Agile Coach at Game and App Development Company Bazookas(Cronos) in Bruges Center.
The Game and App development company Bazookas, once situated in the lively center of Bruges, is characterized by its local and dynamic nature. With a young and playful team, they strive for success in the realms of Games, Web, and Mobile Application development. Their clients, including prominent names like Club Brugge, Plopsaland, and NMBS, testify to the impactful projects they undertake. However, despite their promising projects, they face challenges with client relationships, financially draining projects, and hindrances caused by a project/account manager acting as a bottleneck.
Additionally, they grapple with chaos, last-minute changes, and bugs that jeopardize their projects. Work is occasionally delayed, and individual developers find themselves working on weekends to meet deadlines. Despite holding stand-ups and planning meetings, there are multiple backlogs in Jira, complicating the overall project overview.
To begin with, we entrusted the planning and direction to the teams, working closely with the Product Owners (PO’s). The PO’s determine what needs development, while the teams are responsible for how and when it happens. This has resulted in enhanced engagement and collaboration within the teams.
To support the teams, we appointed Team Coaches, focusing on the well-being and performance of individual teams (Squads). Additionally, we shifted the focus from individual work to teamwork, with teams committing to shared goals.
A crucial step was the implementation of one backlog in Jira per team, significantly improving transparency and task clarity. We also opted for Test-Driven Development (TDD) as a consistent way of working and planning, contributing to the reduction of last-minute changes and bugs.
A standard process has been agreed upon to determine when something is ready for development and when something is considered completed. Fixed iterations, such as one-week sprints with daily stand-ups, ensure regularity and predictability. We built in margin for unforeseen issues and support to avoid overloading work schedules.
Clear roles and responsibilities have been established, with a Product Owner representing the client, a Team Coach supporting the team, and a Development Team consisting of Mobile, Web, and Games Developers, along with an Architect. To enhance communication with the client, an Analyst/Tester has been added.
Agreements are now focused on defining when something is ready for development and when something is genuinely completed, aligning with team sprints and not in between. Clear agreements have also been made regarding the impact of changes.
Ultimately, a streamlined process has been achieved with improved client relations, profitable projects, and higher satisfaction from both the team and the client.
Agile Coach at EuroControl - Air Traffic Control Software,Brussels Airport
EuroControl, a multinational of substantial scale, faces the challenge of managing air traffic control software in a complex environment. The organization handles a considerable volume of work through various input channels, including Change Requests, projects, and more. With numerous departments and programs, EuroControl is currently engaged in a large program where five teams collaborate. However, the persistent issues of a high number of bugs, limited deliveries, and the implementation of the SAFe framework two years ago have led to the need for an Agile Coach to drive improvements.
As an Agile Coach for EuroControl, I have developed the following solutions to address the current challenges:
User Stories and Epics in One Backlog:
All User Stories and Epics have been consolidated into a clear and comprehensive backlog. This enables prioritization based on business priorities, providing teams with a clear understanding of what needs to be delivered.
Prioritizing According to Business Priorities:
The prioritization of tasks has been adjusted to better align with overarching business priorities. This involves breaking down Epics into Features and identifying Enablers, which are then added to the backlog.
Calculating Capacity and Establishing Velocity:
To set realistic goals, the capacity of each team is calculated, and Velocity is established. This empowers teams to create realistic expectations and contribute to achieving program objectives.
Release Planning and Mapping:
A Release Map is created with Final Estimations, clearly defining Features per Program Increment (PI) and Release. This planning allows teams to work systematically towards short and long-term goals.
Each individual team is assigned specific responsibilities for Features within the program. This establishes a clear structure and ensures a more equitable distribution of tasks.
By implementing these solutions, our aim is to enhance efficiency, improve software quality, and strengthen collaboration among teams. The focus is on achieving measurable results and optimising the development processes within the program.
Agile Coach for Deloitte Belgium - Project E-Dreams "Vnext" Ghent, Antwerp & Zaventem (Belgium)
Deloitte, a leading consultancy firm in Belgium, is facing a challenge with the Sharepoint team and the project named E-Dreams "Vnext." Currently, there is a large team of 15 people, with half of them located in India. Five internal departments act as stakeholders, and a single Project Manager oversees the entire project. Despite the implementation of Scrum two years ago, the project is in a critical phase: promised for delivery in July 2017, yet to date, not a single line of code has been written.
A significant communication problem is that the technical refactoring of Sharepoint has been communicated to the Business without concrete specifications about new features. Only a high-level estimation based on person-days has taken place, upon which the current deadline is based. There is no clarity on the scope to be delivered in July or what will follow thereafter. Stand-ups frequently extend to an hour or longer, the backlog is disorganized and unstructured, and there are no demos or sprint reviews for the business.
As an Agile Coach for Deloitte Belgium, I have proposed the following solutions:
Minimal Viable Product (MVP)
There is an urgent need to focus on specific features of the MVP. Incremental and iterative development is essential to prevent developing all functions simultaneously.
Given the crucial role of Data Migration for delivering the MVP, we cannot wait until the end of the project to start this. A Proof of Concept is developed based on data requirements, and migration begins after version 1.0.
We must concentrate on showcasing features to the business and engaging in dialogue. This means actively involving stakeholders in the process.
Fully Implement Scrum and Unified Backlog:
Implement Scrum fully with a single backlog containing Epics, Features, and User Stories. This provides a structured overview of all tasks and simplifies prioritization.
First Public Sprint Review:
Organize the first public Sprint Review for stakeholders to better manage expectations and communicate progress.
Subteams and Collaboration:
Establish two sub teams and have them collaborate on a shared plan. This will promote efficiency and improve communication among team members, regardless of their geographical location.
With these proposed solutions, we have established a streamlined development process, clear communication and feedback from the business, and a rapid delivery of the Minimal Viable Product.
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