O2 E-commerce: Turning around a large delivery programme

When O2’s IT team found itself with a large e-commerce project going off course, it called in a team from Equal Experts.

It had committed to providing the wider O2 business with a modernised e-commerce platform in time for the peak Christmas trading period, but unforeseen technical complexities had led the work – and a 50-strong delivery team – off course. The delivery date was in jeopardy, but failing to make it was not a viable option.

We were asked to propose a realistic recovery approach and help IT meet its commitment to the business.

How we helped

Once engaged, we led an intense fortnight of activities to put the programme back on course. Working closely with project sponsors to ensure transparency and keep them engaged, we completely overhauled the release plan in just a few days.

We began by re-examining what was really important to the project, and agreed to de-scope a number of features that would only bring limited value. We then re-estimated the remaining work.

With a realistic high-level view of the project now in place, we then ran a series of collaborative release planning sessions. This made sure all stakeholders were engaged and reset expectations around the project.

“Equal Experts stepped in and turned around the delivery, bringing an extensive level of agile maturity and showing us once more that they truly care for their clients’ success” – Darren Beasant, Head of IT Delivery

All delivered to plan

While our recovery plan allowed us to create a renewed sense of momentum around the project, it was our use of agile development practices that saw it delivered. We ensured the new release plan was visible to everyone involved, providing a clear sense of direction within the delivery team. It also helped to set expectations outside the team, while identifying any likely bottlenecks well in advance.

Together, the changes made a big difference. Before we reshaped the programme, the team hadn’t seen a way to deliver anything meaningful before the Christmas trading period. Yet together, Equal Experts and O2 made two releases before Christmas – successfully delivering the enhancements required to fulfil the business case.

A final release shortly after Christmas delivered the features we’d de-scoped to make the initial deadline, ensuring the platform fully met all requirements (and allowing O2 to decommission the legacy application). What’s more, the results were positive; the new platform provided O2 with a significant rise in completed orders.