Case study

Deploying agile ceremonies on a large scale and remotely


Shared by 
Carine Locquet & Jérôme Rajkovic
Digital Consulting Manager and Agile Coach at Inetum

Carine Locquet is Digital Consulting Manager at Inetum, a digital services and solutions company. Jérôme Rajkovic works with her as an Agile Coach. Together, they bring their expertise to all types of companies in their projects and their digital transformation: technical support, implementation of best practices... Thanks to Klaxoon, they have easily structured on a large scale the animation of their agile ceremonies for their customers, according to the SAFe® methodology.

The challenge: lead a digital transformation in an agile framework

The Inetum group has 27,000 employees throughout France, including 1,200 in the city of Lille alone. In order to carry out their actions, each employee must be able to coordinate their activities efficiently with the whole team and their customers. 

Therefore, while supporting their clients, Inetum uses agile methods as a reference framework for their digital transformation. In addition, one of the group’s strong values is to maintain a proximity with its customers, while helping them to find ever more innovative solutions.

In March 2020, Inetum accompanied the French mutual company Mutuelle Sociale Agricole (MSA) for a transformation project of their IT department. To raise awareness of best practices and to efficiently deploy their transformation projects, Inetum then relied on the agile ceremonies of the SAFe® methodology. 

SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework®) is a framework used to conduct an agile transformation at the scale of several teams called Feature Teams. These teams work in parallel at the same pace (or sprints), and are connected by common ceremonies in addition to those of their own team. 

Roles such as Scrum Master or Agile Coach are then necessary to energize these teams and ensure the overall coherence of the train (all the Feature Teams on board). This framework allows to put agility at all levels of the organization, to align all teams by coordinating them and sharing the same strategic vision.

In a context of health crisis and with all its restrictions about in-person work, Carine, Jérôme and their team had to succeed in obtaining the same level of engagement, participation and understanding of the SAFe® method from the MSA, all while working remotely and with large groups of participants.

To this end, Inetum chose Klaxoon in conjunction with Microsoft Teams to coordinate the different teams following agile principles. To anchor the service transformation process, Inetum organized agile workshops and ceremonies using Board, Klaxoon's visual whiteboard.

The solution: use visual management to maximize understanding and participation in agile workshops

In order to set up their agile workshops, Carine, Jérôme and their team presented their approach over 2 consecutive days, aiming to energize the employees around the SAFe® method. Each workshop has a dedicated Board, and it can simply be duplicated if needed for a new project or group.

First of all, they run a kick-off to align the whole team on the stakes of the transformation, to present them the action plan and the roadmap to reach this objective. This first phase of exchange ensures the kick-off of operations, and effectively introduces the heart of the workshop in the form of PI Planning.

Setting a PI Planning for an efficient organization

Next, the PI Planning phase allows the Inetum team to organize the work of the 100 people connected to the workshop. The challenge here is to scale up, as they need to organize an agile ceremony for a large number of participants as smoothly as for a small group.

The PI Planning is an agile ceremony of the SAFe® methodology that lasts about 2 days. It's a moment where teams think about the tasks to be done during the next sprint (or iteration), the time it will take them... And it's an opportunity for the teams in charge of development to share out the elements of the Product Backlog to be implemented (features, refactoring, bugs,...).

For their own PI Planning workshop, Carine, Jérôme and their team use a Klaxoon Board with a general visual theme: the well-known Lille street market that takes place each September. This allows them to offer a unique and immersive experience to the participants, and to materialize a path to take them in a dedicated place, just like in a classroom.

On the main Board, the street market theme makes the workshop’s timeline very easy to visualize.

When logging in to the Board, each participant finds a personalized badge with their name on it, which they can simply "like", using the "Like" button to say they have joined the workshop. This makes it easy to track the number of people connected, and then adapt the needs for the moments of work in sub-groups.

Harnessing the visual and collaborative potential of Board

The first half-day of workshops is crucial, but presents challenges for facilitators. It begins with 3 hours of top-down information to be conveyed to participants. It is therefore important to keep them engaged and motivated during this phase, in order to avoid dropouts.

For this purpose, the Inetum team asked several speakers to present a wide variety of topics. On the Board, the participants can easily find their way around, since each intervention corresponds to a set of slides that is represented by a table on a terrace. Thus, they only have to go from one support to another to follow all the presentations.

A person working remotely on a desktop displaying a part of the Board created by the Inetum team. | Klaxoon
Each speaker has a dedicated table on the Board, where the participants can find their slide set in one click.

Between two slide presentations, the Inetum team makes the participants interact by asking about their level of understanding of what has just been explained. The objective is that at the end of the morning, the audience is sufficiently informed on the subject.

Working in teams: combining Klaxoon and Microsoft Teams

Next comes a phase of working in sub-groups on the same Board. To align on the planning, more than 100 people must imagine this planning phase through several sub-topics. Inetum's contributors then combine Klaxoon with Microsoft Teams: 

  • Klaxoon to visually distribute the sub-teams in one central space, with the Board acting as a "common room".
  • Microsoft Teams to create channels dedicated to each sub-group in the form of breakout rooms, so that each team can communicate without disturbing the others.

Carine, Jérôme and their team open several Teams rooms corresponding to the different themes to be addressed. Managers can move from one virtual room to another in order to coordinate the work of the sub-groups and transmit information across different teams. This system is similar to PI Planning in person, and is even more efficient, because the team saves time: they just need one click to switch rooms!

Gathering feedback from a large group with the ROTI method

After these two days of work, the Inetum team uses the ROTI method (or Return On Time Invested) to easily collect feedback from all participants. Thanks to a Vote Question attached to the ideas chosen by the organizers, the participants express themselves very easily, and this allows to obtain interesting data on the average opinions and the participation rate of the workshop. This allows the Inetum team to improve for future workshops with their clients.

In the end, all the teams share the same Board to plan their actions according to the needs and the feedback of the other teams. To organize the next steps as smoothly as possible, Carine and her team then upgrade this same Board with visual plannings representing each upcoming sprint. The objective is that, regularly after the workshop, the teams get together and share their progress and their blocking points.

We need to take advantage of all of Klaxoon's features and experiences to make remote planning a reality. Carine Locquet and Jérôme Rajkovic, Digital Consulting Manager and Agile Coach at Inetum

The result: efficient and flexible agile ceremonies easily replicated remotely

Thanks to the agile workshop sessions conducted by Inetum, all the MSA teams involved manage to work together in a synchronized manner by adopting the sprint model. With Klaxoon, Carine, Jérôme and their team not only succeeded in applying the PI Planning model and SAFe® techniques remotely. They also succeeded in making these techniques more efficient, with the power of digitalization and visual management!

Thanks to their Board, all participants have access to the same level of information, wherever they are and whatever their field of expertise. They can come back at any time to consult the shared elements asynchronously, and question members of their team with the Question tool. It also saves time, as it significantly reduces the number of tools and communication channels.

Carine Locquet: "Being able to add a Question, a word cloud, a JIRA link or post-its on the same Board saves us a lot of time and efficiency." | Klaxoon

In addition to reproducing the mechanics of agile ceremonies, Board also allows the Inetum team to humanize their interactions with the participants. For example, they use the Moving Motivators method to stimulate collaboration, and move forward together as well as they would have done onsite.

Jérôme Rajkovic: "It really humanizes our discussions, and we can reproduce the face-to-face experience remotely thanks to Klaxoon." | Klaxoon

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