Sparefoot: LeSS Adoption Support (2016)

Agile Transformation
Austin, Texas USA

Mid 2016 Sparefoot engaged with Co-Learning to get familiar with LeSS as Agile Scaling option for their business, most of the initial assessment was done through online tooling and video calls ending up with a customised LeSS Practitioner course that was at the same time their kickstart towards a LeSS organisation to support their highly demanding business domain.

The client

SpareFoot is the largest marketplace for storage, making it simpler to move and store your stuff. Our website lets you compare the most storage options nationwide and pick the best solution for your needs, whether it's traditional self-storage or full-service storage.

With the most up-to-date information on storage available, SpareFoot makes finding and reserving storage the easiest thing to cross off your to-do list.

The challenge

Sparefoot was looking for options to scale their Agile way of working over a multitude of development teams to support their growth. The challenges to tackle are, to us, very common for an organisation in the stage of fast growth and come back to the following questions:

  • How can we enable hyper growth without having too much fat on the muscle?
  • How can we keep our employees engaged, motivated & innovative?

Keeping the startup culture and spirit as much as possible during high growth is a major challenge for fast growing startup organisations. Sparefoot was no exception to this, the drive for growth and its balance with process, structures & technical health is not an easy challenge and one we loved to participate in.

What we did

We initially engaged in a thorough assessment of their current situation and organisational setup as well as their technical excellence practices. The conclusion wasn't bad at all, unlike many other organisations Sparefoot was applying skillful technical practices resulting in clean code and having a good infrastructure for the build and deployment pipelines. The troubles were more related to their multi-team setup, the coordination across teams and having a shared focus to work on. A perfect match to continue with a LeSS adoption, achieving greater alignment and an amazing transparency on their work, leaving the coordination to the teams supported by well known LeSS events.

Once we had clarity on the goals to move forward we agreed to design a highly customised Certified LeSS Practitioner course for the teams and their leaders. This course and LeSS adoption preparation was provided in the Sparefoot offices in Austin, Texas in June 2016 and from there on the formal and informal leaders at Sparefoot took the adoption forward. Having a LeSS flip-forward and team self-design session in August 2016, the fastest lead time from initial preparation workshops to having the LeSS flip-forward executed.

The results

We have little information on the hard results for Sparefoot and can only share that by January 2017 it was reported that the biggest change for Sparefoot was that they were delivering obvious value at every 2-week Multi-Team Sprint. For us good enough to conclude and celebrate their success.

Shortly after we received information that the teams are usage data statistics during their Sprint Review sessions and within their Sprints to evaluate their activities and adjust their strategy accordingly. An amazing achievement!

Our services used

Before our highly customised LeSS Practitioner course we performed several remote assessment activities, after the course we provided remote support to them.

Start date: March 2016 - End date: November 2016