Creating a new dynamic with agility – the example of Sky Switzerland

  • François Bruneau

After years of fast-paced growth, Sky Switzerland’s way of working was no longer meeting their needs. We helped them adopt agile ways of working.

After several years of fast-paced growth in start-up mode, Sky Switzerland reached an impasse. As projects were increasing in numbers and size, the teams could not keep up with this growth. Their existing ways of working were no longer meeting their needs, so a new methodology was required.

This is when Liip steps in. We have been supporting Sky Switzerland since January 2020. As a coach, I taught them the tools, principles and values that combine to create an agile way of working. My role? I’m the accelerator!

After several months with one day of coaching per week, a new dynamic has been established. So we took the opportunity to ask Marsali Auberson, Fiction Director of Sky Switzerland, a few questions.

What problems were you facing?

We are experts in the streaming industry in Switzerland, and we do all our development in-house. Since the Sky Group bought HollyStar in 2017, things have really taken off. Our customer base is growing, and the number of products available is rapidly increasing. These developments have changed the company’s entire dynamic, and especially that of our IT team.

In a way, we were the victims of our own success, as we lacked a real working methodology. We had to learn new skills, particularly in terms of project management, to manage this explosive growth. Our extremely rapid expansion also had a (negative) impact on the communication and collaboration between teams. We needed a different way of organising ourselves to avoid being stuck in a constant rush and to help us find our cruising speed.

Why did you choose Liip to help you out?

First of all, one of my friends works there and has been saying great things about Liip for years (thanks Thierry!). I also had the opportunity to discover the agile processes you set up at when I joined one of your workshops – which increased my interest in this methodology.

After lots of discussion about our project management problems, our IT team’s issues with keeping to their roadmap, the lack of oversight regarding development progress, and I could go on, the Sky Switzerland management team decided that we needed help.

We wanted to work with an agency that was tried and tested. Agility as you do it seemed to be exactly what we needed. Getting this new dynamic established was not going to be an easy process, and you had the expertise we needed. We also have known you for a bit. ;-)

A few months later, what are the results? How has Liip’s involvement helped you?

We are still adapting our processes, with your help, François! :-) However, Scrum is already implemented well. We now have better oversight of developments and how they are progressing. We can dissect and analyse our needs much more effectively, and we are moving forward with more clarity.

We are also a lot less concerned about tackling big projects – which were becoming increasingly unmanageable before Liip came along.

We have a better idea of where to start and how to manage projects like these. We now have the tools we need to move forward with much less stress.

Passing on your wisdom of ‘starting with a bicycle version before tackling the Ferrari version’ changed everything for us.

What three series or films would you use to describe your collaboration with Liip?

  • The film ‘1917’, representing the turmoil that you arrived in, François when you got here, driven by a mission that seemed virtually impossible to us…
  • The series ‘True Detective’, representing your investigations and the hunt for solutions – I could have picked another, but the name of this series fits so well!
  • The series ‘Succession’, representing putting our collaboration into practice and the preparations for passing the baton to us.

These three titles perfectly describe what we have achieved together :-) And if you’ll let me, I would also recommend taking a look at the new series ‘Gangs of London’, it is killer!

What have you learned from our journey together?

That an agile methodology like Scrum is the key to truly changing your philosophy!

I was personally already convinced about the benefits, but we had to persuade the teams to, adapt to our new methodology, and change old habits – an art in itself Many companies still don't realise how much an investment like this is needed. We all tend to stay in our comfort zones and stick to what we know. Liip has the skills to change old habits and create a new dynamic.

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