In this series of articles, we would like to give you a comprehensive introduction to the employees of Agile Radicals GmbH. Mr. Hilgersom, managing director of the Agile Radicals GmbH, will be available at the beginning of the series of contributions.
What were your motives for founding Agile Radicals GmbH?
In recent years, I have advised many different companies in the field of agile working methods in many projects. In the process, I have noticed that many companies have not introduced a uniform or closed procedure. Often the external consultants were used as a guide and as soon as they had left the company and someone else had taken over the position, everything changed again. That new people provide a new perspective is absolutely right and proper. However, changing everything that existed, everything that had been lived before, I felt that this was not a goal-oriented approach. Therefore the motivation came to the Agile Radicals GmbH to conclude with this kind of consulting and to rather deal with the cultural change in the client company and to promote it sustainably.
What do you offer the customer that distinguishes you from other consultancies?
Specifically, we want to take the customer on a journey. The classic method of developing software is transformed together with the customer and his employees and transferred to the agile working world. In doing so, we attach great importance to authenticity and to the fact that the solution also reflects the successful completion of the project, the special requirements and its organization. Even more, that these are also actively lived by the customer afterwards. We do not come into an organization and want to change everything across the board, but we want to clearly communicate to the customer that it is about him, his employees and his products. In addition, we offer ways in which they can work together more effectively.
How do you want to ensure this?
Well, first of all we can say that our consultants and I have a very broad project experience. To date, we have successfully completed projects in the most diverse and globally renowned companies. This experience, sometimes very positive, but also sometimes not so positive, allows us to understand what is important. We do not see ourselves as the absolute experts in all areas and only what we do is good, but we would like to encourage our clients and their employees to restart the thinking and evaluation process and we are at your side with the professional expertise we have gained and learned.
This means, for example, in concrete terms; there are many facets that can be taken into account when estimating user stories. They all depend on how long a team has been working together. There are no completely wrong methods, but there are sensible and less sensible approaches. If a practice has proven to be successful for the customer and his employees, it should be maintained in the long run. We would like the client to develop his own Scrum / Agile DNA and give our experience into the evaluation process but do not decide. We demonstrate possible ways with the help of prepared lessons and support the introduction of the final agreed techniques.
What should consultants bring along if they want to become active for Agile Radicals GmbH?
Currently we are a young company that is in the process of being established. We attach great importance to our consultants’ ability to acquire new techniques and methods and to approach them openly without reservation. We do not want our consultants to be perceived by the customer as “only my way leads to success” people. Our consultants are characterized by a high level of empathy and excellent team play skills, coupled with a high level of professional depth and breadth. To this end, the consultants should have the appropriate comprehensive experience in various roles, so that we can develop the appropriate depth in a targeted manner. Of course, our consultants must also have the will to become directly active with the customer.
Many consultations require an unrestricted willingness to travel. How does the working life for the consultant at Agile Radicals GmbH look like in comparison?
Well, as already mentioned, we would of course also like to be on site at the customer’s premises. Being close to the customer is very important for our work, especially at the beginning. But we try not to send our consultants all over Germany. Our consultants have an area/region where they can be deployed directly, if the customer decides to use them. If this radius should not be possible or be kept, it is up to the consultant whether he accepts the customer or not. If we see no possibility to accompany the project correctly, we will not make an offer for this project. The decision for a customer is always a joint decision between the customer and our consultants.
In the time without a project our consultants are exclusively in the home office. We do not have a permanent office where all consultants have to be present at some point. This also increases the acceptance of our consultants to leave the comfort zone from time to time.
Especially in times of the Corona pandemic this aspect has proven to be unbeatable. We are fully self-sufficient, even under remote conditions. Nevertheless, we will continue to prefer working directly at the customer’s premises in the future.
Finally, a question about you, who are you?
I am 43 years old and have lived in the Rhine-Main area for several years. Like so many other people, my profession has brought me to Frankfurt am Main. At the end of the 2000s there was not much demand for IT experts in the north of Germany and a private contact got me a job as a marketing / IT expert for computer games. At that time the company was the main supplier for SAMSUNG Electronics in terms of mobile phone applications and games. In the course of this my project participation was very high. A really exciting time. It was just at the beginning of the smartphone revolution. Games were among the most important products. Precisely because I am still enthusiastic about computer games and their complexity and variety, that was the starting point for an exciting career.
Afterwards, I worked for a consulting firm in Frankfurt for several years, where I had the opportunity to apply my digital and mobile expertise to other industries. Since then, the automotive industry as well as the financial industry have been among my main customers.
But despite everything I have remained true to one thing and that is my affinity for new digital trends and devices. I love mobile and networked services and feel “at home” in this world.