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Photography: Robin Kuijs
BOSKALIS BESPOKE WORK BENEFITS FROM SCRUM
Text: Timme Hos
PROJECT IN FOCUS 11
Project coordinator Walther Berk and consultant Miriam van Kalsbeek used the Scrum method to implement Self Service Desk bespoke work at Boskalis. The Scrum method creates opportunities to adjust plans based on insights gained during the process. This flexibility has allowed Boskalis to reap the benefits of an SSD complete with tailormade forms.
Meeting unique needs with TOPdesk bespoke work
TOPdesk is a standardized application. However, some customers require bespoke work to meet their unique needs. Common bespoke work includes adjustments to the Self Service Desk to ensure it meets the customer’s requirements and matches the corporate identity. TOPdesk’s Bespoke Work department steps in when such custom software is needed. Bespoke work is usually created using the so-called waterfall method. First of all, a functional design is created. This design is then actualized and delivered. Once completed, the bespoke work is installed and accompanying instructions are provided. If new ideas, wishes or insights arise during the process, it is not unusual to return to the design phase. This is not necessarily a problem, but the Scrum method is an excellent alternative if you wish to optimally benefit from such insights during the process.
ABOUT HALF OF ALL CALLS ARE LOGGED VIA THE NEW WEB INTERFACE
each sprint. This means that the customer can immediately pass on any new wishes and requirements to be added to the backlog. Working in sprints also reduces the product’s error sensitivity. You can easily test intermediate products, thereby eliminating any incorrect assumptions. The products delivered are smaller, more manageable and easier to test.
The benefits of Scrum
The Scrum method has gained popularity among software developers in recent years. The method involves working in multidisciplinary teams for short periods (sprints) to deliver a functional product. The first step is formulating the wishes and requirements. These are added to a list (the Product Backlog) and created during the sprints. Advantages to sprints include the short duration, concrete goals and always having a functional end product (component). The new product is presented to the customer after
Scrum fans at Boskalis and TOPdesk
Once TOPdesk was successfully implemented at Boskalis, it was time for phase two, spearheaded by the new Self Service Desk. Boskalis required bespoke work comprising custom forms and adjustments to the look and feel. Walther Berk and Miriam van Kalsbeek collaborated with Boskalis’ manager of application management, Christiaan Kooijman, to implement the SSD bespoke work. The Self Service Desk’s standard options were not sufficient for Boskalis’ envisioned broad application of the module. TOPdesk decided to offer forms that would enable the users to log calls and request services. The decision to use Scrum for this project was soon made. “Christiaan Kooijman was a big fan of Scrum, so it was the customer taking the initiative,” explains Van Kalsbeek. “I had already worked according to Scrum at TOPdesk, so it seemed fun and challenging to use this approach.” Berk was responsible for the day-to-day management of the project. “TOPdesk had always
Boskalis’ SSD interface matches their corporate identity
used the basics of Scrum,” says Berk. “But
12 PROJECT IN FOCUS
Photography: Robin Kuijs
now we really stuck to the principles, with a clear testing period and a comprehensive Boskalis project group providing continuous input.
Excellent results, more involvement
Boskalis now has a Self Service Desk with the desired look and feel, as well as the forms they need. “They use the TOPdesk bespoke work very intensively,” says Berk. “About half of all calls are logged via the new web interface. The results are great and meet the customer’s needs, thanks in part to the many feedback moments.” An additional advantage to using the Scrum method is the that there is a high degree of support and involvement among the Boskalis employees. “They invested a lot of time in this project and therefore had a lot of influence on the final results,” explains Berk. Van Kalsbeek agrees. “Three large departments were involved in the implementation. Two or three people from each department assessed the results and added new ideas to the backlog.” This resulted in a critical attitude, which attests to the customer’s involvement. “There were a number of tough meetings, but that just shows how important it was to them.”
It initially took Van Kalsbeek and the team at Boskalis a lot of time to take stock of all the wishes for the new SSD. “It was a full-time job, but it left me well prepared,” says Van Kalsbeek. “The people involved at Boskalis used numbers to indicate a point’s importance. It turned out that things that were considered important on the first day did not need to be made after all due to shifting priorities.” Boskalis formulated the assignment based on paper forms to indicate which forms they wanted for the new SSD. These forms had to be processed in TOPdesk. “Many other forms were also made because we worked according to Scrum,” says Van Kalsbeek. “It turned out that those were the forms Boskalis really needed.” That is the great advantage to Scrum, as Berk explains. “After a sprint, Boskalis could see that something worked, and that they could use it for other processes. It really took off and gave the customer ideas for other forms.”
THANKS TO SCRUM, WE MADE FORMS THAT BOSKALIS REALLY NEEDED
Miriam van Kalsbeek
Interested in TOPdesk bespoke work?
The Self Service Desk module uses the TOPdesk layout by default. However, you can use a look and feel adjustment to have the Self Service Desk match your intranet or website. It is also possible to adjust the terminology to match your organization’s preferences. Please contact your account manager for more information.
Miriam van Kalsbeek