Building airplanes at CSCS

April 24, 2017

CSCS strongly supports training and continuing education activities. For this reason, the centre regularly organizes internal courses to enhance the knowledge and skills of their employees. These courses are organized by the HR manager Stephanie Frequente. This time she decided to take part in one course she organizes, the Agile Project Management course. Here, she tells her experience:

Stephanie and Christopher during one of the activites of the course.

"Roughly a year ago a few employees expressed their interest in participating in an AGILE Project Management course at CSCS. My first thought was: Well, what’s the difference between a standard/classical Project Management training, which we already organize at CSCS, and an AGILE Project Management training?

After talking to Dr. Bastian Migge, AGILE PM Trainer, I could truly feel his enthusiasm and his passion for AGILE and I clearly understood the difference in the approach. I could hear that this was a really interesting methodology for organizing projects in a more dynamic, team-oriented and hands-on way. Agility is the capability of adapting on unforeseen changed circumstances. I was sure that my colleagues would benefit from participating in the course and I knew I would too!

One of the group activity was to follow the SCRUM framework, which means it gives us a framework for project management that allows individuals creativity based on purpose within limits, it sets up an organization of individuals working as a team. The team model in Scrum is designed to optimize flexibility, creativity and productivity.

In the SCRUM process, we had to build airplanes in groups of 4. We divided ourselves into Product Owner, Lead Engineer and a group of Engineers. I haven’t built paper airplanes for years, so as part of the development team I was happy to follow the Lead Engineers (Christopher’s) instructions. We worked through the different phases of SCRUM including Sprint (=Time box) Planning, Sprint Review and Retrospective. My personal take-away from this exercise was that it is good to try, fail, review/learn and improve! Like it!

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my colleagues and I always appreciate the possibility to learn more about their roles and the challenges that are being faced. It’s a great opportunity for me to see how I can support their professional development and how training's can stimulate individuals and create new ideas as well as enable employees to carry out their roles in an even better way.

As you can see we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and shortly we will be participating in the second part of the training. In the meantime, we now have received transfer work, which we put into practice.

Personally, I wonder what we will be building this time, whilst learning more about Kanban (Kanban apparently is another framework…at the moment I have no idea, so more to follow after participating in the second part of the course. Watch out for my update!)."