Proximus Group Accelerates Transition to Scaled Agile With Apptio Targetprocess

“We had to collect a lot of information from different tools and combine it. And it was very difficult. But with Targetprocess, the data is in one place and getting information is almost automatic. ”

Annelies Geusens
Strategy Manager in the Project Management Office
Proximus

Proximus is a provider of digital services, communication and ICT solutions operating in the Belgian and international markets. Proximus operates in the Benelux and on an international level. They meet demands of a wide range of customers in the residential and business segments, as well as the public sector.

The company offers a wide variety of digital services and communications solutions, including mobile, website, internet, TV, and landline services for personal and business customers.

Headquartered in Brussels, Proximus Group operates in the Belgian and international markets, employing over 10,000 people. The company generated over €5,578 million in revenue in 2021.

The drive to a leaner, more agile company

The telecom industry is continuously evolving. For Proximus Group to remain a leader, the company needed to change its operating model so it could become leaner and operate more like a digital-native organization.

Fundamental to this shift was changing the way the DevOps teams worked. “We used a traditional waterfall methodology,” said Annelies Geusens, strategy manager in the project management office at Proximus. “We had a few islands of teams using Agile. But the time came when we needed a bigger Agile framework.”

To address this challenge, Proximus began a large-scale transition to Agile in 2020. At the time, the teams used a combination of existing tools and spreadsheets for project and portfolio management. However, they soon realized that the tools they were using would not support their move to a scaled Agile framework.

“We were struggling with our toolset,” Geusens said. “We had Planview, a 20-year-old in-house developed tool, and a lot of Excel files. People were doing all their work at their own side, and it was very difficult to align all these different Excel files. There were always data quality issues. It took a lot of manual effort, which was time-consuming and inefficient.”

Given the shortcomings of their existing toolset, the Proximus team began looking for a better portfolio management product. “We were searching for a tool that could give us an end-to-end view of our strategy, enable the breakdown of work into user stories, and support our transition to a scaled Agile framework,” Geusens said.

It was during this time that the team discovered Apptio Targetprocess. Targetprocess enables organizations to connect teams, products, and portfolios to business objectives and scale Agile across the business. After a demo of the product and an evaluation of different tools on the market, they were convinced it was the best option for them. According to Geusens, “It was the visualization and the flexibility that stood out. It’s so intuitive. We didn’t have that same feeling about the other tools we evaluated.”

Targetprocess provides end-to-end visibility and a uniform way of working

Proximus launched Targetprocess and started the transition to the company’s new operating model in January 2022. According to Geusens, the implementation of Targetprocess came at the perfect time, as the company was pushing to scale up Agile inside the company, and the product offered their teams a new start for portfolio management. The company has since onboarded more than 3000 users, and the teams have been pleased with the ease of use of the product and other benefits.

“With Targetprocess, the end-to-end view is completely transparent. You know how each user story contributes to strategic priorities. And in the other direction, for each strategic priority, you have the full view of all the user stories that are going on. You can see the progress, you can document dependencies, and you can see where the roadblocks are,” Geusens said.

This increased visibility informs the management team and helps them make faster decisions. According to Geusens, (project) managers now have a view of work that was nearly impossible to get previously because they would have had to consult around 10 different Excel files and 10 Jiras from different teams, and then pull in information from Planview.

“We had to collect a lot of information from different tools and combine it. And it was very difficult. But with Targetprocess, the data is in one place and getting information is almost automatic,” she said.

With everyone in DevOps using Targetprocess, the teams now work more in harmony with one another in pursuit of the company’s most important initiatives. And that is helping the company scale Agile across the organization. “Instead of having all these different, organically grown Agile processes that were difficult to align, we have been able to implement a uniform way of working,” Geusens said.

Next step: integration with Jira

In the beginning of its Agile journey, Proximus DevOps implemented Jira for issue tracking and Agile project management, and many of the early Agile teams adopted it. For the short term, the company plans to integrate Jira with Targetprocess so that teams can use both tools and all information is consolidated and tracked in one place. But eventually, Geusens said, she anticipates a time when everyone will move entirely to Targetprocess.

“The structure from the strategy up until the features will be managed in Targetprocess,” she said. “The lowest level of the user stories can be done in Jira, and we will make a link between the two. But our ambition is that after three or four quarters, once the teams see all the possibilities, they will move entirely to Targetprocess.”

For Proximus, the Agile transformation continues, and the rollout of Targetprocess is ongoing. According to Geusens, feedback has been very positive. “It’s amazing,” she said. “Implementing a new tool requires change, and change is always hard. But people are very enthusiastic about using Targetprocess. We have never had that response for a tool before.”

For more information about Apptio Targetprocess, visit apptio.com.

Additional Resources