How Syngenta developed a smart reporting solution with Scrum and Lean Experimentation - a Success Story
Innovative thinkers and teams frequently find themselves frustrated with rigid processes and project management methods that keep their ideas on paper for too long. Everything is analyzed and rethought ad absurdum before anything is implemented and tested. Agile principles are still a highly popular choice, as they allow project teams to take new functions to the market and their customers faster.
Objectives of the project
The project had the following goals:
- Model the available data to create a consistent, reliable database within the data warehouse
- Integrate time-variant data and implement an automated recording system for future data
- Develop a selection of dashboards and reports for all user groups in Qlik View
- Define the operational process and establish an organization for product support and maintenance for business and IT
- Ensure integration into the existing system landscape and improve the Qlik Services for IT
ARCONDIS helped its customer carry out a comprehensive market analysis of the available business intelligence solutions. It also supervised the supplier selection process before beginning with the actual conception and implementation phases. An expert team was put together, combining classical project roles with various required Scrum roles. As the responsible implementation partner for product and service development, ARCONDIS provided a project manager, a Scrum master and a business analyst, ensuring project success. The project manager doubled as an ‘organizational change expert’, advising the product owner on customer’s side regarding the implementation of the solution into the organization.
Graphic: Team-Set-up, following to agile PM (DSDM)
The users’ willingness to use these functionalities, measure with metrics and enable informed, data-based decisions is essential.
“Our experience joined with that of the consultation team was a key to success.”
— Franz Schuermann, Product Owner by Syngenta
When scaling the product, the project team focused on carrying out the required steps directly rather than evaluating each option on paper first. This created options for expanding the infrastructure and making it more flexible. It also implemented metrics that can highlight the need for such adaptations at an early stage.
Franz Schuermann, manager at Syngenta, summarizes the factors crucial to project success in his opinion:
- Firstly, the selection of team members for their skills and expertise was a decisive factor: Our experience joined with that of the consultation team was a key to success.
- The consultants’ presence on site ensured a more efficient implementation and better communication.
- We all shared the same pragmatic, flexible outlook.
- Our small, powerful team was authorized to make important decisions autonomously in order to conclude the project successfully and as efficiently as possible.
- The combination of the selected method, accompanying alignment measures during the sprints and coordination by the ARCONDIS team accelerated the development process considerably.
“The close involvement of us as customers and the regular reviews of progress in the product development of the Smart Report application led to strong engagement and ownership. Also the regular sprints allowed us to correct problems quickly and in a simple way as they appeared. The proactive and personal engagement of the ARCONDIS team helped to always maintain the awareness and focus in the project.”
— Dr. Adrian Friedmann, PMP, Head CP R&D Project Management, Syngenta
“The application of agile and lean principles considerably contributed to the success of the project. Besides sprints, the project team also integrated additional feedback loops. This improved the project team’s understanding of the customers’ requirements. Testing, failing and testing again ensured implementation – a process based on Lean Experimentation.”
- Stefan Haberberg, ARCONDIS Project Manager