Harnessing the Atlassian Ecosystem for Agile Transformation at Utilities Company


Company Details

Industry: Energy

Company size: 8,000 employees

Services provided: Atlassian Consulting, Jira Consulting, Agile Transformation


Executive Summary

The client initially adopted Agile methodologies to enhance project tracking and boost employee engagement, aiming to foster greater transparency. However, the influx of team-level reports soon became overwhelming, with one manager noting that the volume of reports was “almost becoming too much.” With the expertise of our consultants and tooling specialists, the company successfully implemented a streamlined and scalable reporting mechanism. This solution not only improved transparency across the organisation but also provided a single view of their work.


The situation

The client provides utilities to more than 10 million residents. To do so, they run over 280 projects, including solar panels, solar battery storage, wind farms, natural gas, energy commissioning, energy decommissioning, and software implementation.


The challenge

The client began exploring the possibilities of introducing Agile frameworks. With our help, with whom the client had previously worked with on successful tooling and coaching engagements, the company implemented Jira Kanban as a test run because the system offers a basic foundation. And at first, Kanban seemed like a good fit for the organisation. They were able to see the benefits of Agile and visualise their work better than ever before.

Their teams began using Kanban to track projects and generate more and more reports. But while the new system prompted high employee engagement, the wealth of reports was too much. Additionally, they lacked a standard system and set of metrics for reporting across the board. The fact that the client is funded mainly by business cases created a further challenge. Because they were bound to business timelines and project-thinking in many respects, they couldn’t solely rely on Agile reports.

The Agile-centric reports that provide insight, like the sprint burndown, velocity, and release roadmap, were all helping at the product level. But the client needed the program and portfolio-level metrics and dashboard that can roll up to show the current and forecasted financial health. Furthermore, they required more insight when it came to resource management. They required a tool that would be able to bridge all of those gaps.


The solution

The client had already enlisted our help to set up a Kanban test run. After finding their sea legs in Agile, they engaged us to complete their Agile transformation. Our Senior Solutions Architect, started working with the company during this subsequent process. Her team began by trying to understand and assess the Agile tools they already had in place. “We took a deep dive into each one of their projects,” said Hall.

We unearthed hundreds of different Jira projects, dashboards, and reports. The client confirmed that they lacked a single set of reporting standards. We also found that while many Agile plugins and tools were available, they were often underused. In many cases, teams were unaware of the full functionality on hand, or the integrations between particular plugins and tools weren’t being used.


Hall and her team also observed multiple operating models of Jira amongst the client’s many working teams. Since their projects encompass everything from software development to the physical construction of solar farms, Hall said various tracking methods were to be expected. “We wanted to make sure we used what we had available to us,” said Hall. “So that meant using existing tools and data and making sure we didn’t change the way teams were doing their work.”

The client wanted to find an outcome-based agility model, focused more on results than methodology or process. And what they discovered is that it doesn’t matter what methodology they’re using on the Jira side; they could use all the same metrics for understanding their project health and financial progress. With the Jira framework settled—and with guidance—the client began using Tempo tools to resolve their previously identified challenges. As part of the Atlassian ecosystem, Tempo products enhance Jira through several time-tracking and management tools.

First, we equipped the client Agile system with Tempo Financial Manager, which created a centralised reporting system. Now, they could rely on a standard set of reporting metrics.

Additionally, Tempo Financial Manager allowed the company to integrate financial information as an overall health indicator and visualise the expected project and portfolio lifespans. Using Tempo Financial Manager, we also developed custom power scripts to translate between teams using varying methodologies. This way, teams logging work through different methods, such as through hours and story points, could use a common language, and aggregate data could be rolled up into financial reporting models.

“This helped us define a standard for reporting that aggregated product and project health—all without having to change the way teams are working,” Hall said. “In many cases, we had zero impact on the teams—and very few changes to the configuration.”

Next, we helped them implement Tempo Capacity Planner. This tool provided much more insight into their employees’ workload and overall resource management. Finally, we showed them how to use Jira for aggregating data. Drawing on information from Tempo Financial Manager and Tempo Capacity Planner, Jira was used to simplify data for creating a larger story. For example, the client used this tool to demonstrate how COVID-19 affected them in a single graph—all while factoring in over 200 portfolios and programs.


The results

By equipping their initial Agile system with Atlassian Tempo tools, we helped our client bridge its previous gaps.


“We have increased accountability for project teams, obtained better control over the project and product managers, and seen a definite decrease in time and spending when it comes to both resource management and generating reports.”

PMO Manager


Using a centralised reporting system as a foundation, they have achieved more transparency over its projects. What’s more, they have integrated traditional business metrics, such as schedules and finances, into their Agile system.

Interested in similar results for your organisation? Explore our flexible Organisational Design and Change and Enterprise Tooling solutions.


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Cprime, Harnessing the Atlassian Ecosystem for Agile Transformation at Utilities Company