Case StudyProduct Team: Identifying Value Streams,Creating Stream Teams - Streamlining Value with Cross-Functional Teams at FTD

FTD faced significant challenges with their existing organizational and technological frameworks. Their initial setup included only 5% CMS coverage, which meant that most website updates required engineering intervention. This inefficiency led to delays and frustration, particularly as engineering resources were diverted from high-value tasks to repetitive, low-value maintenance. Additionally, their traditional team structures were siloed, causing communication breakdowns and project delays. The need for a more agile, integrated approach was evident to enhance both operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Streamlining Value with Cross-Functional Teams at FTD

The Solution

FTD's approach to addressing these challenges centered on the adoption of value stream aligned, cross-functional teams. This involved several key steps and strategies:

  • Reorganization into Value Streams: The company restructured its teams into value streams, aligning them with specific customer segments and products. For example, they created dedicated teams for Ecom tech and florist customers, each responsible for end-to-end delivery of related products and services.
  • Cross-Functional Integration: Each value stream team included members from UX, product management, engineering, and QA. This integration reduced the need for cross-department scheduling and improved team cohesion and accountability.
  • Agile and Functional Alignment: The primary organizational structure was agile, with functional alignment as a secondary consideration. This setup allowed for more responsive and flexible team operations, focusing on delivering customer value.
  • Technological Upgrades: FTD transitioned from Adobe Cloud to Contentful for their CMS, increasing coverage from 5% to 98%. They integrated this with their testing framework and Optimizely, enabling non-engineers to perform A/B tests and other content adjustments without engineering support.
  • Performance Metrics and Flexibility: Teams committed to quarterly growth targets rather than specific features, allowing flexibility in prioritizing tasks. This approach fostered a collaborative environment where changes could be accommodated without disrupting ongoing sprints or quarterly plans.

Outcomes achieved

The outcomes of implementing these strategies were significant and multifaceted:

  • Increased Efficiency: The replatforming to Contentful and the integration of testing tools drastically reduced the engineering workload for routine tasks. This allowed engineers to focus on developing new features and more complex testing, enhancing overall productivity.
  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: By having dedicated teams for different customer segments, FTD was able to respond more swiftly and effectively to customer needs, improving satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Improved Employee Engagement: The shift to cross-functional teams fostered a more collaborative and empowered work environment. Team members had clear ownership of their products and processes, leading to higher job satisfaction.
  • Agility and Responsiveness: The flexible, metrics-driven approach allowed FTD to adapt quickly to changing market demands and opportunities, ensuring continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Strategic Alignment: Regular communication and alignment between sales and product teams ensured that strategic goals were met without compromising agility. This balance of firm commitments and flexible execution facilitated better decision-making and resource allocation.

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