“After our initial organizational shift, we noticed that team spirit was flagging. People’s tasks were so clearly defined that they no longer dared stray beyond them or experiment with new ideas. By stimulating our team-based way of working, we aim to emphasize our core strengths: intrapreneurship” explains Tom Dedecker, executive director of Threon.
Making the shift to agile
“We started to use the scrum methodology in October 2018,” explains Evy Vandenhouwe, project management consultant at Threon. “We work in monthly sprints, which we kick off with planning meetings. During these meetings, we take a look at what’s coming up in the month ahead, deciding what tasks to prioritize and how much we can commit to. But we also look back on what we’ve achieved during the previous month: what went well, what could have gone better, and how can we improve?”
“Our new structure consists of two main pillars: market-focused teams and knowledge-focused teams,” Evy continues. “The first teams take on the account management, write out proposals and check whether our solutions respond to market needs. The latter mainly work on expanding knowledge and services and exploring the possibilities offered by new tools.”
The winds of change, part two
But why this shift to agile so soon after the organizational change? “Our consultants get the chance to work one day a week on in-house projects, so we wanted to make that time count,” Stef Ceuppens, one of Evy’s fellow project management consultants, points out. “By transitioning to an agile culture, we allow consultants to focus on certain areas of expertise, encouraging them to deepen and broaden their knowledge both individually and as a group. They get to test out ideas, learn to prioritize tasks and work on the right projects at the right time. These are all valuable assets that lead to better customer service down the line. After all, since we’re implementing agile at our customers’ premises every day, it makes sense for us to use the methodology in house as well.”
A constant learning curve
However, as is the case with any change trajectory, getting everyone on board wasn’t easy. “When there’s change, there’s always a lot of feedback, both positive and negative. It’s important to keep in mind that a lot of it is justified and deserves to be looked at,” adds Stef.
“That’s what we’re doing now: collecting feedback, listening to what our colleagues are saying and making changes accordingly. It’s a constant learning curve, but the important thing is that, on the whole, we all believe Threon is moving forward. We’re finally practicing what we preach, thanks to the joint efforts of all our consultants.”
As you can see, we now live, breathe and dream agile. You too? Then, you might be our next agile consultant!