DICK’S Sporting Goods Adopts the Rituals of a Product-driven, Digital Culture

November 1, 2018

DICK’S Sporting Goods has come a long way since 1948 when founder Dick Stack's grandmother gave him $300 to start a fish tackle store. Some years ago, the bricks-and-mortar company, which brings in more than $8B in annual sales, saw the urgency of becoming a 24-hour retailer offering a great e-commerce experience. Two technology leaders from DICK’S, Jay Piskorik, Director of Platform Engineering, and J. P. White, Director of Engineering, sat with Jeff Kelly to discuss a seminal period, when after a focused transition brought core products, platforms and teams in-house, the company realized it had the building blocks, but not the outcomes and continuous innovation that would differentiate themselves with customers.

Piskorik's platform team is central to its transition, and he recounts its evolution from the conventions of waterfall to developer and product teams that collaborate and share ownership of a product. In failing fast, adapting, and moving key decisions from top-down to bottoms-up, Piskorik's team stood up Pivotal Cloud Foundry in two weeks, cut meeting times by two-thirds, greatly accelerated patches and upgrades, and cut down delivery from months to hours.

J.P. White adds learnings on the journey to agile – in starting small with dojos to adopt the platform, to working with Pivotal Labs to scale the methods. This included listening to store associates to build products that help them with customers, the snowball effects of application transformation, and culture change, as teams jumped in and recast everything from office workspaces to how collaborate as product teams. What's next? More of the same.


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