Man Strategy Task

Leading Satellite TV Provider Achieves Enterprise Visibility Post-Divestiture

May 14, 2024

Overview

After divesting from a global telecommunications company, a leading satellite television and entertainment provider found itself in the depths of untangling six years of data from its former parent company’s systems. In addition to completing an Agile transformation, our client had only six months to simultaneously carry out a data migration.

The entertainment company collaborated with Praecipio to align its people, processes, and technology and build a connected enterprise post-divestiture. We helped our client tap into its Big Dashboard Energy (i.e., taking decisive action through data clarity) by making practical–yet impactful–changes that improved enterprise visibility, empowered teams, and increased speed to market. 

Challenge

Our client faced several challenges after separating from its parent company. They had a long list of items to accomplish on an accelerated timeline: streamline workflows, establish a reliable data foundation, adopt agile ways of working, get teams to understand the “why” behind their work, and most importantly, enhance visibility to make better business decisions

They already had an Atlassian footprint, but teams used the tools inconsistently. After starting work on the data migration, we discovered that the size and scope of data that needed to migrate was much bigger than anyone had anticipated. 

For example, every value stream adhered to different configurations of Jira and Jira Align in order to support unique ways of working. The Praecipio team also uncovered several instances of data spread across 10 different portfolios and over 30 PIs, all of which had varying degrees of interconnectedness. This meant that most of the data migrating was not integrated nor standardized, limiting visibility into cross-value stream progress and how work tracks against organizational goals. This made PI planning and the decision-making process extremely difficult. 

On top of this, we needed to address several pain points as part of the company’s Agile transformation. Teams and ARTs were drowning in dependencies and unable to see how their work contributed to strategic goals. Plus, SAFe®’s strict constraints felt misaligned with business needs–yet workarounds seemed impossible.

With meaningful insights buried in disconnected tools, discouraged teams, and a framework that felt overly prescriptive, it seemed like there was no path to data clarity or organizational alignment. 

Solution

Our client needed practical–not perfect–solutions to drive big impacts, so they enlisted Praecipio to help them establish a data-driven culture and optimize their Atlassian tools to deliver real-time insights. By providing a holistic view and broad expertise, Praecipio served as a sounding board through the process of making hard decisions related to these critical areas:

  • Data Governance

The first decision the satellite TV company made was to lean into data governance to reduce process complexity and ensure data integrity. They established one Portfolio (versus 10!) with one PI cadence across all ARTs and Teams. They also designated a governance team to handle PIs and manage user permissions within Jira Align. 

These changes were critical to generating reliable, trustworthy data that could be aggregated from different systems and converted into high-value enterprise insights. Establishing clear policies, processes, and controls around data management provided a single source of truth that enabled teams to make informed decisions based on accurate, up-to-date information. 

  • Standardized Language

To quickly migrate its data, our client decided to use only one portfolio and move all former portfolios into the solution layer in Jira Align, which they renamed The Value Stream. Part of this process involved standardizing definitions and the taxonomy that supported them so that teams spoke the same language. This resulted in greater coordination, visibility, and reporting while at the same time allowing Teams and ARTs to maintain their autonomy to see and manage their own backlog. 

The trademark flexibility of Atlassian’s tools made these improvements possible. Before the divestiture, our client’s former parent company had decided to move away from Jira Align, but our client wanted to continue with the enterprise platform because of its ability to connect data from tools that teams already used. Praecipio helped properly configure Jira Align to support their needs and connect Jira Software with Jira Align so that teams could access the quality data they needed to make smart decisions. 

  • SAFe® Adaptations

With over 1500 features per PI, teams felt overwhelmed from managing too many dependencies, not to mention they were duplicating work. To address these challenges, Praecipio helped the entertainment company find creative ways to make SAFe® work for them, which meant deviating from the strict framework. Once again, the flexibility of the Atlassian tools made these workarounds possible.

For example, end-to-end testers were boxed in by the SAFe® prescription that insists end-to-end testing needs to be embedded within features, with testers spread out in feature teams. Our client decided to treat end-to-end testing as a value stream, allowing for end-to-end testing of capabilities rather than features. Instead of spreading work throughout multiple value streams, testers now had greater visibility into their backlog.

We also set up end-to-end testing as its own ART in Jira Align, which enabled teams to track work progress, reduce dependencies, understand capacity, and connect their work to the Portfolio. 

  • Big Dashboard Energy

With data governance in place, standardized language, and properly configured tools to support optimized processes, the path to data clarity began to emerge. Praecipio consolidated data residing in different systems like Tempo, Oracle, Jira Software, and Jira Align and populated that information in Snowflake and Databricks to create a normalized data lake. From there, we used a PowerBI tool, which organizes real-time data and creates meaningful single-pane-of-glass reports.

Instead of manually pulling data from disparate platforms, reliable data now automatically aggregates across these systems to generate dashboards curated with enterprise intelligence that executives need to see at any given moment. 

Results

By leveraging Jira Align's capabilities, implementing data governance best practices, and tailoring its tools and framework to suit its specific needs, the satellite television and entertainment provider has achieved end-to-end enterprise visibility into the cost and flow of work. These changes align better with our client’s business goals and have empowered teams with a greater understanding of how work execution connects to business strategy

Armed with this newfound clarity, our client can now access the enterprise intelligence it needs to make precise, confident decisions regarding resource allocation, capacity management, and strategic planning. As a result, the organization has saved time and resources, enabling its teams to focus on what matters most: delivering exceptional entertainment experiences and innovative services in a fast-moving media landscape.

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