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Radford Software specialise in inventory and traceability software applications for the horticultural sector. Their wide-ranging software solutions cover the full lifecycle of fresh produce from orchard to packhouse to consumer.
Initially one of eight software providers to the post-harvest kiwifruit industry, they are now the only independent software supplier in that category. Based in Tauranga in New Zealand, their software solutions are used in a multitude of categories all over New Zealand and internationally.
As the company grew, founder and owner, Phil Radford saw an opportunity for both technical and people efficiency gains. Specifically, he wanted to see improvement in their time to market, their quality, and to simplify their product offering.
The Radford team began to investigate how the company might be able to make some positive change, and they sought inspiration from the Theory of Constraints management model. The model views any manageable system as being limited in achieving more of its goals by a very small number of constraints. There is always at least one constraint, and the theory uses a focusing process to identify the constraint and to restructure the rest of the organisation around it.
While the theory resonated, there was a gap in terms of how it was going to be applied. They understood their blockages and their core issues around interruptions and inefficiencies, but they weren’t quite sure how to go about fixing these constraints. During their research, an Agile approach was investigated and it ticked a number of boxes in terms of what the team were trying to achieve.
Seeking a partner to help build their internal capability, Radford engaged SoftEd to assist them with their Agile transformation. The SoftEd team worked with Radford to review where the company was, what their goals were, and then designed a roadmap for change. The assessment identified that training and coaching were required, so we delivered both Introduction to Agile and Agile Fundamentals training courses for the project and wider teams, and then worked with the project teams to embed best practice for their agility going forward.
The Radford team have made major gains in maturing their Agile projects and adopting an Agile approach within their wider business. There is more clarity between project teams and clearer communication and collaboration within teams. The clarity around what’s required has seen direct improvements with iteration planning and everyone is now working together to set a test criteria before work has started. This has lifted quality and reduced testing time to ensure a better product delivered quicker than ever before.
Not only have improvements been made in quality and time to market, but the team morale and confidence have built a really strong culture of value.