The life at AP

Agile Partner, an accelerator of organizations for 15 years

25 Jul 2019


Sylvain Chery

For its fifteen years anniversary, Agile Partner has gathered its customers and partners to discuss about good practices and approaches that contribute to creating business value through the development of tailored software solutions. More than through technology, it is in the way of understanding projects that we manage to transform more efficiently.


For fifteen years, Agile Partner has been helping organizations become more efficient, thanks to the use of technology and the talent of its teams. To celebrate its anniversary, on June 25, the company specializing in software development had invited its customers and partners to the Windsor in Bertrange. There, they had the opportunity to share with the guests some experiences and good practices acquired on the ground, over these fifteen years. "Since the beginning, we have been developing an expertise around two issues," said Sylvain Chery, co-founder and director. "The first is the creation of a work environment that allows IT or development teams to give the best, to be more efficient. The other is value-creating at the service of the customer, seeking to maximize performance and avoid wasting resources. With this in mind, we help them to transform and innovate by making better use of technology. "

The organizations must become agile

The so-called "Agile" methods respond to these challenges. For 15 years, Agile Partner has been one of the most successful promoters in Luxembourg. During this morning of exchange, followed by a moment of conviviality, its experts have once again demonstrated the interest of an agile approach, starting by evoking the importance of the role of Product Owner to position his company in a innovation process.

Samuel Retiere, one of the organizers of the FlowCon conference, dedicated to developing software solutions in a more fluid way, then shared the keys for a more agile management of a portfolio of projects. "If you're not agile at every level of the business, it's hard to accelerate growth," he said. "In an increasingly complex world, and to the extent that we can not stop time, one of the major issues is to be able to change as quickly as possible, to adapt permanently."

Agility must be expressed in the way in which we make strategic decisions and manage our budgets. "It is indeed difficult to accelerate if we set the budget for the following year in June. If everything is fixed, how can we make useful changes of orientation?" Asks Samuel Retiere. For the specialist, the company must be driven by the value to be created, with more decentralized decision-making by investing in talent.

Foyer manages its priorities dynamically

The Foyer group in Luxembourg has redesigned the management of its projects in this light. "The challenge was to become more agile in a complex world. Today, all of our projects are carried out in agile or agile hybrid mode", explains Laurent Petitcolas, head of the PMO. "However, in the way of managing the project portfolio, at the level of governance, there was material to simplify things. Among the issues identified, it was necessary to finish in particular with these meetings which give an illusion of control but which finally participate only very little in the management of the company. The desire was also to strengthen the teams' adherence to projects. "

With the support of Agile Partner, the insurance company has redesigned the way it defines, manages and executes its project portfolio. From now on, the TOP 10 priorities are set collegially by the executive committee. "It's like Eurovision, without the songs. Each member votes for projects that appear to be more important for the development of the company, and we do this, three times a year," explains Laurent Petitcolas. "The projects are then implemented at the team level, followed each week on a Kanban board. This is where tradeoffs are made by considering as a primary criterion the value generated by the project. This organization has the advantage of getting out of the executive committee of issues related to project arbitration. Decision-making, more decentralized, makes it possible to progress more quickly, to have better mobilized teams, to move forward according to an approach of agility to the scale. "

Diffuse technological knowledge throughout the organization

In BIL, too, the development teams are more trusted, ensuring that they continue to be valued and strengthened. "The desire is to disseminate technological knowledge, essential for the growth of organizations, throughout the structure," explains Nicolas Schell. Fifteen teams, within BIL, have adopted a culture of Software Craftsmanship, formalized in a Manifesto. "It aims to continuously improve the quality of the work delivered, seeking to create more value through it while contributing to the dissemination of knowledge and good practices at the community level," says Alexandre, tech lead, who integrates one of these teams. "This cultural change, initiated with the help of Agile Partner, contributes to the change, invites the collaborators to go forward, with the will to always do things well. "

Continuous improvement

In fifteen years, the world of software development has evolved considerably. A pioneer in the implementation of agile approaches in Luxembourg, Agile Partner, which now has 55 employees, is constantly expanding its approach to tools and new methods. An approach based on the Event Storming, as explained by Cédric Pontet, CTO of Agile Partner, which participates in a better integration of strategic issues at the heart of software design. "The will is to be able to define, through the identification of areas of activity, an overview of what we do. It is a communication tool that breaks silos, brings people together, and builds consensus on challenges together, says Cédric Pontet. From this overview, it is easier to identify processes and different value propositions to finally consider developments to design. "

Solutions to create value

To close this morning, Agile Partner gave the floor to Béatrix Charlier, from P'OP. Together with the Agile Partner teams, she developed POPEVOL ', an innovative tool for continuous assessment of skills in the company. "It is with a real team that I have been able to collaborate by trusting Agile Partner. They are particularly distinguished in their approach to each project by developing a global vision, going as far as to question certain evidences, seeking to create the maximum value," she explains. "I had the chance to meet people who were ready to defend the product with me, in front of my customers. At the end of my first meeting with Cédric Pontet, I had "the brain returned", but I had confidence in the ability of the team to take up challenges. This collaboration, beyond the development stakes, is similar to a continuous training that integrates various aspects related to the design of a software solution, aimed at solving problems and ensuring its adoption. Thanks to this approach, I now have a great product to offer in which I fully trust."

At the end of this morning of presentations, each as fruitful as the others, the guests and the Agile Partner team were able to extend their discussions around a gourmet meal with summer flavors. Everyone was delighted and amused to be photographed before leaving with a LEGO® kit and a book of your choice covering the main themes of the morning (DDD, Agile Management, etc.).


Discover the photos from the event!