Case Study - TalkTalk

Using Plandek to track and drive technology delivery and transform communication with key stakeholders

The challenge

TalkTalk is one of the UK’s largest providers of consumer and business broadband with over 4.2 million customers.

It relies on a large software delivery team of several hundred distributed software engineers to deliver a wide range of projects which are strategically critical for the business.

Plandek was adopted with the joint sponsorship of the CTO, and CEO to track and drive the effectiveness of the delivery team – and to help the CEO and C-Suite stakeholders better understand the effectiveness of the technology team on which they rely so heavily.

The scope

Phil Haslam the TalkTalk CTO worked with the Plandek CS team to define and track a set of ‘North Star’ metrics that define ‘what good looks like’ for TalkTalk technology delivery.

These metrics underpin a data-led culture (underpinned by Plandek) of continuous improvement sponsored by Phil and led by managers and Team Leads across the TalkTalk delivery organisation.

As Phil comments “The implementation of Plandek gave us the opportunity to revisit our Agile DevOps objectives and the metrics most suitable to measure success over time – the DORA metrics were a useful start point, but we went further.”

The Plandek Xcelerate framework avoids the top-down imposition of metrics on Agile teams as experience shows that data-driven software delivery is only effective when everyone shares the same goals and metrics – from individual engineers to the CEO.

The outcome

Plandek is helping TalkTalk accelerate value creation and build trust between delivery team and internal stakeholders.

  1. It opens up ‘the black box’ of technology delivery for C-Suite stakeholders so, they receive understandable KPI’s that provide a balanced scorecard of delivery effectiveness, thereby greatly improving communication and trust.
  2. It ensures that the delivery capability is aligned around the key strategic (value creating) priorities of the business.
  3. It enables the technology team to clearly track and manage the allocation of resource between ‘the things that really matter’ like R&D (development of new road-map features), relative to less productive effort such as technical debt and unplanned work.
  4. And crucially, it is designed to be ‘loved by teams and relied on by managers’ by providing a set of metrics that is shared and understood from scrum teams upwards, so that everyone within tech delivery is focused on driving improvement over time.

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