Eandis: Agile Community Growth (2017)

Collaborative Coaching

Eandis is the largest electricity and gas distributor in Belgium and used to be government owned, being very much a PMO driven organisation looking for ways to grown Agile interest within their organisation. Co-Learning collaborated with people from within the PMO office to grow their internal Agile Community by means of a Company Wide Retrospective, 2-weekly Lean Coffee Sessions, some Culture Hacks towards several large Open Space events growing their community to a solid 300+ people.

The client

Eandis (today Fluvius) was the overall name for 7 Flemish electricity and gas distribution grid operators and Eandis System Operator (ESO), their operating company. They covered about 78% of the municipalities of the Flemish region in Belgium where electricity and gas are the two most important energy sources regulated by a governmental energy regulator (VREG). The organisation employs 5000+ people (internal + external) to expand, maintain and innovate on their distribution networks and are running multiple multi-million projects to achieve that.

The challenge

The challenge set forward by Pascal Mestdach, at the time of our intervention, the Head of PMO/Agile Coach was to increase the active people within their Agile Community and at the same time incrementally improve their existing Agile PMO practices in order to improve their overall agility. In an organisation that was government owned and structured, not as easy as it sounds but Pascal has proven to be a true leader and driver to make it happen.

What we did

Next to acting as a general Agile Coach within the Eandis PMO group our Co-Learning coaches re-ignited the 2-weekly Lean Coffee sessions and collaborated on setting up a lively and very open Agile Community intranet space, actively recruiting people to join the initiatives and helping the PMO office to become an information expansion to others in order to increase overall reach within the organisation. Attendance in the Lean Coffees grew to a steady +/-20 with enough rotation in topics and people so that the overall reach was broadening up.

The more information was gathered, the more information was shared the more an urge came to organise an overall company retrospective where a larger audience could provide pro's and con's on their current work environment. Together with Pascal and his colleagues we organised and facilitated a couple of face-2-face and many online collaborative work sessions that resulted in over 200 items that were identified as positive and about 300 items that are causing troubles to get the work done. Great results, highly supported by many many people in the organisation and now we needed to follow through on those results.

Based on the OSA Framework we organised a first Open Space using the results from the company wide retrospective as leverage and input. We prepared well, crafted an effective invitation clearly stating that participants will create the agenda and own the follow up actions. This first edition we welcomed about 60 people that engaged in 20+ sessions that resulted in over 50 actions to take and become more effective as an organization.

Together with the Eandis Agile Coaches and in extension the entire PMO office we followed up on these actions and made sure all progress was well rewarded and recognized in the organisation leading to even more actions to take place. A snowball effect was achieved that resulted in a second Open Space, 6 months later and with around 150 people. This latter one was supported from the back of our tandem principle based coaching and today there are many people in the organisation capable of designing, organising impactful Open Space sessions.

The results

When we started the journey Eandis had an active Agile community of +/- 30 people and at the time we stepped of our tandem based coaching they achieved a growth towards 300+ people. Today, being Fluvius, they are still frequently running Open Space events in many different contexts to address many different challenges they have to deal with. Pascal Mestdach and Didier Durinck were so proud on what was achieved that they presented their results during the XP Days Benelux conference.

We also receive information the use of Agile practices is growing slowly but steadily within their organisation.

Our services used

We brought a higher level of awareness on Agile mindset and practices through awareness sessions and collaborative practices with highly effective, interactive and large-scale workshops.

Start date: March 2017 - End date: November 2017