Shabbir currently works as a Programme Delivery Lead at YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, leading programmes of work specifically for THE OUTNET and coordinating between teams across different countries. Most recently, he has been involved in major migration and localisation programmes. He is experienced with various agile methodologies, building teams, people management, coaching & mentoring. He also occasionally gives talks at conferences & meetups on agile, delivery and people related topics.

Growing Pains: Attempting to Scale Teams, Maintain Culture & Deliver in an Agile Manner

Over the past three years, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP has experienced exponential growth. The tech teams have grown from 500 strong to 1,000+ and the complexity of work has increased tenfold as the company navigates through the merger as well as natural growth.

The main challenges faced were as follows:

  • How do we grow the tech teams to cater for the new demand of work?
  • Whilst growing, how do we maintain the strong culture already present?
  • How do we structure our work to enable us to deliver in a somewhat agile way?
  • Conversely, can we even deliver in an agile way given the certain types of requirements we have?
  • How do we move from a project mindset to a programme mindset?

We attempted various different solutions, including looking at some scaled agile frameworks as well as trying our own custom solution. We have made many mistakes along the way and are nowhere near the end of the journey, however we feel we have made enough progress to share with the community.

Rather than just settling for something out there, we ended up decided on a way of working for ourselves which is still evolving. I will share some of the main points in the talk so attendees can have some practical pieces of advice to walk away with, should they face a similar problem.

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