How we’re deploying agile practices at Gemalto

Last updated: 04 September 2018

Agility at Gemalto is a reality!

Did you know that over half of Gemalto’s offers are developed using agile methods? It’s true and it’s key to achieving our goal of providing the highest possible value to our customers in the shortest possible time. To help accomplish this goal, we set up small teams to work exclusively towards a common objective, targeting a delivery at the end of each iteration. By doing this it allows for continuous improvement while also providing the opportunity to learn from failures. Of course, teams are also expected to be reactive and adaptable to change.

This transformation started several years ago in an effort to be innovative and to seize new business opportunities. It has allowed to respond positively to customers asking for more innovation and expecting us to deliver our software solutions at a faster pace.

Of course in order to reach our customers sooner, our solutions must also be ready for production sooner. Achieving this requires a new way of working: DevOps! DevOps is actually a compound of the words DEVelopment and OPperationS. In simple terms, it’s a framework that aims to increase collaboration between the development and operations teams in charge of cloud infrastructures.

But to succeed with the Agile and DevOps transformations you can’t just apply agile and DevOps practices. You also need a change in mindset – something that can’t be achieved simply at the snap of a finger!

So how do we make our company more Agile?

Since Agility is a priority for Gemalto, and relates to company transformation, this program is under the responsibility of our CTO. And as it is a transversal topic, we have created a dedicated transversal team within our technology office. Their goal is to guide and promote this global transformation.

The original idea for this team was to take advantage of our employees’ Agile expertise in order to extend this mindset across to other departments in the organization where these agile practices would make sense. The chosen strategy relies on a step by step approach, demonstrating the power of agility by actually demonstrating it, on real projects, and sharing lessons and success.

Altogether we have built a worldwide and diverse community of Gemalto Agile experts who are there to share good practices and educate others within the company.

On top of that, we train and evangelise. As an example, more than five hundred people have been newly exposed to Agility and DevOps practices this year thanks to various awareness sessions. And over the last two years a further seven hundred people have been actually trained in Agile, Scrum and DevOps, out of our 3000 engineers. These dedicated sessions and coaching are part of a wider training plan focusing on teams that will need to evolve and adopt more Agile practices going forward.

What else? An Agility week…

Another effective way we promote Agile values across the company is by running ‘Agility weeks’ at various Gemalto sites. Over the course of one week focused entirely on Agility we offer learning opportunities and encourage exchanges between employees to increase collaboration between teams.

For example, we offer awareness sessions to help everyone to understand the key values and principles of Agility or the basics of DevOps. More experienced people can also share their expertise on a specific topic such as extreme programming or share an example of how the Agile transformation has been used in their respective teams.

We also have workshops where we address specific topics related to Agility and DevOps. These can be technical topics like Agile at scale or writing good user stories, or more high level topics like the role of an Agile manager, people recognition in an Agile environment or how to involve sales and marketing in the Agile transformation.

After our first Agility week in France at the end of 2017, we ran a second edition in Singapore in May 2018 which brought together some 200 people!

Gemalto Agility Week, May 2018, Singapore

We’ll be continuing our Agility week series mid of October in Noida, India (an important site for Gemalto) and few days of Agile workshops in Meudon, France in November. Just another step in our transformation to becoming a fully agile company: one that is ready and able to adapt quickly to market changes.

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