A pretty scary backlog: the dark side of managing a large-scale IT project

Something is wrong at Dodo Pizza.

We set a challenging goal for ourselves to create the world’s most advanced IT system for a retail business.

We put together an IT team of sixty developers and analytics and gave them the freedom to follow any unorthodox development practices they deemed helpful.

They all worked like crazy and built an impressive large-scale IT product that now makes it possible to manage a chain of more than 300 pizza shops and process tens of thousands of orders every day.

Yet the people inside and around the company have become, to put it mildly, pretty frustrated with their work.

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3,100 inspections a month: how we go about quality control at Dodo Pizza

A guest in Astrakhan found a piece of a finger nail in his pizza.

In Smolensk, a driver was drunk while making a delivery.

In Naberezhnye Chelny, a customer had to wait for his order for… eight hours.

I wish all that happened in places that didn’t provide their services under the name of Dodo Pizza. But they did. No point in hiding it.

Every person who tried to build a large-scale business knows that blunders are inevitable. When your organization performs thousands of operations a day, people sometimes mess up. Things happen.

The real problem appears when things happen, but you don’t have a freaking clue about it.

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Epic news: Dodo Pizza joining forces with UNO Pizza in Germany

It was a historic occurrence! Every Monday in the morning, all of our teams gather at our office for a half hour meetup. Usually, a few managers give speeches to bring everybody up to speed on the recent developments at the company. Sometimes, the floor is taken by our guests—usually our partners from other cities. But yesterday, we had the most unusual Monday meetup ever. For the first time in our history, our speaker gave his speech not in Russian, not even in English, but in German. It was Thomas Kochmann.

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Dodo Pizza in January: 115% year-over-year growth

Dodo Pizza’s new monthly report is here. Compared to December, January is a bit slower. Still, we saw pretty strong results. Here are a few highlights from the doc:

  • 16 pizza shops were opened in January; we ended the month at 297 pizzerias, with 63 more in the construction or design stages.
  • A new monthly sales record was set: $14.71 mln.
  • In Russia, the chain showed 115% year-over-year growth.

If you need more details, dig in:

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Time to grow up: Dodo Pizza’s goals for 2018

We’ve just opened our 300th pizza shop. Ta-da! To be honest, none of us can fully process this number. But we should—if we mean to stay in business.

Fast growth cannot be sustainable if you don’t evolve at an even faster pace and adapt to new challenges that present themselves when you get to the next level.

Our team has reached a landmark, and we have a feeling that the company now needs to revamp its strategy and rethink its principles.

Here is a recap of what we’re going to do differently in 2018.

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