Adrian Stanciu is the Apps Manager at Cosmo Tech. He answered our questions from his office in Cosmo Tech’s Lyon, France headquarters.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I prefer to talk about a typical month because while my days are rarely the same, there are some regular patterns and cycles in my work every month.
The highlight of every month if the “product release demo”, the day our development squads offer demonstrations of our products to customers, partners, and colleagues right here at Cosmo Tech. This is always an exciting day as I have a chance to be part of a real ‘a-ha moment’ as our stakeholders discover a new feature for the first time. It’s a moment of enormous value for learning what is important to the client and preparing for the next cycle of development.
Each month I also attend Steering Committee and Strategic Committee meetings with our clients. We’re a transformation company at heart and I like to think that we have agility in our DNA, but it’s also very important that we meet the standards our clients set for project management, project delivery, and risk management.
Most of my time, though, is spent working with the 15 brilliant minds on the Applications team. We have IT experts, business analysts, data scientists, and engineers, and as the manager of this team, I put myself at their service to help them achieve their goals. In practical terms I do this by being enthusiastic about their work, empowering them to take hold of their projects, and finding ways to maximise the value we are creating. It’s sometimes a challenge to know when to intervene and when to let the team run with their work, but this is a challenge that any manager that believes in empowering their team to take ownership of a project knows.
Finally, we regularly host Innovation Days in the team. After important milestones in our work we spend a couple of days working on new ideas for innovation, playing serious games, preparing for the next steps we’ll take, and thinking big about how we’ll change the world next. It’s a period of intense creativity and something that I and the team all look forward to.
How did you first come to learn about Agile methodology, and how is it used at Cosmo Tech today?
I first discovered the Agile approach in 2010 when I had the chance to attend a seminar by Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum. After this I spent a couple of very intense years as an Agile Coach, a Scrum Master, and the coordinator of Agile Practices in the company where I worked before coming to Cosmo Tech. When I first arrived here, I was amazed to see that Cosmo Tech had succeeded not only in adopting an Agile approach but in undergoing a true Agile transformation.
At Cosmo Tech I would say we do not just “do” Agile but we “are” Agile. Cosmo Tech teams don’t just go through the Agile motions, they engage themselves in approaching problems in an Agile manner, thinking in an Agile manner, and iterating continuously and in every context. For me, this aligns perfectly with the complex systems that are the focus of our work at Cosmo Tech. When you adopt the Agile approach and truly transform your team into an Agile organisation – that is, when you move from being an Agile team to being Agile across products, programs, and then right across the entire company – you become your own complex adaptive system.
What are you most looking forward to shipping in the months ahead?
Next month we are delivering a major release for our key Asset Investment Optimisation (AIO) platform that will provide enhancements for several of the core use cases. This enhancement will help clients who have or will embrace AIO to prioritize their investment projects, reduce their OPEX under risk constraints, allocate their OPEX and CAPEX budget under risk constraints, and optimize their maintenance protocols. It will also prove useful for clients that use the platform to optimize their outage and shutdown routines, analyse the costs and benefits of their maintenance interventions, and optimise their complex linear assets. I’m really proud of the work that the team has done to deliver this release and I can’t wait for the feedback from clients, partners, and stakeholders when they see the final version of it in action!
Another focus area in the next couple of months is our work on AIO for Critical Infrastructure. We’re going to providing some amazing tools to help asset managers in different domains – energy, water, transport – to address their day-to-day pain points by simulating real, what-if scenarios on our AIO platform, and then choosing the best strategy to address them. For example, they might ask what happens if I reduce my OPEX budget for the next two years? or what is the impact of a a new environmental regulation on my maintenance program? People who manage critical infrastructure and key assets will be able to respond to those questions with improved clarity and confidence thanks to the work that the applications team is doing right now.