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How we used Event Storming to improve a PIM process

In a recent project we facilitated several event storming workshops for a successful e-commerce firm to improve their product information management process (PIM). This client handles nearly a million SKUs, frequently updating them from a diverse group of suppliers. The goal was to:

  • decrease time to market for new products

  • improve the quality of the product information

  • improve internal work processes

Before new products can be published in the online store, product information must be captured, enriched and reviewed in multiple process steps like:

  • Product data retrieved from suppliers

  • Data verified for minimum requirements

  • Data transformed to a common structure

  • Data enriched with additional product information, such as images, videos, marketing copy, size charts, supplier information, etc.

To decrease time to market we looked for opportunities to increase the level of automation. Here it's crucial to engage the different teams and individuals that are responsible for the outcome of each step. Example of teams involved:

  • Data Manager

  • The Content Integration Specialist team

  • The Content Production Specialist team

Event Storming is the perfect tool when attacking complex business problems that involve multiple steps and multiple teams. It's designed to for bringing domain experts and engineers together to learn from each other and align on the way forward.

We planned a series of Event Storming workshops, each with around 10 participants from various departments. We started with a "blank sheet" in Qlerify prepared with a standard Event Storming notation, which means card types for: Problems/Hot spots, Opportunities and Systems and lanes for roles.

Just like we've experienced many times before, Event Storming quickly engaged the participants and got people involved. The discussions became very productive and focused as we mapped out and documented all events and roles in real-time. All while collaborating around problems and improvements.

After only one hour we had captured the main flow and started digging into sub flows. After another hour we could summarise the results, we had reached consensus around the most important problems to prioritise.

In the past, this outcome usually took weeks to reach. Thanks to Event Storming and Qlerify we achieved the desired results in a few working days, saving 80% of the time! As a positive side effect: communication between departments improved. Before we used Event Storming, people were often talking past each other having different mental images of the organisation. Event Storming, creates a common understanding of the organisation and consensus around priorities.

Get in touch if you would like to know more about Event Storming or Qlerify!



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