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Lappset built a mammoth using agile methods

Lappset Group Oy is a Finnish family business from Lapland whose long history began as early as 1970. With over 50 years of experience, Lappset creates play and exercise experiences for all ages. By creating fun, inspiring and positively surprising operating environments, Lappset helps people stay active today and be stronger tomorrow.

Taskmill and Lappset started working together in February 2022, when Lappset wanted to find out how to utilize agile methods in its product development projects. The company’s goal was to speed up the time-to-market cycle of product development, and agile methods were seen as the best way to reach this goal. Lappset believed that if the teams were able to focus better on the tasks prioritized at any given time, they could achieve the goals of product development projects faster and with better quality.

Lappset starts using the Scrum-method in their product development

A few years ago, Lappset’s unit in the Netherlands already successfully implemented the Scrum method in the product development of interactive products. Now they wanted to use Scrum in other parts of the organization’s product development as well, and Taskmill was asked to support the implementation of this method.

“We started quickly. Lappset had already selected a pilot team, whose Scrum Master was very enthusiastic about the opportunity to use agile methods. Together with Laura, we planned how to get started in practice. We ended up facilitating a short basic training for the pilot team and after that we focused on learning by doing. By combining theory with work in practice, we were able to quickly see how Scrum suits Lappset’s product development in Rovaniemi,” says Taskmill’s Maija Särkijärvi, who acted as an Agile Coach.

Using sprints brings peace of mind

“Already in the retrospective of the first sprint, the team said that the implementation of Scrum had significantly clarified work, helped focus on what is essential and given peace of mind at the workplace”, says Laura Helgers, Lappset’s Scrum Master.

The rest of the organization also quickly learned that the pilot team works in two-week cycles and non-acute needs are taken to the backlog to be prioritized among other tasks. From the beginning, the team also reserved time for urgent tasks.

Agile practices are scaled

After a successful pilot of a few months, the other product development team also switched to using the agile model. The Finnish and Dutch Scrum Masters also began holding regular cooperation meetings to share experiences and ponder on what the teams can learn from each other.

“It’s great that Taskmill has been helping us implement the Scrum framework and modify our operating model to suit our company. The introduction of agile methods has helped us prioritize things more accurately and complete tasks and projects more efficiently and faster.”, says Erkki Ikäheimo, Lappset’s director of product development.

“It has been wonderful to work with the teams at Lappset. From the beginning, they have been eager to learn and try new things. It is also great to see that Scrum – familiar from the IT world – also works in a completely different world. For me, the most interesting things have been, for example, the demos of the teams at the end of the sprints. The product development that progressed during the sprint has been innovatively presented with the help of e.g. videos and photos. It’s amazing to see the construction of the products from designs to prototypes all the way to a complete package delivered to the customer, for example in the form of a playground mammoth!”, says Maija Särkijärvi.

The truth comes out of children’s mouths

Lappset is an innovative company with the world’s largest selection of traditional and interactive playground and exercise equipment. In addition to safety and responsibility, the company puts customer experience at the center of its operations: the best feedback comes from the users themselves. As the old saying goes, the truth comes out of children’s mouths, and children’s feedback is listened to particularly carefully at Lappset.

A picture of the mammoth will be published after Lappset releases it in the summer 2023.

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