Case study
Increasing Productive Work through Better Direction & Communication

Speed & Function

Initially, I thought I couldn’t find the time or energy to fix our problems. 
As an entrepreneur, I am too busy – selling, putting out burning fires. 
But with the way the Developmental Sprint
® is structured and integrated with work, we didn’t have to find significant additional time for improvement. 
Improvement happened in the normal course of business. 
We followed the process, and insight and change just happened. It’s magic.

– Nick Gluzdov, CEO
NEED TO MANAGE CONFLICT

Situation

Speed&Function is a high-growth custom software development company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, with three R&D centers across Europe. In an industry dedicated to continuous improvement through iteration and effort, CEO Nick Gluzdov was confounded by internal conflict due to an inability to give or receive open feedback. Initially attracted to the Immunity to Change® model and also to the thoughts of Ray Dalio of Bridgewater (one of TDE’s Deliberately Developmental Organizations) Nick reached out to TDE for help.

  • Give and receive open feedback
  • Break down silos between groups in the software development process
  • Break down silos between countries

“We were looking for a method, a trick, a life hack to make people modulated to hear each other. With TDE’s holistic framework, we found it,” says Nick.

DELIBERATE LEADER VULNERABILITY

Showing by Leading

Nick paired with Chief Business Officer Claire Lee, who oversees TDE’s coaching and Developmental Sprint® groups, on how to integrate the Sprint process into his company. Nick’s first objective was to demonstrate that radical transparency could work within his own organization…and with himself. Nick volunteered for the Live 360°+Developmental Sprint® process. 

“We invited my leadership team to give feedback on my highest improvement areas. Through talking and hashing it through as a group – led by Claire – we figured out that my intense fear of being left behind in an innovative industry was manifesting itself in the form of constant sharing of “the new and latest” with my team – which is a good thing – coupled with direction shifts to incorporate new thinking – which in the middle of projects is a bad thing,” admits Nick. “I was driving my team nuts. I was robbing them of satisfaction through completion. I was reducing engagement here in the US and over in Europe by making unilateral changes.”

At a tipping-point time, the behavior that had made him such a successful entrepreneur was now beginning to hold the company back. 

Through the Developmental Sprint® process, Nick showed his team that change was possible – not only did his mindset shift to be more inclusive, but also his behaviors – asking others’ opinions, interrupting less, including others in the decision. This had an immediate, positive effect on morale, as well as sped productivity as his employees gained confidence in their own actions and in their ability to complete projects.

Raise up everyone

Developmental Sprints®

Developmental Sprints® to surface, address and change issues in individual performance, increase feelings of teamwork within the organization, and ensure resilience of the sales team longer term.

PROJECT & PEOPLE SPRINTS

The Developmental Scrum©

Nick’s team ran the pilots for The Developmental Scrum with TDE’s Claire Lee. Together, the team gained rapid, individual traction on improvement goals while increasing team communication and cohesion.

Shift desire to action

How It Works Now – The Developmental Scrum

Prior to working with TDE, only client projects were run on the Scrum model of two-week sprints toward their ultimate goals, which could be a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) for a SaaS platform or mobile app, an intuitively designed landing page, or a transaction-processing integration. Now, both external and internal projects are run on the Scrum model, which enables the team to complete milestones before discussing and incorporating new thinking. 

The Developmental Sprint® process is being rolled out to the entire organization. “We need it,” says Nick. “We’re in a fast-developing industry, which means we need to be fast learners, open to change. A software engineer 10 years ago could just be an engineer. An engineer today needs to understand credit card processing, design, and dozens of other areas. To be open to that knowledge, they need to be flexible, adaptable thinkers. They need to be willing to improve. To communicate. More than anything else, we’re seeing a sharing of information between our functional departments and between our BUs in other countries.”

See Positive change

Measuring Results

In addition to increased productivity and communication, both of which translate into revenue, Speed&Function is seeing an increase in accountability. “My team is more relevant to the market because they reach beyond their roles to understand the business. Now management isn’t just responding. Everyone gets it,” says Nick