Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Aug 13, 2021

This week, Dan Neumann is joined by Brian Pivar, Senior Director of Data and Analytics at The Kraft Heinz Company. There is a lot of Agile in the software community and Kraft Heinz is one of the companies practicing the Agile way.


In this episode, Brian shares extensively about his career at Kraft and how he started the digital revolution in the organization, promoting a culture change and encouraging different ways of functioning through Agile. Brian dives deep into his approach regarding recruiting and developing talent, as well as emphasizes the importance of following solid leadership principles that he details during this thoughtful conversation.


Key Takeaways

  • Brian describes how Kraft got into the Agile world
    • Brian joined Kraft three years ago to lead the Data and Analytics section with the goal of bringing analytics to a more legacy company. The first two years they had a waterfall approach, hearing the organization’s needs and prioritizing the top ones while building a strong data foundation and team.
    • One year ago, Kraft started the Digital Revolution journey and part of it was starting to run Agile in the digital organization.
    • Now ten pods are running Agile with over 100 people,  and Kraft is planning to double these numbers in one year.
    • There is a plan to extend Agile to other sectors of the organization.
  • How did Kraft get support for the timeline they proposed?
    • The board of directors was the one supporting the migration to become a more digital organization from the beginning.
    • There is a five-year road map, if you try to rush the process it won’t be successful.
  • What are the aspects where alignment is needed? How to enable a team to respond to a local context?
    • Some of the staff have the technical knowledge and they are learning more about Agile in the process, through meetings and effective communication.
    • All the conversion to Agile and digitalization was done virtually, based on collaboration among staff, not always following Scrum.
    • Listening to every idea is crucial to know what will and won’t work for a team.
  • How does Kraft enable a unique culture?
    • Brian was hired to enable a culture change.
    • Brian protects his team by stating how they will perform in a different way than the rest of the organization, following solid leadership principles in micro and macro levels: 1. Family first. 2. Hiring develops the best. 3. Big bold bets. 4. Let builders build. 5. Best idea wins. 6. Ownership. 7. Learn and be curious. 8. Lead by example. 9. Validated learning.
    • At Kraft, they built a structure for builders, from an Associate Data Scientist to Data Scientist, Senior Data Scientist, Staff Data Scientist until Principal Data Scientist, this last one being a highly regarded position. They are also making the transition easier for those who want a pivot in their careers.
  • Recruiting and developing talent
    • Brian’s five-year plan includes making Kraft be seen as a tech company, not just a CPG company.
    • Hiring young talent and developing it within the organization once the company has hit a steady stage.
    • The culture is impacted by people working from their homes and not in an office with all the teammates, and Kraft adapted to these new circumstances through a buddy system.


Mentioned in this Episode:

Kraft Heinz Company

Brian Pivar

Your Next Five Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy, Patrick Bet-David


Want to Learn More or Get in Touch?

Visit the website and catch up with all the episodes on!

Email your thoughts or suggestions to or Tweet @AgileThought using #AgileThoughtPodcast!