At the start of its agile transition, the working methods of the Infra teams at the Netherlands’ ICT Implementation Service (DICTU) were not a good fit. The infrastructure services division had little automation and standardization, there was insufficient coordination within the various chains, and Infra did not follow the rhythm of the software production teams. This proved inconvenient because the agile working software production teams were not getting the fast, agile service that is needed. The available man capacity was also not used efficiently, and unnecessary, time-consuming activities had to be stopped. It was, therefore, vital to get to know other teams, customers, and stakeholders in the Infra chain better. Eraneos was asked to help the company do exactly that.
We opted for an agile transition approach, which started with basic agile and DevOps training for all employees within the division. The actual transition plan was divided into five steps and ran parallel to the transition of the software production teams. This five-step plan was as follows:
- Composition of the Infra team
- Scope of the Infra team
- Creating a backlog
- Making working agreements (stand-ups, retros, demos, refinements, sprint planning)
- Coaching the teams during the sprints.
As part of the reorganization of Infra, 17 teams were put together, each with a product owner, scrum master, and five team leaders.
The ICT Implementation Service (DICTU) is a government-wide ICT service provider for subsidy systems, registration management, and inspection services. It provides IT for approximately 14,000 different workplaces while its web team develops websites, apps, intranet environments, e-learning, and access services such as DigiD for various implementing organizations.
The introduction of agile at the DICTU has led to many changes in the company’s workplace. There are now teams around Infrastructure services that have embraced the scrum framework and are working with a prioritized backlog, a product owner, and a scrum master. As a result, there is more insight into planned and unplanned work, teams have started to act more independently and management was able to let go of its operational role and focus more on facilitating these teams.
With this agile approach, the predictability of the delivery and the insight into the amount of work of the infrastructure services division has also increased. There’s been more control of the workload within teams, which helps make it much clearer for customers which priority choices they must make jointly, increasing the value of the infrastructure services provided.
The coordination between the various Infra teams has also improved, as have the agreements they have made.