Quadient’s marketing operations are lean, teams work in sprints, and delivery is frequent
Greater visibility to all of the work in progress, allowing communication to naturally flow on a global scale
Reduced ‘work about work’ to allow more time to strategy
Through its EPIC company values - empowerment, passion, inspiration and community - Quadient forged a path that enables its clients to deliver better experiences to their customers - because connections matter. Today, the company boasts a rich history of world-class leadership, which it plans to maintain through its ‘Back to Growth’ strategy.
Over time growth can lead to organisational bloat and legacy technologies, which slow delivery times, create operational friction, and lead to inconsistent quality of output. Rather than risk falling victim to its success, Quadient chose to create a stable work environment and transform to retain its agility.
Jayati Shah-Thiel was responsible for leading Quadient marketing’s transition to the Agile methodology and implementing the tools needed to enable the transformation. “Quadient has a complex structure,” explained Jayati. “It is a matrix organisation with solution groups as well as global and regional teams. At times it could cause friction because we were working in different ways and reporting within a disparate structure.” As the Anatomy of Work Index suggests, when people operate within these complex structures they can spend 58% of their time on ‘work about work’.
Commenting on the transformation project, Jayati said, “We wanted to bring unity across the regions and solutions to drive the performance that ensures we stay relevant in the market. We needed to keep our world-class teams focused on specific deliverables, so they were comfortable with the pace of the business and the demands placed upon it.”
Quadient’s Agile transformation required a collaborative effort. “We started by creating a project team that drew people together to represent the different functions. As well as involve people who have been around long enough to really understand our business and how it works,” said Jayati. “Together we needed to come up with a methodology for how to implement Agile in the right way for our business.”
The transformation began with a requirements document, which set out the functional and technical needs of the business. Eventually the team shortlisted three work management solutions. “Our software development team already uses Jira, so we wanted to evaluate whether it could fulfill our requirements for an agile business,” explained Jayati. “We also had experience with another work management tool, as well as wanting to see Asana in action.
“Despite being an unknown entity in the beginning, in the end the big differentiator for Asana is its user interface - it’s so easy to use that anyone can play around with the tool and figure it out .”
From content to creative, demand generation to ecommerce portals, campaigns and more, almost all of Quadient’s marketing teams around the globe use Asana. “We set out to align our ways of working and Asana has operationalised our Agile transformation,” said Jayati.
Quadient’s marketing operations are lean, teams work in sprints, and delivery is frequent. According to the Anatomy of Work Index improving processes can save 257 hours per year.
“As part of our Agile methodology we estimate the scale of a task using t-shirt sizing - like small, medium and large. Within Asana, we have set up Rules to automatically reflect this sizing when allocating the task weight,” said Jayati. “Forms is another feature the whole team likes because it captures requests in one place so they’re easier to review - we even use iframes to allow people who don’t have access to Asana to submit requests.”
All the marketing teams have greater visibility to all of the work in progress. It allows for communication to naturally flow on a global scale, rather than require people to send separate updates, which the Anatomy of Work Index shows can distract and ‘overwhelm’ a third of workers.
“Asana’s integration with Jira allowed us to onboard the software development team and those who work closely with them - including the web and portals teams - because they can continue to collaborate in the same way as before,” said Jayati. “Asana’s interface also includes clear dashboards that make it simple to create reports. Over time we’ve encouraged teams to modify the standard reports we created based on their workflow.”
At a time when the Anatomy of Work Index shows a trend towards less time spent on strategy - 9% in 2022 vs. 14% in 2021 - Quadient has used Agile to reduce the need for ‘work about work’. Meetings are now reserved to make specific decisions or deliver specific outcomes.
“With the exception of our annual user conference, our projects reflect our day-to-day tasks, so are set up like kanban boards. It helps us to manage workloads and share successful ideas for improvement across teams and regions,” said Jayati. “Visibility is key in Agile and Asana has helped us to overcome any hesitation in the business about being so open. Without full transparency our team can’t take full advantage of features within the tool - like multi-homing, which links tasks across multiple project boards.”
Asana has successfully brought unity to Quadient marketing and enabled them to lead the way in the adoption of Agile methodology. It has created a stable work environment that enables the function to live the EPIC company values every day. And already, connected functions, like the web and portals teams, are getting exposure to the benefits they could experience when embracing new, modern ways of working.
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