Agile Transformation at GlobalMed Solutions

GlobalMed Solutions, following its strategic acquisition of HealthTech in 2005, aimed to seamlessly integrate the new entity into its structure. The goal was to provide a unified IT solution for healthcare that would enhance the quality of patient care and ensure comprehensive access to patient histories across its services. This integration posed numerous challenges, including merging different corporate cultures, managing legacy code, and unifying teams across 5 European locations with over 400 developers.

Agile Adoption Strategy

To initiate the transition to an agile framework, GlobalMed Solutions undertook several critical steps:

  • Education and Training: The company implemented extensive training programs in Scrum and Agile management to align all team members with the new methodologies.
  • Value-Stream Mapping: A significant workshop was held to create a value stream map from scratch, engaging participants from various departments to identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and areas of conflict within existing processes.

Implementation Challenges

The adoption of agile practices faced several obstacles:

  • Cultural Resistance: Merging diverse organizational cultures and shifting from traditional project management to agile practices was particularly challenging.
  • Complex Coordination: Effectively coordinating 26 teams spread across multiple locations required innovative approaches to maintain communication and alignment.

Solutions and Innovations

  • Lean A3 (PDCA): GlobalMed adopted the Lean A3 problem-solving approach to facilitate their Scrum adoption, helping to define clear goals and streamline operations.
  • Agile Coaching Team: The company formed a dedicated team consisting of internal and external agile coaches to lead the transformation efforts across various sites.
  • Unified Enterprise and Product Backlogs: Establishing a comprehensive Enterprise Backlog helped to prioritize tasks and optimize workflow across different teams and locations.

Impact and Results

The shift to an agile framework has been an evolving process, with numerous benefits:

  • Enhanced Collaboration: There was a marked improvement in interaction and communication within and between teams, facilitated by synchronized sprints and the creation of an organizational impediment list.
  • Increased Efficiency: The formation of cross-functional and feature teams, coupled with an advanced continuous integration system, has significantly mitigated legacy code issues and enhanced delivery efficiency.

Ongoing Development

GlobalMed Solutions continues to refine and adapt its agile practices to better meet the changing demands of the business and technology landscapes. This case study illustrates the ongoing commitment required to overcome the complex challenges faced during large-scale agile transformations.