The Information Systems Department of the Directorate General of Armaments of the French government has launched a major agile digital transformation project to digitize daily work tools, modernize project management in a more agile mode and increase collaboration among teams. Tuleap is the basis of this new Digital Workplace.

DGA secteur d'activité

The IT department at the Directorate General of Armaments is in charge of tooling around 10,000 DGA agents, civilians or soldiers, spread over a dozen sites in France. Here is how the IT department relies on Tuleap to initiate the agile and digital transition.

♖ Challenge

Initiate the agile transformation and foster collaboration through a new digital work environment (Digital Workplace)

★ Solution

  • Subscription to Tuleap Enterprise – Gold Edition
  • Open RoadmapTM members

Tuleap is our secret weapon to achieve our digital transformation and implement agile practices.

✔ Results

Faster experimentation

thanks to Open Source and the subsequent deployment at enterprise scale

Deployment of the Agile culture

a shift of both culture and tools

Better project management

with visual tools that facilitate their appropriation

The industry challenge: embracing an agile digital transformation

The DGA encompasses many different activities: maintaining an industrial defense base, conducting armament programs, preserving French industrial sovereignty and preparing for the future. Like any other large organization, the DGA has an IT system department which ensures that its 10,000 agents are provided with the digital tools they need. Aiming to modernize the working methods as well as to avoid shadow IT, the IT department of the DGA has launched a major agile digital transformation project.

Better address internal needs and avoid shadow IT

After taking a step back and mapping the needs of their teams, it was clear that:

  • teams didn’t benefit from the right tools for managing content and activities;
  • the “shadow IT” was increasing, causing years-long and million-euros cost projects.

To work around those problems, the agents ended up independently developing pieces of software in their corner to adapt the intranet, the common working tool. The IT department found itself with unsecured developments, on old systems, completely cut off from local networks.

Improve team collaboration

For agile transformation to be effective and projects to be successful, teams need to work closely together. Hence, the IT department’s desire to facilitate the implementation of more collaborative projects, allowing its agents to become real projects co-actors. In turn, the various departments of the DGA will gradually become more agile. If cross-services collaboration may seem obvious, it can be hard to successfully set it up, especially because it was not yet the case at the DGA.

Better project management

The IT department also wanted to modernize its governance projects management. Actually, they wanted to provide innovative solutions that would efficiently help improve work organization and activities monitoring. Well aware that agile approaches are an effective way to bring more efficiency and boost employees involvement, the IT department decided to launch a deep agile transformation, accompanied by tools supporting this process.

How the DGA started its agile transformation with Tuleap

There’s nothing like the “test and learn” method to assess a new solution before deploying it. This is exactly the reason why the DGA IT department chose an Open Source solution: zero risk as well as continuous improvement and guaranteed return on investment.

Tuleap as a lever for transformation

Tuleap was chosen to be the software solution that would tool the whole digital and agile transformation. As an Enterprise Agile Planning Tool (EAP), Tuleap facilitates collaboration among all the actors involved and allows the synchronization of multi-profile teams by providing multi-business workspaces, flexible and adaptable to specific needs.

Tuleap was chosen, among other reasons, for its “Swiss army knife” aspect which distinguishes it from other agile and classic monitoring tools, generally designed for IT development only.

Tuleap was chosen for its functional contribution, its SLA, but also for its unique concept of partnership with the provider Enalean. As a member of the Tuleap Open Roadmap initiative, the DGA can “influence” and collaborate closely on the future developments of Tuleap. It also represents a way to be more responsive to their internal requests and therefore to reduce shadow IT.

Test quickly and at a lower cost

Undertaking an agile digital transformation inevitably has an impact on various aspects, such as on internal organization, project management, tools, etc. This is why, the DGA IT department needed to assess and test its project of Digital Workplace easily and with low initial investment costs, which is possible thanks to Open Source.

The IT department directly searched for Open Source solutions on the market that would ensure the possibility of analyzing, testing, manipulating, adapting, and then scaling up. With an open source software like Tuleap, the DGA was actually able to test its project solution on a smaller scale, before investing and deploying the tool at a large scale.

The DGA began its experiments with the community version of Tuleap (Tuleap Community Edition), intending to subsequently opt for the Enterprise version (Tuleap Enterprise Edition), if everything worked out as they wished.

It was not long before they discovered all the advantages of an open source software such as Tuleap:

  • rapid and inexpensive experimentation,
  • guaranteed control of software content and data hosted internally,
  • guarantee of sustainability and interoperability.

We had to experiment with new ways of working.

Get started with Tuleap

Launch pilot projects and gradually deploy

The complete deployment process took about one year and a half. Why so long? Because the organization is evolving in a very critical environment that implies demanding authorization processes and months of preparatory phase before being able to settle and scale.

The IT department first started by launching pilot projects with teams and activities that were not pure IT. Thanks to the experience acquired on this first deployment, the DGA was then able to establish a more efficient process for the following software bricks of the project.

The approach was to start with an instance on a single development server and then integrate Tuleap into the entire IT ecosystem.

Where are they now in their transformation?

Tuleap has become a fundamental asset in the digital transition of the DGA. The tool enabled the organization to initiate the culture change towards agility, to optimize project management and to gradually move towards scaling agile.

Tuleap is one of the bricks of the DGA’s Digital Workplace, a lever for transforming work practices. It promotes visual management (instead of emails and meetings), collaboration on structured data (instead of table files), as well as the involvement of all stakeholders in the daily monitoring of a service.

Tuleap is bringing a real culture shift towards agility…

As we said, Tuleap is a key element in the digital transformation process of the DGA. But the challenge is not easy. Just like any other traditional organization that are still neither digitized nor agile, there are still traditional, time-consuming and less efficient working methods sticking around. Changing the way people work, whose culture is to write documents, have them signed, send them and to manage all that on a bunch of Excel files… it takes time.

Beyond the tooling aspect, Tuleap helps DGA agents understand and implement agile values. Indeed, the DGA’s project was not only meant to have tools that would allow them to be agile, but mostly to try and start experimenting a true agile project management. But time remains the best ally, because agile values ​​are not common in a traditional organization like the DGA.

With Tuleap, the DGA clears out agile values ​​at the same time as it provides a solution to implement them.

… optimizing project management along the way …

Tuleap was the starting point of the new collaboration mindset. It provided tools that allowed agents to capitalize on their knowledge and find information on their projects in real time. The DGA teams are actually using Tuleap to:

  • launch new IT projects,
  • articulate cross-functional working groups throughout the organization,
  • follow flow activities, including administrative activities, in Kanban form and with monitoring tools.

“Tuleap came to replace the Excel tables that were previously kept up to date laboriously by the leaders of the working groups”

… towards agile at scale with SAFe

The ambitious goal of the DGA is to gradually move towards organizational-wide agility. This will undoubtedly require the adoption of an Enterprise agile framework such as SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework). And Tuleap will be there to support it. In fact, the versatility of Tuleap will enable them to meet the challenges of interdependence, specific to the organization. This is also one of the next areas of collaboration between the DGA and Enalean.

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Digital Transformation