Agile solutions with NorthStar will assist you in developing a map for your Agile journey

Agile solutions with NorthStar will assist you in developing a map for your Agile journey

Embrace Agile so your organization can thrive in a flexible, collaborative, and fast-changing environment.

Agile Solutions

Agile is an approach that demonstrates progress while continuously delivering tangible results

Ready to engage us for agile solutions in your organization? 

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NorthStar offers a variety of Agility coaching solutions for businesses, both large and small. Business agility is the ability of a company to realize and sustain its full potential both in terms of its profits and its people, regardless of internal or external environment changes. 

We can help your business thrive and grow by leveraging one of our 4 main areas of specialty with regard to your business and product Agility. 

Business agility can be sustained by maintaining and adapting the goods and services offered to meet customer demands, adjusting to marketplace changes in a business environment, and taking advantage of available human resources. 

An Agile culture is an environment that is rooted in core values, behaviors, and practices, enabling all levels of an organization to better adapt to cultural, strategic, and other changes.  

In an agile business culture, uncertainty is handled more efficiently by a team that is naturally more adaptive, flexible, and innovative. 

Let NorthStar be a 'compass' as you transform and enhance your business Agility. By partnering with a NorthStar Agilist, we can help expedite the creation, adoption, and maintenance of growing your business.

Agile is a mindset shift

It empowers a team’s ability to rapidly and deliberately respond to changing demands while controlling risk and waste. Agile encourages changing of plans based on customer needs so the customer achieves quality and value.

It’s taken about 15 years for Agile to be adopted in the corporate mainstream. Today, in the software development market, in particular, nearly 70% of firms have adopted Agile principles and nearly half of those are the Scrum variety of Agile.

The Agile Manifesto was created by engineers and computer science professionals who knew they needed empirical data and feedback loops in order to run experiments and check the progress and accuracy of complicated computer systems.

The Agile Manifesto consists of 4 main ‘pillars’ and 12 principles. 

Results of our work

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    • Agile Transformation
    • Execution & Delivery
    • Organizational Change Management
    • Product Management

    Fortune 50 Telecommunications Company

    Advising and leading our client’s IoT platform team planning session

    Our client wanted to spin up a new platform to support all of the upstream and downstream teams involved in the home automation and monitoring solutions for their cable customers, forming a new platform team that would be the new backend platform to power the home automation teams. These teams had been working in silos, but with the introduction of the new back-end platform team we needed alignment and coordination more than ever.

    NorthStar led the effort in determining the right agile process and ceremonies in place to help identify the teams involved, including the teams that were impacted by dependencies and how we were going to mitigate the risks while increasing alignment across teams and locations. By proposing the Scaled Agile Framework Program Increment Planning, or PI Planning, we were able to deliver a solution that would work for all teams involved, called a ‘release train’. 

    As a result of creating a release train (a team of teams), we were able to pull together 7 teams from 5 different cities, to sit together, plan together and deliver a 6 sprint (quarterly plan) that identified the why, what, how and who for all 7 teams. We identified risks, mapped dependencies from one team to another, identified integration milestones to show progress, and gained alignment in a single day. 

    Thanks in part to the PI Planning NorthStar helped facilitate, our client delivered their first end-to-end integration with the new back end platform enabling us to move faster with releasing home automation for our consumers in the first quarter.

    • Agile Transformation
    • Execution & Delivery
    • Product Management

    Fortune 50 Telecommunications Company

    Directing service-oriented agile product management through business analysis & product ownership

    A global media and technology company turned to NorthStar Solutions Group to improve the volume and quality output of their agile development group that was responsible for maintaining and enhancing key foundational content management software and infrastructure throughout the organization. This group was struggling to translate the needs of the business and deliver on its objectives. NorthStar focused on changing the culture of the relationship between the business and technology teams by introducing product leadership to promote change through improved communication, collaboration, transparency and integrity.  

