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Consolidating data for one of the world’s largest retailers with Kanban 4U

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Enterprises can benefit greatly from adopting agile and Enterprise DevOps methodologies and ways of working. When teams start to operate more autonomously, it can be hard for upper management to keep track of progress and outcomes. As a consequence, while the software that is being delivered actually improves in terms of usability and user experience, management may feel teams are not always aligned to company goals due to a lack of overview.

As the fourth-largest retailer in the world, the German retail conglomerate Schwarz Gruppe surpasses Amazon, Carrefour and Tesco. Given the size and scope of the organization, management needed visual and interactive ways of keeping track of progress. Especially since teams at subsidiaries such as Kaufland had adopted agile ways of working, in this specific case Kanban boards.

To achieve this goal, an augmentation of the ITSM platform ServiceNow was desired at Kaufland. A proof-of-concept was developed to integrate Kanban boards in ServiceNow. By demonstrating this proof-of-concept of a custom app for ServiceNow, we showed that it is possible to fulfill the needs of agile teams and management at the same time.

The goal of the proof-of-concept was to visualize work in progress on Kanban boards in ServiceNow. Offering the same interactivity as in real life, while at the same time it needed to increase the acceptance level of ServiceNow for all Kaufland’s avid Kanban users. In short: a solution for the whole IT department that also supports management. So, a consolidating solution was created to bring everything to one service platform.

In the instance of ServiceNow that was used at Kaufland, a visual representation of Kaufland’s work in progress was missing. We added a digital Kanban board in which you can drag and drop tasks. So planning and prioritizing became flexible again, improving internal communication and detection of bottlenecks and/or conflicts. For Kanban users, their daily routine was seamlessly simulated in ServiceNow, boosting acceptance.

Proof-of-concept process
First, we made sure the product owner was able to test a first solution. Next, we brought together both key Kanban and ServiceNow users and collected valuable feedback to further prioritize. In on-site meetings we tested and evaluated the new way of working with sprints. During the creation, Plat4mation itself used its custom solution for Kaufland. This way we made sure all requirements for the Kanban board were being developed.

Long before the four-week deadline, the custom solution was delivered, which made it possible to create extra features, like a multi-language (EN and DE) Kanban app. These functionalities were both tested on upgradability and certified by ServiceNow.

After the successful demonstration of the proof of concept, the custom solution was further enhanced with additional features. This resulted in a production ready app which was deployed within a few weeks in 2017. With this solution, we met the requirements of Schwarz Gruppe with our custom app development expertise, thereby facilitating agile teams and management at the same time.


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Jochen Vos Jochen Vos
Competence Lead SPM
+31 (0)30 76 02 670 Get in touch

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