Transforming IT for sustainability
By Reinier Kersbergen & Simon Atteveld
Our client is a major player in the recycling and waste processing industry in The Netherlands and Belgium. They are on a mission to become an industry leader in the circular economy, processing waste into valuable raw materials.
What they asked
The client has asked Highberg (formally known als BlinkLane) to consult and bring in expertise on the following areas:
- Define and co-create a new target operating model for the IT department and give advice and feedback on it from an Agility perspective;
- Define and co-create the change implementation plan for the Agile Transformation. This includes consulting on: Communication, Design, Rollout, Training & Coaching;
- Drive the implementation of the new Agile way of working.
Positioning the Highberg team
The Highberg team consisted of Eelco Rustenburg (partner), Reinier Kersbergen (senior consultant) and Simon Atteveld (consultant). The team made a clear distinction in roles: Eelco as a support to assist or advice where needed, Reinier as lead for the transformation on tactical and strategic level and Simon as facilitator for the transformation on team level. By joining forces and making a clear division of roles, Highberg can deliver the most value to the client.
“This is my first assignment at Highberg and I am learning so much. Especially because I am directly involved in the transformation” - Simon
What we’ve been doing
Together with the client, Highberg started with an assessment to investigate which IT challenges the client has throughout the organization. The challenges of the clients resulted in their inability to adapt to both internal and external changes. This resulted in unpredictability of their operations and late market deliveries. After the challenges have been identified, opportunities for improvements have been explored and an Agile scaling model has been chosen and adapted to the needs of the client.
“Our sponsor was willing to change, directly from day one. This allowed us to make an impact very quickly.” - Reinier
To help our client becoming more responsive as an organization, the transformation needed to be on both team- and portfolio management level. On team level, we consulted and coached multiple teams on their way of working. On the portfolio management level, we guided the organization to align strategy and execution.
The approach for this transformation was to work in short, cycled sprints, allowing the organization to regularly review the results and make adjustment when needed. This resulted in higher predictability and created more value for our client and their customers within the IT department.
- Launched an ART (Agile Release Train) which led to improved alignment between different platform teams.
- Installed Lean Portfolio Management (better prioritization) which led to improved focus and improved alignment between business and IT.
- Trained over 80 employees of the client to increase knowledge and skills on Agile practices, to make the transformation sustainable.
Looking at the transformation journey, a couple of things stood out: first of all, do not wait for the perfect moment to start new things, just do it. Learn along the way, adapt, and implement changes. By constantly reflecting and collecting feedback, we were able to cope with the changes during the transformation. One way to do this is by having an Inspect and Adapt (I&A) workshop. In this workshop, we critically assessed underlying problems and identified solutions for them. Finally, in every transformation there is resistance, without friction there will be no shine. Overcoming challenges is part of the journey, we believe that only together with the client we can create real impact!