Sébastien C.

ESI Group is a leader in virtual prototyping software. As part of a reorganization, the Product Development division of ESI Group decided to embrace new organization methods, including a central team of project managers (called ‘PMO’) and to leverage the agile principles.

We asked Nicolas Delahaye through Agilbee to provide both scrum training and team coaching as part of the PMO team ramp up. Nicolas performed monthly coaching sessions with the team, as well as 1- and 2-day trainings to scrum, both for developer teams and for the PMO team.

Nicolas is a great scrum trainer, in that he can quickly convey the ins and outs of scrum, with practical examples that speak to anyone, and put the trainees in various situations where the operational, measurable differences between scrum and waterfall development naturally show. This leaves a lasting impression, much more than reading through dozens of slides and theoretical examples in a day. The hands-on exercise of planning a sprint 0 for an online poker game, for example, is an exercise that enabled all teams to give concrete meaning to their own sprint 0s afterwards.

Nicolas’ scrum knowledge is visible through his capability to adapt to various questions of various levels of expertise, referring either to experiences he personally lived, case studies or articles and similar written material that can support his answers. Following the training, the teams were equipped with the basics to adopt agile as part of their day-to-day operations, and Nicolas was always available for follow-up discussions.

On the coaching side, Nicolas really was a sparring partner to me during the first six months of the new organization coming to life, preparing with me the agenda and fine tuning the exercises depending on the needs of the current session, debriefing with me afterwards, providing concrete advice on how to move on before the next meeting, and following up not only with operational setup of the organization but also with the people impact and related actions to be taken in mind.

Nicolas’ coaching brought a heterogeneous team together, helped give them a common set of values that still live on today, and was basically an initial spark to a dynamics that now extends to a 250+ organization. I would gladly recommend Nicolas going forward to organizations with similar needs.