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Azbuka Vkusa
13,000 employees

How we accelerated the launch of new products by 2.5 times and increased overall efficiency by 400% while maintaining colleague loyalty

article about working on this project

What was the problem about?

It can now be acknowledged that until recently, the launches of new services at "Azbuka Vkusa" were happening quite slowly. In 2019, we conducted a Time to Market analysis and realized that we needed to transition to more efficient management methods.

According to McKinsey, 70% of all transformations fail. The most common reasons, according to research, are disengaged top management and a lack of preparation and motivation among employees. When it comes to the retail industry, according to another study conducted by PБK, 59% of retailers believe that digital transformation is important or critically important for the survival of their companies, but only about 3% of retail representatives have actually completed digital transformation projects.

Situation Analysis

When I joined the company, "Agile" was just a buzzword for many colleagues, and the word "product" was mostly associated with food on the shelf.

Some advanced teams had tried Scrum and Kanban, but without a systematic approach throughout the entire company, these experiments had little to no impact on overall efficiency. We had started using Jira, but it was challenging to get all departments interested in transitioning to the new system.

My task was to initiate a transformation and, first and foremost, reduce Time to Market. For this, I chose the SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) methodology, which allows a progressive and careful scaling of Agile principles across the entire company.

Work Process

The rules for launching a new product are simple: together with all participants of the "change team," from marketers to testers, we need to outline an 8-week work plan to synchronize calendars and backlogs.
This happens during BPI (Business Program Increment) sessions and PI (Program Increment) planning sessions, which are part of the SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) methodology. It greatly influences motivation: people can see a real goal and measurable results in the context of the overall company development strategy.

The main objective of PI planning (we conduct these sessions 5 times a year) is to understand what we should focus on right now. Is it crucial for us to create a landing page for the concierge service or launch Click & Collect? Which customer needs are more prioritized, and which activities will generate more business value?

All of this involves flexible methodologies, new budgeting and tracking approaches at the value stream level, enabling us to make informed management decisions. For day-to-day work, we have the daily scrum - status synchronization meetings that last no longer than 15 minutes.
This way, we have moved away from numerous meetings that are typical in a project-oriented approach, where 80% of the meetings are work-related discussions about current tasks, while the world around us may have already changed, and the initial plan no longer aligns with reality. For example, when we were preparing to launch micro-markets, the idea of having refrigerators with our products and food in offices sounded promising. But then the pandemic happened, offices closed, and the product became irrelevant - we had to quickly relocate the micro-markets to residential complexes.
When we mapped the user journey for the Click & Collect project, we realized how many systems and people responsible for those systems you have to go through to make the changes happen. And first, you need to know who those employees are. During the initial face-to-face planning meeting, we got acquainted with 40 people - those who were directly involved in the development of the online store and loyalty program. This improved transparency and collaboration


By transitioning to Agile, we established regular cross-functional teamwork across various business units, from IT to commercial management to logistics, fully synchronizing them both in terms of long-term goals and day-to-day tasks.

As a result, over the past 2 years, we have improved existing products and introduced new ones to the market. The concierge service and Click & Collect, OMC, holiday and farmer platforms, micro-markets, the major relaunch of the "TasteMania" app, and much more — these are all successful examples of Agile-driven services. Currently, we have 17 new initiatives in development.
  • 85% annually
    average achievement of strategic goals
  • 2.5 times
    reduction in Time to Market
  • 400%
    increase in productivity
  • 10%
    improvement in quality
  • 50%
    increase in eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score)

365,000 employees

Progress of Work

In March, Magnit implemented BPI (Business Program Increment) planning at the strategic level. This became the first strategic step in adopting an Agile approach to managing strategic initiatives and team collaboration across the entire company.

As a result, everyone managed to reach an agreement and effectively "package" a large volume of work within eight weeks, establishing the right level of interaction. More than 100 people participated in the first BPI planning session, including representatives from various teams, top and middle management.

Active participation was taken by employees from the Operations department, Format Management for category management, Brand Management, Customer Research divisions, the Investment and Strategic Projects Directorate, and Logistics.

In 2022, the productivity of goal achievement was increased by 345%.

Results in Numbers:

  • 85% per year
    average achievement of strategic goals
  • 345%
    increase in productivity
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