Kim Bosman is the Value Stream Owner @ Schiphol Airport Control (part of Schiphol’s Digital Airport Programme) and an independent Agile Strategist. As a Value Stream owner Kim acts as an enabler and leader for a group of Scrum teams. This way the Product Owners, Development Teams and Scrum Masters are given the trust and space to solve hard problems with creative solutions, supported by the kind of leadership that supports the agile mindset best. Kim tells the story of how they started a year ago, and how she shaped the environment for the teams to excel & innovate. The most important way to achieve this is to get the right Stakeholders on board to help remove impediments and support the teams doing the work. As you will learn throughout the parts of this interview, the common thread is how to hand pick the people that you feel you can trust to do the work by focusing on personalities that are honest proud and enthusiastic. This means selecting the best professionals, but also “people that make me smile” as Kim puts it.

Check out the Complete interview in 5 themes below, all links and resources mentioned at the bottom and let us know what you think!

Part 1 – Introduction and current assignment

Kim explains how she got infected with the agile virus starting in retail and what other experience she gained on the way to her current position as a Value Stream Owner (VSO) for Airport Control. This is one of five Value Streams that are part of Schiphol’s Digital Airport Programme. Kim works with 6 Agile teams in her Value Stream, working on multiple products, the main one being WILBUR; a system for airport operations that foresees what is coming and enables Airport Control Coördinators to take proactive measures, optimizing flow and minimizing waiting times.

Part 2 – Leadership in team collaboration

The key to Agile success according to Kim is to take ownership of who you work with. Select the best people and look for authenticity, fun, passion & ambition. She also shares how she leverages the Sprint Reviews to interact with the teams and keep the Value Stream aligned to the direction and Vision for the program. Focusing on the main product (WILBUR and its AI) and staying loosely aligned with the other teams. Kim’s main tips: create the space to innovate, align people in the vision and the goal, and show results immediately.

Part 3 – Stakeholder Leadership: from control to support

Kim shares how to break loose from the old management style, to delegate decisions to the team and create the innovation safe space to experiment for the teams. She explains what she did at the start of the Value Stream to control the environment and the Stakeholder field, to get the Stakeholders in who could support the teams and act as ambassadors for the Value Stream. Kim also shares about her interactions with the Board and how to turn this often tricky-to-manage group of Stakeholders into supporters to reach the program’s goals through the Agile Teams in the Value Stream. How to maximize the impact of the limited time a VSO gets to spend with the Board.

Part 4 – Value Leadership through KPI’s & actual use

At Schiphol’s Digital Airport Programme, all Value Streams are aligned through common KPI’s, for instance optimizing the flow of passengers like we mentioned in the introduction. The KPI’s cover the most important area’s for passengers and airlines (both types of customer for the Airport). Be bold in your goals, and try to reach them. But provide safety to fail, as long as you’ve tried hard and learned from it. The next step is to measure adoption of WILBUR since the value of the product is made by its usage. Based upon that data the plan is to use the automated delivery street to speed up feature delivery. To get the best value, you have to invest in the best people and employ new time leadership.

Part 5 – Closing; leadership tools & content

We discuss the highlights of how to make a large Agile effort a success. By selecting the right people, giving trust, earning trust, claiming ownership of what you are hired for. Stand for your success and your people. Kim has also brought along some tips for tools/practices/material that she found useful along the way. She carried “The Power of Scrum” around for some time (back in the days). Furthermore, Kim digs a lot of the material collected in the Scaled Agile Framework, but especially the “Big Room Planning”, which you can hear more about in this video from 3 years ago.



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