Sweden-based Klarna provides payment services for online businesses and has made an art of simplifying the purchasing process.
Klarna’s internal planning process was not as simple. It needed a real-time planning solution to streamline and modernize manual processes and provide insight into planning impediments.
Ray Yee, a consulting project manager in the Credit Risk and Fraud Detection Department, which manages five Klarna products, explains that “planning for the department was quite challenging.” The project managers were not well versed in agile methods. They were using a traditional waterfall approach – using Smartsheet, Microsoft Excel, and Google Docs in conjunction with JIRA.
With help from Riada, one of Scandinavia’s leading Atlassian Experts, Yee introduced Portfolio for JIRA into the planning mix. Rather than planning and reporting across multiple tools that require constant manual updates, the team now uses JIRA with Portfolio for JIRA to easily combine its long-term planning and agile practices. “Planning has become much more structured and traceable since teams began using Portfolio for JIRA,” says Yee.
The team’s favorite feature is the roadmap, which gives a clear, visual picture of timelines and what’s behind them. Now when project managers and product managers are asked why things can’t be done sooner, they share the roadmap and even demonstrate what-if scenarios, such as removing scope or adding people, and the roadmap adjusts based on the changes.
“For business stakeholders and development teams, context and transparency is imperative, and Portfolio for JIRA allows me do that,” says Yee. Previously, business stakeholders were always asking: What is the plan? When are we going to finish? With Portfolio for JIRA, the answers are there in real-time, and stakeholders have access to it, so they have complete context whenever they need it.
Monthly steering group meetings have also benefitted from the switch. "It was much more effective to move away from manually creating progress and status updates. Now, I distribute a link to the plan before the meeting," saysYee.
With JIRA and Portfolio for JIRA, Klarna is successfully managing cross-team and cross-product development, realistically forecasting delivery dates, creating what-if scenario plans, showing stakeholders priority and status, and doing accurate capacity planning. This year, Yee launched Credit and Fraud products in several geographies, and the actual launch dates were very close to the forecast dates in his Portfolio plan.