top of page
  • Sydney Lego

The Creation of John Deere's Agile Operating Model - Case Study


John Deere


John Deere has produced farm and construction equipment with increasing technical capabilities for over 185+ years.  In 2019 John Deere launched a ways of working and agile transformation in their Global IT group, using an Agile Operating Model.  

Before John Deere’s transformation their organisation only consisted of localised Agile teams, with most project teams being measured on time, scope, and budget.  Managers directed and prioritised work for their teams, which was often dictated by substantial up-front business analysis and portfolio management processes.  Project teams were far from customer feedback and interaction and were burdened with multiple handoffs ultimately slowing down their time-to-market.


Struggled to evolve quickly enough to meet fast changing market needs


  1. Focused on transforming 3 area:

    1. What we work on - Product mindset and structure, think about value and how to innovate, and think about customers in unique ways

    2. How we work - What frameworks should be used, what is the mindset, how to manage investments, how to talk about total cost of product ownership, and what are the team topologies and roles going forward

    3. Our foundation - How to invest in people and tech to be equipped to succeed

  2. Shifted product team mindsets' to holistically focus on:

    1. User experience - Building products that are usable and enjoyable

    2. Product management - Know customers and problems they are trying to solve

    3. Engineering -  Are the right products being built and are they resilient, flexible, and quality

    4. Agile - Building products with smallest increments to get the most value and being operationally nimble

  3. Developed an immersive learning environment, with Scrum Masters and Agile coaches, called The Foundry to train and aid teams with real work while focusing on the four mindset disciplines. Teams' success was measure using Ten Immersion Principles:

    1. Fast value flows in systems 

    2. Amplify feedback loops

    3. Learning organisation

    4. Deliver value in small increments

    5. Customer centric

    6. Continuous improvement

    7. Big and visible

    8. Team is predictable

    9. Data driven decisions

    10. Culture of experimentation

  4. Implemented transformation coaching through 20-week waves, which focused on vertical slices of teams from senior leadership to individual teams.  The first 10-weeks focused on preparation including reorganisation to persistent product teams, training in mindsets, and product prep.  The second 10-weeks focused on immersion including coaching using real work to introduce new WoW.

  5. Measure for outcomes of value, quality, delivery, security, and people.


  • Better

    • Transformed 500 teams

  • Value

    • Achieve ROI > 100%

  • Sooner

    • 3x increase in output (throughput)

    • 60% decrease in time to market

    • 4x increase in deployment frequency

  • Happier

    • +68 team eNPS

    • 77.7% engineering ratio


bottom of page