NS Teamlead

Product

The NS is a semi-government organization of 15000 people that feels the breath of privatization coming and feels the urge to change to stay relevant. (The NS is the main railroad company of the Netherlands)

So they decided to do it all different. All development throughout the whole organization is going to be Agile, Lean and Dev(Sec)Ops. They have internal coaching throughout all layers of the business to achieve this goal and to align all departments and processes.

The department CCM (Competence Center Mobile) is where I was at. This department is in the front-line of the organizational change. They want self-guided self-manages teams that are able to generate their own business. The teams are supposed to work very closely together with business and users, and therefore have all needed product development skills within their teams.

Context

2018/2019, Secondment at NS on behalf of Luminis. They needed specific senior engineering skills on a development team at NS at the start of 2018, so that’s when I joined the team.

I’m part of a team doing cutting-edge agile, lean and Dev(Sec)Ops software developments. The team took on a mission to prove business concepts using fast iterations and tight coupling with end-users and the business.

Further more, the team needed to try-out new process structures and help scaling them. Agile Scrum, DevOps, DevSecOps, integrating UX (research as well as design), Lean startup, value driven development, pre-funding, team-internal HR.

My part

Well, as all things worthwhile it was quite a challenge to achieve progress. The composition of the team underwent a lot of changes. I turned out to the the stable factor, and stayed motivated. They didn’t expect that ‘from an external’. Or that is what they said when I moved to another job 😛

  • I provided a solid base to work from.
  • Helped shape the DevOps movement, even did some analysis and presentation for high management.
  • Half way during the job, the Lead developer promoted to architect. I stepped in and formed a duo with the architect to improve our team code and development quality but also the department quality. I did a couple of presentations for all the developers in the department, helped with solution architecture and advocated effective use of software development practices.
  • Half way during the job, the SCRUM Master got a long-term sickness. So I stepped in and coordinated the SCRUM events. My way of doing this was delegating and helping other team members taking responsibilities for the SCRUM process.
  • Half way during the job, our Product Owner promoted because of her insights in working closely together with the business, doing value driven development and Lean prototyping. During these events I helped maintaining the set course and kept things going until the new PO arrived.
  • With this new PO we experimented more. Not only with products, but with DevSecOps too. We implemented more IAM, better Ops tooling and added Sec scanning to our pipelines, and shared the knowledge with the department and whole NS organization.

Related stuff

We worked on a couple of projects during this time

Random order, frameworks and practices used

  • Agile Scrum
  • Lean startup
  • Value driven development
  • (Google) design sprint
  • DevOps
  • DevSecOps
  • Lead developer
  • Sharing knowledge through presentations