Syngenta Agile

CASE: Syngenta Flowers. Accelerating innovation.

Syngenta Flowers is part of the globally operating Syngenta Group, where 49,000 employees work in more than 100 countries. The agreement of all those employees? They share the passion to develop more sustainable agriculture that is good for nature, farmers, growers and society. That passion produces valuable innovations, such as the Xcarrier. 

The new tray Xcarrier
With the Xcarrier, Syngenta Flowers is developing a new tray for young plants that has 3 advantages:

  1. Even better quality for certain crops
  2. Efficient and space-saving distribution
  3. Optimal durability, by circulating the tray.

The new tray certainly offers a significant competitive advantage and the implementation must therefore be completed before the new young plant season starts. Not a second later, because then the momentum is missed and everything shifts for a whole year. So it’s more than essential to pop now!

Watch a video about the Xcarrier

The question to Scrum Academy

How do you ensure that the new Xcarrier tray is effortlessly incorporated into the process? How do you adapt the physical systems and digital processes to make production run smoothly right from the start? Those are the main questions.

Time to answer those questions. Scrum Academy is setting up Agile teams together with Syngenta Flowers to ensure that a top performance is delivered within the set time, within the set budget. The frameworks are as follows: all disciplines that have to deal with the new tray in practice are available to work in a team. But not full time. And it is also the first time that we will work in an Agile way. This raises two new challenging questions: do people get their agendas blocked from the issues of the day and the day-to-day operation? And is it possible to make an Agile team and project succeed within the current more traditional way of organizing?

The approach

Together with Product Owner Nick van Uffelen, we set up two teams and opt for Scrum or Scrums. We combine 1 Product Backlog, 1 Product Owner, 2 Scrum Masters in 2 teams. Team 1 focuses on the physical integration of the tray into the work process. Team 2 focuses on digital administrative processing. In both cases everything has to be right. After forming the teams, all team members are the first to become acquainted with Agile and Scrum in an interactive (online) training.

Together with the very active Product Owner (Nick van Uffelen), we make a Portfolio Roadmap and then very steadily bring work to the teams at the right time. In short sprints, the teams work parallel to the result. With 1 improvement point per retrospective, the team is getting smarter in the new working method. 

Agile Scrum banner

The result

Result? Let’s just call it successes. And the team booked at least 2 obvious ones. First of all, on the day of planned production, the Xcarrier could really be put into use on a large scale. Of course, some tuning had to be done here and there, which is precisely why the teams remained partly intact. They ensured that on-the-job adjustments could continue to be made during mass production. 

Success number two: all team members are very enthusiastic about the Agile approach. In particular, working together at fixed times on the same result, with direct coordination and without waiting for each other, stands out. Working in short cycles and achieving small results every time is also very satisfying. Not too much talking and unnecessary consultation, but a lot of time and space to work together in a practical way. A top experience.

Reason enough for Syngenta to also tackle projects Agile with other teams.