A synergy achieved by agile project work

Scoffers see large-scale projects as an example of entropy, the universe’s inherent tendency toward chaos. According to them, such projects break down into six phases: Enthusiasm, disillusionment, panic plus overtime, hunting down the guilty, sanctioning the innocent, praising the uninvolved. The fact that it can be done differently is rarely seen, but it does happen – provided that you call off the hunt for the guilty in favor of productive steps. But let’s take it one step at a time.

Indeed, our project with a retail chain started enthusiastically. The company wanted to introduce a loyalty program, including a customer card, advertising campaign and value-added offers, that stood out from the competition’s programs and tied consumers more closely to the brand. Consileon supported the project from strategic planning and software development to pilot deployment of the loyalty card. But halfway through, the project team’s momentum visibly gave way to disillusionment. The competition was not sleeping, and their bonus programs were unexpectedly growing in membership. The added value of another loyalty card in the wallet could hardly be conveyed. In view of the costs incurred by then, it was only a stone’s throw to phase three: panic!

Instead of hunting down the culprits, however, our client decided on a more constructive fourth phase: a strategic change of course in the form of moving away from developing an individual solution to working with a specialist loyalty program provider. This also opened up the opportunity to expand the loyalty program to additional channels. The multi-channel approach includes the website, online presences, mobile apps, and interactive devices at the store locations. This also put an end to project phases five and six: innocent people were left untroubled, while the uninvolved had to earn their praise elsewhere. Instead, the true success story of the major project now began.