KU Leuven’s IT department proactively and continuously improves their way of working

KU Leuven’s IT department proactively and continuously improves their way of working

KU Leuven’s IT department proactively and continuously improves their way of working

As early as May 2016 ICTS, the central IT department of KU Leuven University, was actively looking ahead. There was no acute pain or problem, but they felt they needed to investigate innovative solutions to adjust their way of working in order to stay relevant in the near and distant future.

An admirable and – at the time – bold choice to already invest in the future! They trusted iLean to guide them through the Agile Journey they wanted to embark on.

Goal-setting & research

In order to stay ahead of possible problems, ICTS proactively searched for innovative tools to improve their way of working and to keep doing that continuously in the long term.

Before getting started on their vision for the future, they set up 9 clear goals that still stand strong today:

  1. Guarantee that they work on the right things first
  2. Be more capable of reacting in a flexible manner to the fast-changing environment
  3. Aim for shorter lead times
  4. Create satisfied customers and users through improved quality
  5. Create satisfied customers and users through higher predictability
  6. Create satisfied customers and users through increased engagement
  7. Higher autonomy and participation for all teams
  8. One common goal for all teams
  9. Allowing employees to grow in their expertise by letting them develop their competencies

They already had some in-house Agile knowledge but felt they needed more. So the ICTS team investigated different options, went on training, looked for support, and with that support set up a way of working based on Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) within their department.

And that is when iLean came into the picture. We were asked to guide the ICTS team in putting the theory into practice with SAFe, and to help them convince the entire team of the future changes.

Getting to work

So we teamed up with ICTS to guide them toward:

  • an innovative and fluid work organization
  • and the adoption of relevant Sociocracy 3.0 patterns

Each onboarding team, including management, first had an intensive 2-day training followed by actual sprint work.
We offered the team an efficient and highly instructive combination:

  • on-the-job coaching
  • 1-on-1 interviews
  • facilitation
  • personal coaching

Via in-depth workshops, training in non-violent communication and Sociocracy 3.0 patterns, and intensive coaching, we were able to define the specific needs and formulate an answer to those needs together.

All the teams got to follow their own pace to learn and grow. This approach allowed them to safely define the next steps for continuous improvement and extended learning. Of course, this is an ongoing process, and the story will never be finished.

Continuous learning

We are very proud of the ICTS team, which was able to make the transition to the digital university we know today, in only 3 weeks’ time! During the covid pandemic, they extremely quickly switched to a new way of digital working, allowing them to have the necessary agility to effectively tackle challenges.

We’re happy that we could be a trustworthy guide during the transition, and that we still are throughout this ever-ongoing process. We firmly believe in our approach and what we do, and so does KU Leuven, so we could effectively and intensively work together to achieve greatness.

In the meantime, many members of the organization have mastered the techniques and have adopted the necessary agility to tackle challenges, as well as the mindset for change, allowing them to carry their further growth and transformation on their own.

Does your team also need a little nudge?
A guide to put all those theories into practice?

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