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Helping the WD-40 Company deliver slicker IT

Stephen Morris
23 August 18 Agile
Helping the WD-40 Company deliver slicker IT
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Helping the WD-40 Company deliver slicker IT

When the WD-40 Company needed to improve its IT project delivery, it turned to Adaptavist. The result was a highly successful engagement to implement Agile within its IT teams.


The WD-40 Company needs no introduction. Anytime someone needs a household lubricant they ask for “WD-40”. As a result, the company trades in 176 countries and posted global net sales worth $380.5m in 2017.

A better relationship between IT and the business?

Running less smoothly, however, was WD-40 Company’s IT project delivery. When Doug Cyphers joined as Director of IT Strategy and Leadership for Americas and AsiaPac in November 2017, he identified that Jira had been purchased but wasn’t being used. IT project execution was opaque with no one knowing when projects would deliver. Relationships between IT and the business were suffering as a result. Doug decided the remedy would be to put a better IT project management methodology and toolkit in place.

Why and how to take an Agile approach

Doug initially worked with his four IT teams on putting together a proposal and identifying the key deliverables. Adaptavist then got on board, working with Doug to define terminology and process flows. We then delivered presentations to each of the IT teams on why and how to adopt an Agile approach, and how to use Jira to support it.

Implement Agile to meet your specific needs 

Follow up meetings were held to answer questions and provide demonstrations and explanations of how the toolset worked. We also created spaces in Confluence and projects in Jira to help the teams break work down and track it. Throughout the process, clear and open communication was vital. The WD-40 teams were able to ask questions and I attended bi-weekly meetings which meant we could make changes to the set-up. We worked closely to identify solutions that would optimise Jira for WD-40 and bend the Agile framework to meet the unique needs of each of their teams.

A genuinely collaborative engagement

Doug called the implementation one of the fastest adoptions of Agile and Jira he’s ever seen. The IT teams were encouraged to make Agile their own and, for that reason, it’s been adopted with enthusiasm. Doug credits Adaptavist’s “genuinely collaborative approach” - as well as our responsiveness and flexibility - for helping make that happen.

To find out more about the project and its results, read the full case study here.

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