Setting the foundations of a robust and sustainable Agile factory

Our client, a Swiss real-estate company, imagined and raised from the ground up a new high-end and high-tech business building concept: The Millennium Center, located in Crissier in the Lausanne area.

Their mission is to offer an exceptional work experience accompanied by innovative digital services. More than just a place to work, the Millennium is a place to live for its “resident”, with dedicated spaces for social networking, events, leisure, culture, and relaxation.

 

The heart of this building and its outstanding experience is a mobile app, MyMillennium, central access point to all services within the building. Offering a high-quality app with first-class user experience doesn't come easy. Particularly when on one hand there are many heterogeneous systems planned to be integrated, and on the second hand, the organization and team are in their premises of being formed and set up.

OpenWT supported Millennium with the setup and structuration of (1) an Agile team and (2) the foundation of an Agile factory and its processes to deliver continuously and improve their solution.

Agile to move swiftly from vision to reality

When it all started and the Millennium was still in an embryonic stage, our Client had a broad idea of their end product and how they would best serve their future customers. Therefore, we initially helped to conceptualize their future app through a Blueprint. This approach supported by our proven methodology brought a clear and tangible concept documented by a roadmap and the initial development backlog… it was then time to put some hands in the code and move from the concept to the reality.

 

Given that our Client did not have yet an Agile team nor an Agile project organization, we assisted in setting up the proper foundations with a clear plan to bring them to full project autonomy. We started by setting up a suitable team bringing together their resources and our resources into relevant roles such as a Product Owner, a Front End developer, an Architect, a Back-end developer, a UX/UI Designer, a Scrum Master, and a Business Analyst.

Agile to serve excellence

With a team ready to handle all challenges the project would bring, we implemented a first version of an Agile factory and methodology. Using Azure DevOps to support the various project artifacts, we structured the project and its pipelines to maximize efficiency and productivity. A major part of the Agile methodology and factory, processes and guidelines were clearly defined and communicated to allow the team to operate in the best conditions, supported by the various ceremonies in place.

 

The team rapidly adopted a steady pace to specify business needs, adapt to changing requirements and priorities, and deliver valued user stories thanks to the support and coaching of the OpenWT team members. With a continuous improvement mindset, we constantly provided our expertise in improving some processes. For instance, leveraging Microsoft Azure Pipelines to enable one-click deployment to get rid of time repetitive tasks, or using RabbitMQ for monitoring and identifying quickly issues to take the necessary measures in due time. These improvements reducing time-consuming tasks provided an opportunity for the team to focus on code quality and app performance.

As the Client team grew and gained maturity with the Agile framework and methodology, the artifacts such as the DoR (Definition of Ready) and DoD (Definition of Done) also evolved accordingly to reflect the different steps of definition, development, testing, and deployment.

Agile is before all a mindset

In just a few months, our Client fully acquired the Agile methodology and included their business stakeholders in the process to manage and arbitrate the priorities in terms of services and features. Our Client has been Agile not only with their product development, but also with its way of implementing the methodology within their organization. Today our Client masters its Agile factory to deliver high-value features to its customers and its business stakeholders.

 

A key takeaway from this case is that being Agile is not only a methodology, or framework, meant for the development of a product, but it is a mindset that can be leveraged for any objective or mission.

It is about starting with what is achievable and growing as we learned and get new insights.

Agile is a project management approach developed as a more flexible and efficient way to get products to market. This approach is widely adopted in the IT field as it allows a team to adapt faster and easier compared to other project methodologies, such as waterfall approach. It relies on the capacity of a team to work incrementally and deliver frequently usable products that can be validated by the business.

8

Members in the agile team

7000

Tasks or tickets taken care of in 36 sprints

10+

Micro-services implemented in the backend

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