Agile Consulting / Customer Story

From hardware company to a world-class software company

Since 2008, TomTom suffered from the market decline of PNDs. TomTom was aware it needed to transition from an excellent hardware company to a world-class software company, but also needed to step up its game to remain market leader. You will learn how we helped TomTom realize shorter innovation cycles and better market responsiveness.


Moving faster to stay market leader and to Innovate continuously


Increase the Speed of product delivery


Roll out safe to improve delivery, ownership and teamwork

To win, you need to come first

TomTom is a global leader in navigation and mapping products. Since 2004 this multinational sold over 75 million Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) and made real-time traffic information services available in 37 countries. TomTom delivers maps that already cover 118 countries, reaching more than 4 billion people. With a total of 4,000 employees, 80 teams are responsible for the development and innovation of TomTom’s products.

"We realized change was crucial, and it was clear that the Agile way of working, especially SAFe, would be essential for shorter cycle times and to bring innovation to the market faster."

Han Schaminee, SVP Location Technology Products, TomTom

Navigating the road to success together

We initially helped TomTom’s Navigation product unit adopt the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®), which resulted in them being able to deliver the completely new PND Go500 within a year, and with the best quality at introduction ever. This excellent result quickly triggered other units to follow. A large scale program was initiated to “Roll out more SAFe®!” together: a challenging journey that involved improving product ownership, delivery, and collaboration among 80 teams in multiple locations.

SAFe® and Product management became TomTom’s leading change pillars

Xebia managed the entire rollout, starting with coaching a small number of teams. As the number of teams increased, the need for an overall transition board grew. This new board was created and consisted of both TomTom (team) managers and Xebian consultants. After a few months, the intensified collaboration proved to be a winning formula. The next step was for TomTom to promote the SAFe® change program to the World Class Software Program (WCSP). The WCSP had three clear goals to achieve for the organization: ‘Clear Ownership,’ ‘Continuous Improvement Mindset’ and ‘World Class Software Practices.’ To achieve these ambitious goals, the WCSP had defined four pillars:

  1. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®), an organizational-wide rollout
  2. Product management; required improvement, a key role for a product company like TomTom
  3. Craftsmanship; how to do design, code, and review software with the right quality
  4. Human resources; best practices in hiring and retaining talent as well as in leadership

Due to the promotion of the SAFe® program to the WCSP and the involvement of multiple product units across the world, a new governance model was required. We helped create a cross-unit collaboration on both team and management level for pillar one and two. Additionally, to make the WCSP a success, TomTom set up a steering committee with representatives from all product units and owners for each pillar, who met every 4 to 6 weeks.

Xebia ensures TomTom’s own capability of Continuous Improvement

An essential precondition for TomTom was to be able to facilitate Agile Continuous Improvement without external support. Therefore we trained and prepared the internal coaches (30 people) to become World-Class Software Program Ambassadors. The training included the specifics of SAFe®, change management, dealing with resistance, and how to make change happen within TomTom. We also provided coaching and training for 80 teams worldwide. In this daily collaboration, our relationship grew based on trust and easy communication. And that’s not all; we also saw productivity, predictability, and product quality significantly improve.

Impressive results put TomTom back on the ‘map’

The results of the World Class Software Program so far:

  • Before rolling out SAFe®, it took one year to integrate released components/features into product delivery, and now this is done within three weeks. TomTom’s ambition is for this to be just two days.
  • 50% more features released; in the last 6 months, all features were delivered as planned, while more than half of the roadmap changed based on customer feedback and evolving market insights. The understanding of what to expect from product management has increased significantly in the whole organization.

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