A young and promising startup is acquired by big incumbent. The one born agile in a fury of chaos and genius is to be integrated into a well structured and large operation. How to fuse the two together without destroying the soul and spirit that made the aquisition an attractive buy in the first place.
Scalado was aquired by our client in 2012. The company was focused on building state of the art Imaging software that had made its way onto a staggering 930 million devices. As the client ramped up production of Windows Phones they saw the need for Scalado's technology and expertise in order to build a superior Imaging experience. This had been a key point of differentiation with flagship models like the 808 PureView and later Lumia 1020.
We had been working with the client in supporting their Product development processes and tooling. There needed to be joint planning put in place and we were assigned with the task.We were to concept the solution with management and key stakeholders, configure the needed tooling and provide training and coaching to the teams.
There was a desire from the client's management to provide adequate autonomy but we needed to get everyone on the same page. A lot of the work between the client's teams and Scalado teams needed to be highly integrated which meant a high level of collaboration. The was very different tooling in place within Scalado and a lot less structured working practices.
The client's Management focused on empowering people to build great products. They were flexible and willing to learn. The project managers from Scalado were highly professional and were open to integrating and developing common ways of working. They understood the added complexity that scaled product development brought and saw value in the processes and a methodical approach. We didn't try to integrate everything but found the right level of common planning and adapted things as we went along.
Mutual respect and a spirit of cooperation go a long way to enabling orgainzations with different cultures and skills to integrate. The client had created a vision that everyone had bought into, and a way of working that was focused on learning and iterative improvement. We integrated and worked commonly where we needed to but gave autonomy to the teams to organize their work in the way that worked best for them. Not all aquisitions go so well but this one was an exception.