Overview: In a transformative endeavor, a Water Authority, also known as a ‘Waterschap,’ aimed to significantly reduce paper-based communications with external stakeholders, targeting an 80% reduction in paper document exchange within three years. Initially tasked with setting up portfolio management for over 30 projects, the project’s direction shifted within the first few months. The decision was made to pivot from a project-based approach to an agile development methodology. Agile teams were incrementally established, with our support in configuring the teams to align with product objectives, processes, and systems.
This approach empowered agile teams to become self-organizing entities with minimal interdependencies on others. To facilitate this, we developed Process and IT Architectures. As the number of agile teams scaled, we strategically introduced concepts from the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) into the organization in a phased manner, ensuring a gradual and logical adoption of best practices. This case study became a recognized example for Agile Transformations, earning a place in Gartner’s sample cases.
- Reducing paper-based communications by 80% within three years.
- Shifting from project-based methods to agile development.
- Establishing self-organizing agile teams.
- Implementing SAFe concepts incrementally and effectively.
- Transition to Agile Development: The initial project-based approach was transitioned to agile development to support the Water Authority’s vision of digitizing paper document exchange. Agile teams were methodically created and aligned with product goals.
- Self-Organizing Agile Teams: We assisted in configuring agile teams to function independently with minimal dependencies on other teams. This approach allowed teams to focus on their specific product objectives, enhancing agility and efficiency.
- Process and IT Architectures: To support the agile transformation, we developed both process and IT architectures, ensuring that the organization’s structures and systems aligned with the new approach.
- Incremental SAFe Implementation: SAFe concepts were introduced gradually, with a focus on logical steps and moments that were most suitable for the organization. This phased implementation allowed the Water Authority to benefit from SAFe’s best practices without overwhelming the transformation process.
- The Water Authority successfully transitioned from paper-based communications to digital exchanges, working toward an 80% reduction in paper document exchange.
- Agile teams became self-organizing and highly focused on product objectives.
- Process and IT architectures were aligned with the new agile approach, enhancing efficiency.
- Incremental SAFe implementation ensured that best practices were adopted in a manageable and strategic manner.
Key Takeaways: This case study highlights the effectiveness of an agile transformation in achieving a significant reduction in paper-based communications. By incrementally implementing SAFe concepts and supporting self-organizing agile teams, the Water Authority successfully navigated this complex transformation.
Conclusion: The Water Authority’s shift toward agile development for digitizing paper document exchange exemplifies a strategic and adaptable approach to complex transformations. The case’s recognition by Gartner underscores the Water Authority’s success in achieving its objectives while adopting best practices in a controlled manner. This case study serves as a valuable example for organizations embarking on their Agile Transformations.