Rapid Prototyping and Agile in practiceAndrei Ungurianu
At ITSG Global we have partnered with a group of experienced executives and entrepreneurs and together created a platform for retail execution dedicated to companies with own or franchise, geographically dispersed, a network of retail outlets.
It started with the simple idea of task manager for third-party promotions at FMCG retailers. “The team from ITSG grab the project and build the working prototype faster than we were able to complete the paper mockups,” says Lukasz Jadachowski one of the entrepreneurs behind the idea. “Then it was very easy to iterate using the working tool rather than working with static mockups” he adds.
The team of ITSG Retail managed to get the first customer very fast and then there was feedback from real life experience. Here agile methodology and rigorous prioritization process allowed again for quick adjustment to the most burning need of the customers.
From Idea to client in 4 weeks
The real test came when the team decided to take part in the tender organized by a potentially large customer: we needed to add a new part to the system: retail audit or store check module. Here we used rapid prototyping and went “beyond agile”. In less than 4 weeks the team managed to design the mockups, code it, iterate, add a new layer of business logic, and test the solution. The sprints have been shortened to just days and the business team was working side by side with developers, analysts, and testers. The result: fully operational module, that very quickly became commercially utilized by another client.
So, what does the system do?
“Eldorado” (that’s how the team at ITSG Retail decided to name the product) is a mobile execution system for retail networks.
Its task module enables planning and delegation of promotions and related tasks and activities to retail outlets. Sales associates receive individual tasks via their mobile device (thanks to dedicated application), complete the task (e.g place the Point of Sales promotion materials according to the instruction from headquarters) and document their work by taking pictures directly from the app. The management of the retail network has a clear and transparent view of the compliance level across their network. Thanks to the photographic documentation the managers can intervene when the quality is not up to the standards.
The retail audit module is designed to check and verify the compliance levels of retail standard implementation. Through a simple survey, regional managers can perform quickly the audits. The results of the checklists are aggregated and reported in real time and corrective action can be taken immediately.
Eldorado is also used for “Rapid eLearning” – short, 2 – 5 minute daily training for sales associates. Store employees receive the dose of daily information and answer a short quiz. Those single minutes per day translate into 2 full training days over a year without any productivity loss or cost and refresh sales associates knowledge on a continuous basis.
With the development of Eldorado, the team of ITSG developers and testers demonstrated their ability to quickly respond to evolving business requirements, iterate and develop high-quality product that can be brought to market quickly. “Thanks to the cooperation with ITSG we can quickly react to our customer demands and deliver our product fast. This reduces significantly the risk for our startup as we significantly shorten our time to market” said Jadachowski.