How Syngenta Digital Used Nave to Purge 67% Of Issues from Their Backlog
Syngenta Digital equips farmers with the technology they need to care for their crops and grow safe and nutritious food.
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“We use things like drones and satellite imagery to help farmers assess field health and scout their crops,” Eduardo Pinzon, Delivery Manager, said. “No one else out there is solving the problems that we do, which makes our work very exciting.”
Eduardo’s work at Syngenta Digital revolves around making sure that his team is pursuing on-time and high-quality delivery. “My main challenge is trying to keep everyone on the same page and drive self-improvement.”
To overcome this challenge, Eduardo turned to Nave. “Nave helps me and my team become aware of and enhance our flow efficiency,” he said. “If everyone understands how to measure data and use it to drive experiments, we can increase the agility within our organization.
Inspiring the Right Questions
One of the ways Eduardo uses Nave is during retrospectives. To keep these meetings streamlined and effective, he tends to focus on a single problem the team is facing.
“I use Nave to show the team a problem in a visual way,” he said. “For example, we might look at our lead time to understand why we spend so much time in a certain flow state.
“I want the team to define action items that we’ll try to pursue to drive better results. Then, in our next retrospective, we’ll look at the same data again and see if our hypotheses were proven.”
For Eduardo, this approach is all about stepping back and letting the team ask the questions that will allow them to course-correct – even when he’s not around.
Staying Cool in Times of Emergency
In his day-to-day work, Eduardo mainly uses Nave for feedback loops and risk management.
“One of the biggest benefits Nave brings us is the velocity with which we can get our performance data,” he said. “I can use the Aging Chart to track outliers and anomalies, switch to the Cumulative Flow Diagram to check the stability of our workflow, and look at the Cycle Time Scatterplot to make delivery forecasts.”
Eduardo goes on to explain how the Cycle Time Scatterplot has been helping his team fix issues on time.
“Usually, when we get an issue, we don’t know exactly how long it will take to sort it out,” he said. “It might take three, four months before it’s resolved – if no one complains, no one will take care of it.
“To deal with that unpredictability, I started using Nave to see our bug customer lead time distribution. I can use this data to determine when we need to start working on a bug to be able to resolve it before our commitment date.
“Conversely, I’m able to forecast delivery dates using this same past performance data whenever a new bug comes up. I just look at the chart and see that in 85% of cases, we fixed a critical-priority bug in less than 3 days! When a new high-priority bug comes up, we now know how to answer our client’s biggest question: ‘When will it be done?’’’
Eduardo says Nave has helped the Syngenta Digital team purge 67% of issues from their backlog. He also created an alerting system to notify him about bugs at risk of delay. That way, the team was able to focus on the right things at the right time.
This approach has completely transformed the way Syngenta Digital deals with bugs, incidents, and other emergencies. “Nave has enabled us to get bugs sorted faster using data-driven forecasting. We were able to cut the average lifetime of our bugs in half this way,” Eduardo added.
Your Workflow Is There Even if You Don’t See It
Eduardo’s experience highlights the importance of improving workflow visibility and the impact it can have on work processes.
“Whether you acknowledge it or not, your workflow exists,” he said. “My advice to other delivery managers is to try to make it visible. Once you’re able to see the data, don’t judge it, just see it for what it is and let it surface questions on its own.
“And again, don’t worry too much about solving everything at once, just focus on one thing. Because the metrics are not the goal, they’re the thermometer we use to gauge our project health and are there to help us think about enhancement plans. You don’t need to pursue a better lead time or flow efficiency, you need to pursue better value for your customers.”
Did Eduardo’s story resonate with you? It might be time to give Nave a try. You can connect our analytics suite to your current platform here (it’s free for 14 days) →
Thanks so much for tuning in with me today! If you know someone who’s in a situation similar to Eduardo’s, please share this article with them. I look forward to seeing you next week, same time and place, for more managerial goodness. Bye for now!
Meet the Author
Sonya Siderova is a passionate product manager and a driving force behind Nave, a Kanban analytics suite that helps teams improve their delivery speed through data-driven decision making. When she's not catering to her two little ones, you might find Sonya absorbed in a good heavyweight boxing match or behind a screen crafting a new blog post.