iCore Professional Services – a view from the inside
It may not be the traditional consulting model, but by working agile in teams, iCore has gained a stronger sense of community, quicker deliveries and a better exchange of knowledge.
– Today we have a closer collaboration, where each member of the team feel that they contribute to a combined effort. This has reduced stress and created a more enjoyable work environment, says Sofia Lundberg, change manager and integration consultant at iCore and responsible for developing the agile work method.
The consulting teams consist of consultants, sales representatives and support personnel, making sure that more people are directly involved in client deliveries. Together teams ensure that each client’s integration projects are completed on time, and with the best results possible. They are led by a team coach, responsible for guiding the team.
A team can work with several clients at the time, and the members select their tasks from a daily backlog. Each client has a personal contact on iCore who is responsible for keeping a dialogue going with the client, as well as securing deliveries. However, each person on the team is well-informed about the client’s needs and integration challenges .
Being a member of the team means that you always have colleagues close at hand. The teams consist of both junior and senior iCore employees.
– The focus is not on seniority though, the aim is to create competence diversity, with a mix of architects, project managers, developers, etc. All the teams have the collective expertise required to take on any client assignment.
What’s it like working at iCore Professional Services?
– New colleagues are immediately made part of a team and start working closely together with the other members. You always have someone to ask for help or just brainstorm with. We have experienced that this method creates a better working environment, says Sofia Lundberg.
iCore has offices in Stockholm and Gothenburg, where the latter office has an open floor plan without assigned desks. The members of a team often tend to sit together, something that has increased the sense of community at the company.
– Of course, sometimes we work at the clients’ office, like in a traditional consulting role. The focus is to stay flexible and make it easy for everyone to work.
What does the agile process look like?
Each morning the members of the teams get together for a daily standup. The tasks for the day are discussed – what is close at hand, what requires extra attention, and so forth. All to make sure deadlines are met.
Refinements are weekly meetings within the teams, during which incoming tasks are assessed and priorities are made.
About once a month, during the retrospective, the teams evaluate their past work, and look closer at how the teams have progressed. What has worked well, what needs improving? Simply put – making the agile teams more agile.
– We also have a code review, where the members look at their work together with a colleague. The main purpose is of course to improve the delivery to our clients, but it is also an opportunity for self-improvement.
Competence and knowledge are a big part of iCore’s delivery. An easy way for employees to improve themselves can generate bigger value for the clients.
– Working agile has increased cooperation within the company and created a greater exchange of knowledge, but the most important thing is that our colleagues enjoy themselves and like coming in to work each day, says Sofia Lundberg.