Session type:
Case Study

Session duration:
45 minutes

Presented by:

Sophie Manton


Holly Donohue

Aquila Heywood

About this Case Study

A product team swamped by never-ending requests and backlogs where nothing was ever thrown away. Shopping lists of "must have" huge epics. Decisions made by gut feel. All feeding into a system clogged with part-completed work and lengthy delivery timescales. Any of this sound familiar?! This was our reality 18 months ago, and as a result progress was painful, slow - and to put it bluntly, we were not delighting anyone!

We needed to change. So we embarked on a journey to transform not only how we supported each other within our product team, but our interactions with and influence on the wider organisation and our customer community. Through lots of experimentation and iterations, we grew. There were inevitable ups and downs along the way; however, we feel we're now in a far better position than when we started. We're continually evolving, so will give you some insights into our future plans, as well as sharing some learnings of our journey to date, including:

  • value: how objectifying and quantifying value helped us build a common language for our organisation and our customers
  • outcome focus: defining and switching our focus to business outcomes to help demystify prioritisation, enhance understanding for all involved and to aid and ease refinement
  • upstream kanban: introducing a structured and very visible upstream/pipeline kanban board
  • collaboration changes: the changes we made within our organisation, from liaisons with the executive team, scrum teams and other commercial teams such as support and client management.
For this session we'd like to describe not only the impact and benefits our changes have made for our organisation, but also equip you with practical ideas that you can hopefully take away and experiment with too.

About the Speakers

Sophie Manton

Sophie is an experienced agile coach and mentor, with a strong passion as a change enabler to both individuals and organisations. Although Sophie's early career as a product integrator and developer gave her invaluable first-hand knowledge and insights into producing the software itself, it was her experiences of project management coupled with "in the thick of it" scrum mastering and organisational change that really caught her imagination, enthusiasm and vibrancy for people, system dynamics and focusing on achieving outcomes. Sophie is an NLP trainer as well as a coach, so draws on a multitude of skills to encourage positive growth in both individuals and organisations.


Holly Donohue

Holly is a strategic product manager for Aquila Heywood. Passionate about continuous improvement, Holly has experience of transforming processes, methodologies and culture at an organisational level and is an advocate for agile, coaching and collaborative working practices.

Tickets are available now

Buy tickets

See the full programme

Full programme