CASE STUDY

New ways of working for delivering change

We’re six months into our strategic transformation programme and the new ways of working are having a real impact on the way we lead and deliver change across Watercare.

Our vision is that our customers will be able to do everything for themselves, wherever they are, in a single interaction. Every employee will have the right tools and best processes and be empowered to make informed decisions with confidence.

And it’s our new ways of working which are helping us achieve this. To deliver the new digital platform that will support the company, we are working in small, business-led, cross-functional teams and delivering change at pace, centred around the customer. This approach allows ideas, creativity and the individual contributions of our people to shine.

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The cross-functional teams (squads) work in time-boxed iterations. Two-week ‘sprints’ are used to plan, deliver and showcase small chunks of work to move the programme, release by release, closer to its goal.

Head of Digital Delivery Paul de Quaasteniet says the days of traditional approaches to programme delivery are numbered. “With large-scale digital programmes, traditionally companies would attempt to outsource the delivery risk to a group of consultants who would drive planning of all the requirements upfront and then manage to that plan. The programme would typically go well over budget, take twice as long to deliver and not come close to delivering the value the company had hoped for,” says Paul.

“We simply can’t work like that anymore.

“One of the great things about the new ways of working is that we’re using principles from design thinking, working in a lean and agile way, and driving strong, crossfunctional collaboration. Our aim is frequent iterations of delivery so we can release value for customers and employees early and often. This means we can build products and services based on customer and employee needs, and deliver the things that really make a difference.”

The cross-functional teams (squads) work in time-boxed iterations. Two-week ‘sprints’ are used to plan, deliver and showcase small chunks of work to move the programme, release by release, closer to its goal.

“It’s a continuous cycle of delivery, learning and improvement,” Paul says.

The squads have already delivered enhancements to the way we work: improved risk calculations that include financial impacts of risks on projects; a pilot mobile app to help assess and record hazards online for our field crews; better asset categorisation; improving the quality of customer data; and testing a new, flexible billing system that provides options for automation.

VALUE BEING CREATED:

  • Future-proofed growth and supply assurance
  • Engaged communities and stakeholders