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Around a year ago, inet took the decision to adopt an agile way of working throughout product development. Each team assessed the feasibility of Agile and which agile methodology should be applied. As a consequence, almost the whole organizational structure was changed throughout 2018 since new Squads* were built and Guilds* introduced.

The goals

As a software company in general and even more so as a software company providing solution for the logistics industry, inet faces changing environments and requirements almost on a daily basis. Being able to respond to changes really fast is thus of high priority. This is almost impossible in a traditional organization with lots of hierarchy levels. In order to create value faster, deliver earlier and receive feedback quicker whilst still assuring quality, constant change and agile development need to be embraced. This is why inet chose agile ways of working in product development.

The results

Various squads, dedicated Scrum masters*, daily standups*, weekly retrospectives* and public sprint reviews* open for all employees interested in product development were thus established in 2018. Each team is autonomous in the sense of staffed with all the competencies needed to develop valuable features and all members are responsible for their own quality, i.e. testing and quality assurance are integral parts of the process. Teams are working in sprint cycles of three weeks enabling faster delivery and customer feedback, which in turn increases quality and innovation.

Starting out with only development teams, by now also some customer teams have switched to agile methods. It is an ongoing process, because it takes time to learn and apply agile working methods, switch to other tools, products and processes.

However, inet is dedicated to Agile since it empowers teams to manage a complex product like the TMS and provides transparency about priorities and progress throughout a company.

On the way

Summing up one can say that agile methods like Scrum and their benefits are undeniable and simple to understand, but take time and effort to implement. Once the basics are learned, the mindset needs to follow. Along the way, fears need to be addressed and some myths must be dispelled repeatedly. inet Agile Coach Frank Nagel summed up the biggest and most persistent myths he encounters in his daily work as well as his counterarguments in a short presentation for us:

The future

As with every transformation, there are challenges and room for improvement. Even more so for an agile transformation since being agile is all about incremental improvements. It takes practice and experience to break down bigger tasks like a change request, balance the workload, keep focus throughout the three weeks of the sprint* and finally deliver in the end. For the future, various enhancements are planned like the increase of automated test cases, preparations for agile software release cycles as well as stronger alignment of product teams and customer teams.

*For explanation on Scrum-specific terminology go to https://www.scrumguides.org/