KitchenAid has been here for the making since 1919, manufacturing everything from cutlery to coffee makers to the iconic stand mixer. KitchenAid’s enduring brand appeal has as much to do with the quality of the products they manufacture as it does of the agility of their creative team.
The importance of having an Agile team or workforce can’t be overstated. Becoming agile within an enterprise is no easy task and as Harvard Business Review (HBR) points out, not all enterprises that set out to implement Agile methods succeed.
“For example, one prominent industrial company’s attempts over the past five years to innovate like a lean start-up have not generated the financial results sought by activist investors and the board of directors, and several senior executives have resigned.”
HBR gives a few recommendations for enterprises looking for ways to lead their teams to Agile transformation.
- Lead Agile by being Agile: Leaders who haven’t understood and adopted Agile can’t help teams implement Agile methodologies by leading the change through traditional, top-down management. Leadership will be more successful when they behave like an Agile team, treating different parts of the organization as their customers and understanding their needs and what helps them work best.
- Create a taxonomy of teams: Agile teams create a backlog of work they plan on completing in the future. Enterprises can become more Agile by following this modular approach, creating a taxonomy of teams who specialize in specific areas of the businesses and are all integrated with each other.
- Sequence the transition: The leadership team needs to set priorities and determine priorities for the transition to Agile. HBR says, “Leaders must consider multiple criteria, including strategic importance, budget limitations, availability of people, return on investment, cost of delays, risk levels, and interdependencies among teams.”
How KitchenAid Embraced Agile Transformation With Wrike
KitchenAid’s creative team handles everything, from packaging to photography, video production, recipe testing, advertising, and promotional materials. Given the volume and pace of work, leaning primarily on legacy tools wasn’t cutting it. The team needed a better way to streamline and manage their work. In short, they needed to become more Agile. Wrike spoke to Ashley Klee, Global Senior Designer at KitchenAid, before and after the pandemic business closures to hear about her experience implementing Wrike. Klee says, “Before Wrike, we each had a spreadsheet in multiple places … fast forward to Wrike, it’s very streamlined now with one location where we all know where to look.”
Klee explains that pushing everyone to make all creative requests in Wrike gives her team all the information they need upfront, allowing them to better prioritize work based on the complete information provided to them.
Klee says that implementing Wrike within the teams she works with at KitchenAid has “made the work [she does] much more efficient and lean and [her team] much more of an Agile team than [they] were a year ago.”
In this video, Klee shares more about her journey with Wrike and how it’s helped her team become more Agile, better connected, and happier!