Make operational police tasks (the ‘business’) the driving force and improve the flexibility, speed and agility of service delivery within the IT department of the Dutch National Police. To achieve this aim, use the police’s own scaled agile model (Lean, Agile and DevOps).
“Everything revolves around the belief that ‘doing’ is better than talking about what should be done.”
Marjolein Smeets, Deputy Director IT
As National Police Chief Erik Akerboom recently reiterated, the police have long been aware of the importance of technology in terms of being able to respond to social changes. Technology enables the police to enforce and investigate more effectively and efficiently at a time when citizens expect increasingly more from the police.
To be able to respond quickly to new technologies, meet the expectations of citizens and guarantee safety in the Netherlands, the information provision organization of the National Police must be fast and agile. Speed is also essential in tackling new forms of digital crime (like cybercrime). This was one of the reasons that, in May 2017, the entire information provision organization began the transition to an agile way of working. Whereas in the past Agile was mainly applied in software development projects, the aim now was to scale Agile practices across the entire information provision chain and implement working with DevOps.
Quint Wellington Redwood was asked to manage and supervise the transition. An iterative change approach was chosen, with no extensive plans, whereby attention was paid to the key success factors for transforming into a high performance organization (HPO): 1) Clear purpose; 2) Agile & lean way of working; 3) Accelerative leadership; 4) Masterful use of resources; 5) Adaptive people.
Based on concrete change objectives for each quarter, a strong change team, on-the-job guidance through coaching, training, room for employee engagement, and clear communication regarding objectives and lessons learned, production lines were established in which internal customers and DevOps teams are brought together. An important aspect of assuring the transition was that Quint trained and supervised internal coaches. This means that the National Police are now able to grow to the next level autonomously.
The ‘House of Production’ was launched in May 2017 and in less than a year five production lines were realized! Where are we now? A drastic application rationalization, eighty DevOps teams working in business-focused production lines, high-quality delivery of functionality and a great deal of enthusiasm among staff and ‘internal customers’.
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