’s largest retailing groups. TWG encompasses The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming and Torpedo7.