winged victory

Asia Pacific Region Advertising Product Support

Year: 2007 - 2014
Type: technical support
Keywords: SEM, display advertising, Agile, productivity, technical support, Asia region, incident support, process innovation, kanban, KPIs, performance management

The Challenge

In an environment of tightened budgets, global clients, and dynamic product introduction, Yahoo, the global internet advertising player, needed an employee for technical support team leadership in the Asia region. By the numbers, the environment consisted of over a dozen products to support, dozens of tools to use, hundreds of customers, and thousands of servers in production.

The Solution

The role began with mostly search advertising products supported, and ended with mostly display advertising products. For most of the period in-between, both classes of products were under the team's support. Staff size grew from a single engineer to 8. Their locations varied between Asia region offices, with usually 3 different locations represented on the team. The scope was support of bug tickets, central technology team representation, and incident / outage support.

The Asia team's processed inherited some direction from global team management, however details were established locally. The general flow was to escalate product defects to developers and operations engineers. Each support ticket was treated as a project to manage through to resolution. Most of the support work was managed through the central ticketing system; the non-support work was managed locally through a team kanban.

Executives and product managers were given reports and insights on product and system details and Asia customer product requirements.

On the performance management front, team KPIs were established, managed, and reported.

See the White Paper Agile Technical Support for a detailed discussion of Agile methods being applied in this setting, and general recommendations for streamlining tech support.


This team in Asia led other teams in performance against SLAs in every quarter measured, including the last 6 through the end of the engagement, and in lowest staff turnover (7% /year).

The team's process discipline and Agile methods emphasis resulted in the best resolution times on support tickets in every quarter measured, especially the last 4. Internal throughput metrics improved 16x. Overall issue resolution times were also greatly improved: tickets were resolved nearly twice as fast as the old way.

Process innovation was the norm as the team pushed the envelope of productivity: new products, new training, new teamwork enhancements.

All the while, customers remained satisfied, and team morale improved considerably.


To help our customers succeed in international technology projects and decisions. We retain focus on the long-term view and believe that if you succeed, we succeed.