    The organization struggled with a growing negative culture of Business vs. Technology that was impeding progress and lowering morale. The ever-evolving and fast-moving business lacked the time and resources to properly educate and articulate their competitive challenges. The technology team lacked the “big picture” thinking and interpersonal skills needed to gain a deeper understanding of what was being asked of them. These behaviors and skill gaps put the two groups at odds and created a crisis of confidence. With the technology team veering off course and becoming less solution oriented, the amount of usable product being delivered slowed to a crawl. The two groups were at a proverbial stalemate and sought NorthStar’s expertise in Product Management to move the team forward.  

    NorthStar embedded a proven structure within the organization where a Product Owner sat squarely between the Business and Technology teams and served as a liaison and change agent to help build a stronger working relationship between the two groups. NorthStar used a service-oriented approach to provide value to the organization and implemented the following to deliver results:  

    • Strategic Alignment. Manage an evolving strategy and roadmap development together with socializing the vision and goals across all teams to ensure transparency, buy-in, and alignment.  
    • Actionable Problem Solving. Field all requests and engage with the business to fully flesh out problems that need solving in terms that can be executed on.  
    • Collaboration. Identify solutions to the challenges that provide value to the business.  
    • Accountability. Ensure both teams are setting proper expectations with each other.  
    • Communication. Facilitate routine prioritization, planning, execution, guidance, feedback and approvals. Continuous Improvement. Provide and seek out routine feedback on delivered products.  

    NorthStar took a potentially toxic situation that could have cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity and turned it around to be a productive and highly collaborative relationship. In the timespan of just a few months the overall output of the technology team increased by 50%. In addition to the increased velocity and throughput, there were also fewer defects and a higher level of stakeholder satisfaction. 

    • Agile Transformation
    • Organizational Change Management
    • Program & Project Management
    • Talent Management

    Fortune 50 Telecommunications Company

    Stabilizing and leading a complex project during an organizational transition

    A major telecommunications company sought assistance to stabilize and lead a complex project during team formation of a matrix organization with new products. The new offering included a security offering that provided home security components, including police and fire alarm protection backed by 24/7 professional monitoring, as well as the ability to adjust digital thermostats, turn lights on or off and watch secure live streaming video from wireless cameras while away from home.   

    After the initial release of the security and control product offerings, it was discovered that potential customers were confused by too many product variations. As a result, the product sponsor wanted to reduce the offerings by reforming the team and focusing the marketing efforts. The organization had to operate within the larger corporate environment that included 25+ matrixed groups. Complicating things was an increasingly complex technical environment with little documentation, training, and a new workforce with most employees having less than two years of experience. Loosely defined groups and dependencies were causing project delays. In addition, the organization was struggling with the adoption of Agile Scrum development methodology. The company needed focus and leadership to align the implementation project so business objectives could be met.  

    NorthStar identified a program manager to lead the teams and to close the gap in Scrum capabilities. NorthStar’s project manager utilized proven PM methodologies towards an end-to-end leadership solution. At the start of the initiative, the program manager added process guidance on requirements gathering, validation, prioritization, initial high-level design, and scheduling. The Scrum framework did not explicitly allow for these extension points, but PM experience allowed for flexibility; the gaps were identified, and the PM adapted. The program manager provided the business sponsor with a complete life cycle coverage and shifting to the Scrum framework when that was most appropriate. The program manager offered experience on how to get the program completed across the affected groups, ability to track and coordinate the program’s many dependencies, and a comprehensive understanding of success in a matrixed team environment. 

    NorthStar’s efforts helped the company stabilize the teams by providing project leadership and by utilizing proven project management methodologies. The company enjoyed success through collaborative planning and project accountability. The program manager built relationships with the functional managers across the organization to understand and identify which groups were needed, integrated workflows, identified dependencies, and secured agreements building a realistic program schedule with commitment across all stakeholder. The program manager’s success was aligned with the business sponsor; the project met important milestones and success was measured by satisfying the needs and benefits of the business. 

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NorthStar Solutions Group is pleased to operate as a virtual company, enabling our team of professionals to help you wherever you are. We are dedicated to supporting your needs and to delivering on your goals.