Integrating engineering teams post acquisition
Trackforce Valiant acquired TrackTik in 2022 and they swiftly integrated teams. The primary objectives of the R&D organization throughout this merger were to establish consistent agile and development processes while aligning backlog priorities against company objectives. The team knew they had to establish effective cross-functional communication to achieve these goals.
“We had to focus on merging our portfolios, people, and processes and optimize them so that we’re allocating effort appropriately across the organization,” shared Purnima Bihari, Director of Product Management at Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik.
Championing operational efficiency and team health
Throughout this merger team health principles stayed the same, but cross-organization implementation changed. “You have to look after your employees and ask yourself: How is employee engagement and retention? Do people still feel connected with the bigger goal?” Purnima said. “Every level has to operate like they belong to one network. We knew we had to maintain our innovation and creativity.”
The Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik team worked hard to build a psychologically safe space where people could share ideas and take risks. They analyzed resilience by measuring work-life balance and team adaptability with quarterly detailed surveys and a monthly pulse check. There was also an element of inclusivity as they were bringing two company cultures between the United States and Canada together under one roof. “We established transparent communication between the two entities so we were clearly working towards the same objective. It can be difficult to foster that environment but it’s very important,” said Oussama Melki, Agile Practice Lead at Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik.
Using Jellyfish to foster safety and trust
The team needed a tool that would allow them to be metrics driven with their objectives of fostering transparent communication and accountability, which led them to Jellyfish. “It’s difficult getting everyone, from executives through engineers, involved in the importance of transparency. Our Chief Product Officer is very metrics driven. He knew we needed something like Jellyfish so that we could plan better,” Purnima shared.
Oussama Melki Agile Practice Lead, Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik
Jellyfish is about alignment and how we can work together, not micromanagement. It’s essential for us to create a safe environment.
“We look at data in Jellyfish that support pre-set metrics and let that guide discussions. Metrics help us see improvements without compromising quality,” Oussama shared.
The data in Jellyfish allows Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik to deliver consistent, credible communication for multiple stakeholder groups. This not only builds emotional trust, but reliability. Other teams within the organization look at those using Jellyfish as an example to be transparent and metrics driven.
Driving business outcomes with Jellyfish
“One of the things we initially set out to do with Jellyfish is hold other teams accountable and measure if we get the ROI we set out to achieve,” Purnima said. “We build executive alignment using Jellyfish. It helps us monitor operations on a weekly basis and consistently report monthly.”
Implementing Jellyfish within rituals is a key component for driving team ownership. The team looks at Jellyfish data attributed to each squad at least once every sprint – specifically PR Cycle Time and Issue Life Cycle Time which are good collaboration indicators. “Every piece of Jellyfish data has a piece of context that you need to understand. Being open about the data is key to elevating the company as a unit. Trends are more important than the numbers themselves,” Oussama said.
The culture around unplanned work has been one of the most impactful changes Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik has seen since implementing Jellyfish. “We weren’t as focused as we needed to be and we tried to make sure that everything we were working on was categorized,” Oussama shared. Since using Jellyfish, Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik saw a 77.5% decrease of unplanned work over a 12 month period. Jellyfish has also helped Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik create an achievable roadmap. “Jellyfish helps us be cost centric.
Purnima Bihari Director of Product Management, Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik
I’ve been in product management for over 10 years, and I always found there was a missing piece between what we’re planning to do and what we actually do. The realistic roadmap that Jellyfish provides is a big, big game changer.
Above all else, building cross-functional accountability and alignment with Jellyfish has led to an increased understanding and empathy across the Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik organization.
Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik looks forward to their ongoing partnership with Jellyfish and plans to expand their use case further into DevFinOps and see further time savings on SR&ED reports. The team will also be making Jellyfish available for all engineers so they can have full visibility into initiatives.
To view Trackforce Valiant + TrackTik’s GLOW session, click here.