Why Big Businesses Must Embrace Agile

Digitization and automation have transformed every industry – from retail, financial services, shipping, manufacturing, and even agriculture. Businesses are being forced to evolve, fast. To adapt, rapidly, to keep up with changing consumer demands and an ever-evolving digital landscape. 

But if businesses are going to react, and even embrace, disruptive technologies with speed, flexibility and scalability – the must first re-define the way they work. 


Iterative to Innovate

They must embrace a new iterative way of working and become more agile – both in mind and matter. It might be today’s buzzword but it’s crucial to fast and effective product delivery. It enables businesses to bring fresh ideas to life, fast, and develop their offerings both in line with, and in response to, increasingly challenging consumer demands.  
Agile methods (as we’ve previously noted) are inherent in start-up culture. But they are being adopted by big businesses – and are increasingly embraced by the C-suite. Long-established organisations, who are trading in outmoded command-and-control style ways of working for agile practices, are fast seeing the benefits in terms of ROI, predictability, customer satisfaction, and risk reduction. 

Saab uses agile methodologies to produce new fighter jets. GE relies on them to speed its transition from 20th-century conglomerate to 21st-century “digital industrial company.” Chelsea Apps Factory puts agile into practice with all our clients – including game-changing work with Ladbrokes, a world leader in online betting and gaming.


The customer is always right, right? 

Consumer-driven innovation is what agile is all about. It is an iterative way of working that makes it possible to develop, build and validate new products and concepts quickly, at low risk. 

By taking people out of silos and putting them in self-managed and (crucially) customer-focused multidisciplinary teams, the agile approach is boosting profits and helping to redefine the way products are built, teams are managed, and ideas are developed.  

Agile turns product delivery on its head and puts the consumer in the driving seat – after all, the customer is most attune to his or her own requirements.   By continually adapting to the customers’ changing priorities, agile improves customer engagement and satisfaction, brings the most valuable products and features to market faster and more predictably. It reduces risk by testing and learning before fulling committing to new products and features. 


Chelsea Apps Factory and Ladbrokes

Mobile has always been a key part of Ladbrokes’ business strategy (nowadays a mobile strategy is non-negotiable). But it wanted to do more with digital so that it could renew its mobile proposition for today’s choosy consumer. It needed a mobile programme that was focused on speed and agility – so that it could innovate, and innovate fast. 

Ladbrokes turned to Chelsea Apps Factory, who ran its well-known Innovation Lab – an always-on powerhouse of agile thinking and working – to gain that flexibility, scalability and speed. 

Chelsea Apps Factory worked in collaboration with Ladbrokes to generate, prioritise and validate ideas through a combination of lean testing, data analysis and prototyping. They designed and built MVP’s (Minimal Viable Products) to put new concepts into practice, collect feedback, learn and improve. 

Ideas that did well were iterated until they are optimised to become a core part of the mobile proposition. 

Insight was fed into strategy in a matter of weeks – even days – enabling the Innovation Lab team to shape products in response to the needs of real Ladbrokes’ customers. Importantly, every product, feature and proposition was measured, so that Ladbrokes could see the actual impact of every idea on the bottom line. 


The big winner? Ladbrokes. 

The Innovation Lab generated more than 200 product feature ideas – 30 of which went live and many of which have been copied by competitors. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Ladbrokes have in turn seen a 35% increase in turnover and a 50% increase in customer retention.

Most importantly, the Innovation Lab modified the Ladbrokes’ mindset to embrace a new iterative way working. Chelsea Apps factory helped the business to be more agile, flexible and scalable; enabling it to quicken its digital evolution and drive consumer-led innovation. 

The world leader in online betting and gaming no longer has to place bets on hunches, they can now let their customers tell them what works. After all, the customer is always right, right?