The « Université Grenoble Alpes » (UGA) is a renowned university of France that attracts 55.000 students per year and 6.000 staff members. The need of merging different IT departments was also the opportunity to launch an agile transformation, from values to tools. Within a few months, the UGA Information Systems Division (ISD) has succeeded in changing the operating procedures for their software development projects. Precisely, the agile tool Tuleap has enabled the ISD to effectively implement agile approaches and methods.
Nina Reignier-Tayar is the Chief Officer of the DANA, the Department of Digital Support to the Administration in French, which is part of the ISD at the UGA. She is in charge of supporting development teams whose responsibility is to create and maintain 200 software applications serving different departments at the UGA. Nina shares how their agile transformation at scale went.
The challenge is two-fold: making software project management evolve towards a customer-oriented, agile approach as well as providing teams with all the necessary tools.
Tuleap Enterprise Edition Silver (on-premises)
A SUCCESSFUL AGILE TRANSFORMATION
a three-step process, from values to tools
75 users, 200 software applications
Smooth adoption of Tuleap for project tracking not only by development teams but also by any other department in need
Significant improvement of team collaboration
"We have more cohesive teams now. Employees are happy to progress this way"
A three-times higher project efficiency
that best meets customers’ requirements
The challenge of merging departments
Within the merger between the universities of Grenoble and Valence, the decision of subsequently merging their 3 Information Systems Divisions was also made as to ensure greater operational efficiency. However, it is true that such a shift always generates resistance and makes procedures evolve. The Directorate-General of the IT System and its service of « Digital Support to the Administration » (DANA in French) had to take up several challenges :
- Manage and support change
- Innovate and push for new team cohesion
- Create a more collaborative workspace
- Get into contact with business departments that need software application
To put it another way, the merger supposed a broader technical and human reorganization: HR, organizational and tool-related challenges. The ISD merger was a prerequisite for other departments’ merger. No room for mistakes: they had to get it right.
As to achieve this challenge, both the ISD and DANA therefore opted for agile approaches, considering that they best allow teams unleash their potential at a pivotal moment.
This is the UGA today:
Some figures about the Université Grenoble Alpes:
- 5th French university to be among the most innovative ones in Europe (Top 50 Reuters)
- 6.600 staff members
- 55.000 students
- 80 research labs
- 23 faculties
Concerning the ISD of the UGA :
- 2.500 customer requests per month
- 200 management software applications
- 80.000 IT accounts
- 200 servers
- 200 hosted websites
- 75 contributors
A three-step agile transformation
STEP 1: Merger of 3 ISD based on common values
To get started, the DANA decided to create different thematic working groups. However, it turns out very quickly that there were many differences in terms of working culture, methods and tools. But as Nina Reignier-Tayar says: « The human being is at the very heart of the organizational change. This is what pushes for change. We have therefore focused and worked on our common values, above individual skills. We finally came up with the following 4 principles:
- Those who know, do
- People have the right to be wrong
- Users are at the very heart of what we do
- Mutual aid, goodwill
We have launched our agile transformation precisely relying on the consensus of these values ».
Thanks to this initial common ground, there was no digital shutdown, so that students could graduate from the fresh new UGA university, the management of newly hired staff went on as usual and orders placements as well as suppliers payments ran smoothly.
STEP 2: Agile transformation through 3 pilot projects
The Department of Digital Support to the Administration (DANA) set up three pilot projects to begin with the application of agile practices, involving the Finance Department, the Human Resources as well as the Training and University Life Department.
- Training and coaching workshops enabled teams to implement agile practices. Actually, only some of the practices and agile ceremonies were applied, precisely the preferred ones.
- In terms of tools, the UGA installed Tuleap Community Edition to star getting familiar with this software and its basic agile features.
- A new “project room” for agile ceremonies was created with a touch screen displaying Scrum and Kanban, and standing seats.
Tuleap as a lever for agile implementation
These pilot projects were short iterations whose objective was both learning and delivering a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Tuleap made it possible:
- Creating a backlog gathering all business requirements,
- Planning an agile project by versions and then sprints,
- Learning how to monitor an agile project on a daily basis: standup with a cardwall, burndown graph,
- Following the velocity.
This stage was actually a pedagogical approach, not only for the dev teams who had to take on how to play their roles as Product Owner and Scrum Master, but also for any other department that should learn to express their needs.
STEP 3: Scaling up agile with Tuleap Enterprise Edition
Once good practices and new roles had been adopted, the DANA decided to continue deploying agile practices to a larger extent, through a workspace that would centralize all the information of IT and application projects. Tuleap Enterprise Edition was then chosen: « what we really like about Tuleap are its numerous integrated tools: scrum planning, continuos integration, document management. We chose the Enterprise edition to benefit from durability and security features ».
More efficient project management
Tuleap is now used to manage application projects among the various departments. Collaboration is smoother and project monitoring is much more efficient. The UGA teams use a large number of tools provided by Tuleap: Scrum planning, Kanban board, Git, Document Manager, Continuous Integration.
✓ Smooth adoption of Tuleap for project monitoring, not only by development teams, but also by any other department in need: 75 users, 30 projects.
« Tuleap has become the reference for our functional requirements. Each and every new project is tracked by Tuleap ».
✓ Significant improvement of team collaboration
« We have more cohesive teams now. Employees are happy to progress this way »
✓ Three-times higher project efficiency
« Tuleap is a pillar of support to our agile efficiency »