In February 2020, Gert Leroy started working as a Business Change Management Consultant at Colruyt Group via Prosource. His activities are mainly related to introducing Agile in a non-agile context, like traditional project & portfolio management.
Gert is a highly experienced consultant, employed by Prosource since 2006. ‘Although I already participated in a lot of projects for a variety of companies, the challenge at Colruyt Group was partially new for me too. Like other organisations, Colruyt Group is operating more and more in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment. The world is changing faster and faster, and Colruyt Group needs to follow these changes with the same pace. However, in several areas, the company is also more and more facing the boundaries of classic project and portfolio management to cope with a fast-changing environment, also in retail. Therefore, other means, like “Agile”, are available that can deal better with this new reality of fast-changing environments.’
‘Working in a more Agile way has several benefits’, Gert explains. ‘First of all, the involvement of the business in [IT]delivery is higher. This leads to more frequent feedback on intermediate solutions and more transparency on the realisations. Moreover, you could anticipate faster and more flexible on [market] changes and anticipate better on digital developments. Therefore, Colruyt Group is looking at specific contexts where working in an Agile way could be beneficial on different levels of the company, and I am there to help them realise this.’
Two big initiatives
Since his start at Colruyt Group, Gert has focused on two large initiatives. ‘The first one was a corporate program (R3PM) that already started in 2017 in which the objective was to improve the “On Time On Cost” rate for all companywide projects. In this program I had the role of E2E-coordinator which implied the facilitation of improvement activities related to mainly portfolio & project management practices in different portfolio clusters.
The second initiative is related to the Agile way of working.
- In Spring 2021, I took the challenge, within the domain “Strategy”, to develop an Agile framework with the objective to put “Agile” on the map as an alternative way of organizing work. I started this assignment by exploring how teams experimented or were inspired with Agile ways of working. This resulted in a first Agile landscape of contexts where teams worked differently than the common ways of working.
- As of Summer 2022, also the domain “IT Infra & Solutions”, launched several projects related to Agile way of working. In this context we joined our forces (IT & Strategy) and as a result of the first project, an Agile Starterkit was developed for teams that wanted to start their Agile journeys. For the teams that are interested to apply this starterkit, an accompanied coaching track is provided.
- Also at Digital Customer Services, since a couple of years, the corporate program Aladdin is applying Agile practices on a scaled level, using SAFe (by means of an Agile Release Train (ART). In this context we are now improving the current way of working within the ART, but at the same time we are also looking at practices of Lean Portfolio Management that might be useful to setup the tactical layer of a new operational unit.
As a Business Change Management Consultant, Gert is not acting as a real project or program manager. Also, in this sense there is NO top-down Agile transformation initiative defined. Gert investigates bottom-up what works and what doesn’t and applies the oil slick principle. ‘If we experience that something works out well, then we continue developing it.’
Although Gert is highly integrated at Colruyt, he is also very connected to Prosource. ‘It’s like we are one big family of consultants. Although we don’t see each other daily, we can always count on each other. We hook up during knowledge & team events, and have a mentorship program for starting employees. Experienced Prosource consultants act as mentors to provide our new colleagues with tips and tricks on the different aspects of project management. Together we make every effort to help our clients further. A challenging job, but above all incredibly inspiring to do.’
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