SESVanderHave is the global market leader in the sugar beet seed industry. Each year, SESVanderHave processes and sells one and a half million units of sugar beet seed. Each unit containing one hundred thousand seeds, in the recognized blue color of SESVanderHave (except for the USA, where the SESVanderHave seeds are pink). These seeds are sold and sown in over fifty countries worldwide.
To achieve this, SESVanderHave has a network of businesses and local agents all over the world. Three high-tech, state-of-the-art factories in Tienen (Belgium), Gogoliv (the Ukraine), and Alexeyevka (Russia) process the majority of the seeds.
The ICT department of SESVanderHave supports all software applications and processes for the business. Nearly all development is in-house. A lot of applications are business critical while facing a fast paced business evolution process. When Eric Van de Broeck (ICT Manager at SESVanderHave ) contacted the RealDolmen EPM Team, he was facing an number of challenges:
- A large backlog of changes with constantly changing business priorities
- Unclear priorities and deadlines especially cross-departmental
- Ineffective planning and estimation
- Lack of engagement and collaboration between various departments
- Requests for support or change were not streamlined
- Slow time to market, long wait cycles to get work completed
The aim for the EPM implementation was clear:
- Set up a demand management process with clear priorities
- Define an agile organizational process to help the ICT team respond to the emerging changes
- Use that agility to reduce the time to market
- Set up the relevant tooling platform to support the process
Together with Eric, we adopted a bottom up approach to implement the new strategy.
Starting with the ICT team, we were convinced that changing their way of working in an agile way of working would serve as a showcase for the rest of the organization.
People - Agile coaching
The Scrum framework is a software development method based on iterative and incremental development. It promotes adaptive planning, quick responses to change and continuous improvement as well as close cooperation between developers and business (client and stakeholders).
By defining new roles, training the teams and coaching the people on the job, the ICT teams were able to adapt to the agile framework in a short period of time. Using the continuous improvement pillars of scrum (inspect and adapt) we were able to improve the internal planning and follow up of the ICT portfolio.
Together with Eric Van de Broeck, we decided to show the improvements we achieved to the business:
- Better estimations and commitments to deadlines
- A structured approach
- Better collaboration within the teams
By doing so, business stakeholders were triggered, enabling the momentum to start the organizational change.