Agile development methodology, businessman use laptop with virtual screen of agile icon for process that will help you work faster By reducing step-by-step work and focusing on team communication.


The job of protecting the environment isn’t becoming easier, and the to-do list for the environmental agency lengthens daily. Success hinges on the ability to set focused objectives, conduct experiments around the world to measure impact, and rapidly broadcast results to further catalyze the donors it relies on for financial investment. This requires a highly efficient IT organization to support global field resources, analyze metrics, translate trends into data-informed decisions, and develop modern digital applications for efficient operation.

The agency reached a critical point, inhibited in its ability to demonstrate environmental wins, introduce innovative tooling, and provide world-class support to their boots on the ground. Driving effective change at all levels and a cultural shift to new ways of working and thinking were required. However, the change would face uphill winds from a workforce that had weathered numerous unsuccessful transformation attempts. Ippon was selected for its clear and tactical coaching plan to demonstrate quick wins and its competency in aligning varying opinions. Ippon’s flexibility in adapting to change-resistant teams and technical capabilities in the cloud and software engineering space were also key factors. Ippon teamed with a partner to deliver the agile and scrum training and to partner for success on this large-scale agile transformation initiative.


The Ippon team quickly got to work by partnering with key stakeholders and technical leaders to oversee the transformation. A three-phase strategy was constructed and mapped to an agile roadmap:

  1. First: Launch steering committee, complete discovery of existing teams & processes, deliver Agile mindset training, begin development team pilot
  2. Next: Assess learnings & adapt, promote agile through the lunch & learn series, build a playbook to drive process consistency, and launch additional pilot teams
  3. Later: Strategize the best way to scale transformation to all teams, Launch an Agile center of excellence to develop internal coaches, and create a continuous improvement loop for the Agile process

After assembling a steering committee, members were indoctrinated as a true Scrum team with a Jira project and Agile events. The goal was to encourage leadership to rapidly adopt an Agile mindset by giving them hands-on Agile project experience. Agile Mindset classes were conducted for the entire IT staff to align everyone on the principles and terminology of Agile.

The initial Discovery surfaced a variety of ad-hoc processes and tools across the organization, some general excitement from the development teams, and skepticism about Agile’s applicability from IT support teams. We subsequently selected the initial pilot team, being careful to understand the team’s history and perceptions about strengths and challenges. Leading change within teams means changing things that make a difference to its members, not just course correcting for adherence to an agile framework.

During the next phase, Ippon coaches embedded on teams to train members on new ways of working, measure progress, energize them to challenge their process, and test out tweaks to drive greater efficiency and effectiveness. Ippon delivered highly collaborative and hands-on workshops to keep engagement high so that team members were aligned on continuous change. Visual canvases and online whiteboard tools made these sessions both fun and productive, as well as budget-friendly in the virtual setting, and resulted in a visual map of team evolution and meaningful decision points.

Ensuring process consistency, shared best practices, tactical guidance, and elimination of redundant tooling were the key themes that drove the creation of an agile playbook. The scrum learnings and practices that proved successful with the first pilot were encapsulated into an online playbook to be used for reference and to guide new teams. A second pilot team was selected as a critical operational/support team to prove Agile’s absolute relevance to Kanban-style teams. This team was incredibly stretched to manage work coming from all over the organization through an array of channels from tools to telephone calls. Ippon coached the team to design a new kanban style workflow and invent new ways of categorizing, visualizing, and measuring work.


The qualitative and quantitative results demonstrate significant progress in key Agile metrics of Aging and Cycle Time. These metrics decreased 46% and 40% respectively. Comparing Agile events before and after Transformation it is clear that meetings are more focused, trade-off conversations are occurring regularly, blockers are being tackled quickly and the whole team is talking more about value more than tasks.


With the climate crisis growing daily, the mission and success of a large environmental non-profit have never been more critical. Like nature, survival depends on their ability to adapt - the agency needs to modernize its internal processes and streamline inefficiencies, increase speed to market, introduce innovative tooling, and provide world-class support to field resources.

“The work with Ippon/[and partner] and the transformation efforts for the [IT support] teams has exceeded my expectations. As a former skeptic of how a highly technical [operations] team can transform from our tried and tested working model to Kanban, I’ve been nothing short of impressed. Personally, I’ve learned a year's worth of [...] techniques from the coaches and even my own teammates.”

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in Ippon. Share with us how we can contribute to your success.

What do you need help with? Check all that apply.