Transformation & Change108

Transforming an Advertising Agency

Bringing an Agile Mindset beyond Engineering

David Grabel

February 12, 2017


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Vistaprint transformed its software development teams to Agile, reducing release cycles from 18 months to 3 weeks. But Marketing had to move faster to match this pace. The bottlenecks seemed to be in the in-house advertising agency. Could Agile work for an advertising agency? Yes it could!

With a combination of in-depth training, embedded coaching, big visible boards, and a focus on the agile mindset, we reduced the lead time for the North American email team from eight weeks to nine days. The cycle time dropped from 15 days to four. Late night and weekend work disappeared. The on-time delivery rate soared and quality did not suffer. This approach is now being used to spread the Agile mindset (and best practices) to our managers, executives and European operations. Showing that Agile works well outside of software is providing the traction for an enterprise-wide transformation.

About David

David GrabelDavid Grabel is currently an Enterprise Agile Coach at Vistaprint, a Cimpress company. He is currently bringing Agile to marketing and the executive team at Vistaprint. David has introduced Scrum, Kanban, XP, and SAFe to organizations ranging from single team startups to organizations with over 500 teams. Previous clients include PayPal, Bose, and Trizetto. He is certified as CSM, CSP & SPC and is studying at the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

David is the treasurer of Agile New England and is a former president of the chapter. Previously, he was Vice President of Engineering at Monetrics, a startup that was acquired by JM Family Enterprises. Other previous senior management positions include Vice President of Product Technology at Thomson Gale and Vice President of Development at Politzer & Haney.

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