Web hosting service and Microsoft Dynamics NAV consultancy Systemhosting lacked a common vocabulary and starting point for their working methodology. As the person in charge of deliverables at the company had had good experiences with agile project management, he suggested that employees across the company’s business areas should take a certification course in agile project management. The course was held by Lasse Sørensen from Plan A Projects and was exclusively for Systemhosting’s employees.
“When you are working on a project for a client, it’s important that there is complete transparency and agreement about the deliverables the client is expecting,” explained Mikkel Lou, who is in charge of deliverables at Systemhosting. “We were lacking a common vocabulary and principles for our work methodology in order for us to create that transparency and have a more rigorous dialogue with our clients.”
Increased job satisfaction and productivity
“I have worked in accordance with agile principles for many years could see the value in having them form the basis for our common vocabulary,” Lou continued. “Agile project management is about the project leader demonstrating leadership and facilitating some processes and a simple framework within which the project team works. It’s far more motivating and creates significantly greater job satisfaction than the traditional waterfall model, where they have less freedom. However, I was going to need outside help to introduce the model to the employees, which is why I contacted Lasse Sørensen from Plan A Projects.”
Plan A delivered an intensive 3-day course which included the final certification, administrated by the DSDM Consortium. “The first day was about introducing the participants to the agile methodology and DSDM’s model, and what the difference is between an agile approach and the traditional waterfall model,” Lou said.
Practical exercises and tools
“On the second day, we did a lot of practical exercises, which among other things helped the participants understand how to do a product breakdown structure and plan a project on several levels. This is especially crucial for large projects. The participants also practiced how to develop use cases and how to estimate tasks.”
Good mix of theory and practice
“The final day of the course was spent on preparation for the certification exam, which was held later that day,” Lou said. “The whole course has been a good mix of theory and practice, and we quickly developed the common vocabulary and conceptual framework that we needed across the organisation.”
Inspiring trainer with unparalleled thoroughness
Lou has nothing but praise for Lasse Sørensen in his role as a trainer. “I’ve known Lasse for many years, so using him was an obvious choice. His dedication and expertise makes him an excellent trainer who really manages to engage the participants. He also has an engineer-like thoroughness that is unparallelled.”
A huge boost to the company
“What will of course be interesting is how much we will actually using these tools going forward,” Lou said. “I have no doubt that there are some employees who have been more enthusiastic about the methodology than others, but I’ve made it clear that they must apply those parts of the principles they find to be relevant to their clients and projects. It’s not certain that they can make use of everything they’ve learned, but at least now everyone knows what the agile methodology is about, and everyone can see the value in making a product breakdown structure. It’s given the company a huge boost, which I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish without Lasse’s help.”
Valuable recycling of knowledge and methodology
“As many of our projects end up being fairly similar from time to time and client to client, I hope we’ll get better at recycling knowledge and methodology from project to project. That’s what we can use our common agile vocabulary and conceptual framework for. At the moment we are in full swing with breaking down our deliverables, which gives us a good starting point for future projects. It will be interesting to see how far we can go with this,” Lou said.