“We manage to implement new features in a matter of weeks, not months.”
We have asked our Head of Service Delivery, Jeroen Geerts, to explain how Twipe is implementing new customer requirements in a fast and agile way. Jeroen joined Twipe two years ago as Project Manager and soon after that was named the Head of Service Delivery.
He is managing a team of 6 Project Managers and together they are currently working on 8 projects.
1. How do you manage projects at Twipe?
At Twipe we are working with Agile Scrum methodology, which is a flexible product development strategy where the entire development team functions as an unit to reach the common goals. We are accepting that a project scope cannot be fully defined before we start programming, allowing our customers to change their minds about what they want and need to a certain degree. Every two weeks we organize a retrospective called ‘demo meeting’ where all new developments are presented by the developers allowing us to give quick feedback and deliver excellence. This allows the project managers to present intermediate developments to the customers as well.
“We are extremely customer focused at Twipe.”
2. How do you allocate your resources?
Every two weeks we have a planning meeting. During this meeting, we evaluate the state of the current projects and allow new customer projects to enter the planning, based on their urgency. For instance, a few weeks ago, our customer L’Avenir had to quickly change their subscription service. Working in sprints of two weeks allowed us to free capacity without delaying other projects.
Some customers are constantly looking to improve and fine-tune their products. For them, we have developed a special program called CR/PR (Change Requests / Problem Requests) were we guarantee a predefined amount of development capacity every month.
Next to this customer specific work, we allocate every sprint an amount of time to work on roadmap features.
3. What roadmap features are you currently working on?
I probably can’t say too much about this right now. Our focus this year has been to upgrade our publishing tools and define the NextGen. Phone. offer. Next year we will work on reader engagement and push notifications.
“Our customers define our roadmap.”
4. Can your customers have an impact over your roadmap?
Yes. Every 3 months we review our roadmap in order to prioritize the product features and the new developments we would like to do in the next quarter. The roadmap is defined through our customers and strategic partners. With our customers we work on improving our current platform. For instance, this year we have worked with Het Nieuwsblad on improving the download speed of our publications over slow WiFi – the Twipe Replica Light Solution.
With our strategic partners we work on new more innovative projects like a NextGen edition for phones.
5. Who are Twipe`s strategic product development partners?
Strategic partners for Twipe are those companies that want to form and shape the news industry of 2020. They are innovative and are constantly looking to improve their products. Currently, we have two industry strategic product development partners. Het Mediahuis, with whom we developed the NextGen reading experience on tablets and phones and Ouest-France with whom we fine-tuned the digital only evening editions and monetization.
Next to industry partners we also work on government-funded innovation through the Media Innovation Center of Flanders (MIX) and the Catholic University of Leuven (KULeuven). With these partners we have worked the past years on automatic publication creation and reader engagement.
“Our people make the difference, every day.”
6. What makes the Twipe Service Delivery team different?
We believe that our people are the most important and valuable asset of Twipe. Everything we do, every decision we take, is guided by our values. So are the people as well, including the Service Delivery team. Other than all being led by the same principles, the quality of the people is another element that counts for Twipe’s success. We have the best people, the best project managers and the best developers. With such people, there is no surprise that we always deliver on scope, time and budget. Our team is extremely agile and flexible. That gives the trust to our customers to experiment with features and changes, being assured that our team will work hard to get everything done in time.