”Respect for those who do it agile!”

True to the DIY store chain’s motto “Respect those who do it themselves!”, toom took on the challenge of agile transformation with SAFe® – and is building on Agile Hive, among other things.

Facts and figures

Toom Baumarkt GmbH stands for do-it-yourself – with more than 300 locations in Germany and a turnover of 3.2 billion euros, toom is one of the leading DIY retail chains. As a subsidiary of the REWE Group, toom operates from its headquarters in Cologne with more than 18,000 employees. At Tools4AgileTeams (T4AT) 2021, Christine Heitmann, (Team Lead Coaches) and Lukas Landwehr (Lead PO S/4HANA) presented exciting insights from agile transformation and how Agile Hive contributed to success.

From “Demand and Supply” to SAFe – the start of a new organization

The Demand and Supply model that was used before the transformation was slow and inflexible compared to agile methods. Challenges occured on different levels as prioritization was not aligned throughout all levels of the organization, which led to conflicts. The goal was to reduce or completely eliminate those efforts.

Long release cycles with durations up to a year resulted in a late value output. The iterative and incremental methods as used in Scrum and SAFe provide a solution for those challenges.

Methodology meets tool – SAFe and Agile Hive

The new organization started with an orientation week in the middle of 2019, followed by their first Sprint in April 2020. During the transformation, support was needed, so in 2021 Agile Hive was implemented in cooperation with Seibert Media.

Agile Hive provided the functionalities that were needed, fit the scope of the project and the opportunity to be built into an existing Jira instance. Different company priorities over all levels can be scaled over all levels, PIs can be managed and planned by the ARTs. Furthermore, dependencies are visualized, and objectives and risk can be tracked and reported automatically.

18.000+

Employees in total

300+

Stores

2019

Start of agile transformation

17

Product- & Serviceteams

The pillars of agile transformation with toom

With more than 140 employees and a total of 17 teams, the IT department focuses on the further development and operation of IT systems.
The agile transformation is based on the motto “courage, speed and agility”.

The transformation started in mid-2019 with a status analysis of the corporate culture, the processes and structures in place, as well as the tools used.

The definition of the process organization was one of the first major topics. In this process, it became clear – the tools currently in use do not fully meet the requirements. A combination of Jira and Confluence was available, but up until recently, not as a separate instance, which led to challenges such as a lack of transparency. In addition, the scaling of Scrum (SAFe®) could not be easily mapped into Jira – which created further challenges.

The decision for Agile Hive was made in the beginning of 2021; meanwhile, more than 100 employees in the Agile Release Train use the tool every day. The evaluation started with a proof of concept and testing and the implementation of Agile Hive started right after the completion of a PI Planning. Therefore, the teams were well-prepared for the next interval to be able to map the following PIP directly with the help of Agile Hive.

“We are agile, we’ve done it! We’ve created the processes and roles, the tools are in place – all this is accepted and lived. All that’s left to do is consolidating the agile mindset.”

Christine Heitmann, Teamlead Team Coaches | Toom

“Finally a proper and affordable solution for SAFe with Jira. We have been looking forward to get this for a long time now and the first experience is amazing!”

Lukas Landwehr, Lead PO S/4HANA | Toom

The overall improvement

The introduction of SAFe®, supported by Agile Hive, has significantly improved collaboration with the business units. Requirements for the organization are now managed centrally via the portfolio management.

The much faster communication both within and between teams is outstanding. In addition, much shorter cycles were established. Put simply: people became faster, better and more satisfied.

“You can say that the speed and quality of our work has improved enormously, along with the perception and the cooperation with all stakeholders.”
Christine Heitmann | Toom

Peter Weingärtner
Sales Consultant

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