The Starting Point
Ericsson Mobile Core, a 2000-person division of Ericsson responsible for developing the mobile soft-switch solution used to carry signals across a mobile network, recognized the need to fundamentally shift their way of working. Ericsson Mobile Core realized that their projects were taking too long, had variable quality and were fundamentally unpredictable.
Learning & Practicing, Coaching the Coaches
Agility 11 Founder and Principal Coach Brad Swanson worked as part of a world-class team of coaches from agile42 to develop a strategy for sustainable success with the full engagement of Ericsson’s senior leadership team. As external coaches, we guided the transformation effort over a period of five months along with a cadre of Ericsson employees who eventually became internal trainers and coaches to scale the improvements across the organization, to far-flung locations across Europe and China. The outcome was an agile transformation that delivered both short-term wins and an internal agile capability that has continued to evolve in the years since we, as outside consultants, concluded our work.
Accelerating & Optimizing; Sustaining Innovation
Ericsson established measures of success and has achieved concrete improvements in quality, employee satisfaction, customer responsiveness and delivery predictability. For example, Ericsson reduced cycle time for new features from 12+ months to as little as 3 weeks. They previously needed two weeks simply to compile their system and manually run a small number of tests on a network simulator; they now have automated build and test (continuous integration) that runs multiple times per day. These capabilities have enabled them to maintain and grow market share, and enable a new business model wherein Ericsson operates the mobile network on behalf of their customers, which reduces costs for their customers and enables more rapid deployment of value-adding features.
Ericsson’s senior leaders have spoken publicly about their success story in presentations at a number of conferences including the Scrum Gathering in Atlanta, the Agile2012 conference in Texas, and Agile Greece 2018.