Golden rules for an efficient workday in the light of Agile

Agile is now everywhere in the world because of many reason especially his simplicity and adaptabilitiy.

Currently I am working on an international program which uses SCRUM methodology.

As we are seriously guided by SCRUM masters in the project, I can say that we are in the good way to apply this methodology.

One of the most important aspects of this method is the Capacity of the team. It means that the team has a capacity and cannot treat more than X poker points in a sprint.

As we are.

We also have a working capacity during a day and we cannot exceed this capacity. Let’s see an example:

In a day we have 8 working hours. If we have 2 meetings of 1 hour, there will be 6 hours to produce. This is our capacity. We can handle only 6 hours of job in this day.

What I do every morning, after that I check my incoming e-mails,  is to look at my to do list and estimate a duration for each task. For example : « Prepare the mock up for Task Object » can take 30 mins. Then I plan to work on this task 30 mins.

After the duration estimation of each task I prioritize them (prioritization can be done before estimation also). And I start to treat the high priority tasks.

It is important to envisage a buffer time for unpredicted urgent tasks. For that kind of tasks I book 1 hour/day.

The only tool that I use is Outlook. Please refer to my old articles on how to use Outlook for incoming messages.

This is agile. Very agile. And working very well.

So if we summarize what we said :

– We have a daily capacity. It is roughly (8 hours – time passed in the meetings – buffer time).

– Let’s write down all the tasks to be done today. This is our Sprint Backlog.

– We prioritize all the tasks in this Sprint Backlog.

– We estimate a duration for each tasks.

– We don’t forget to have a buffer time (1h) for unpredicted & urgent tasks.

– We start to treat high priority tasks.

Do not hesitate to ping me up if you have any comment !

See you soon !





Sketchnoting: no reason to not use !

Sketchnotes are rich visual notes created from a mix of handwriting, drawings, hand-drawn typography, shapes, and visual elements like arrows, boxes, and lines (definition from Mike RohdeThe Sketchnote Handbook).

I found sketchnote on a Sunday afternoon when I was in my favorite bookstore. I have seen an interesting book on sketchnote and started to read it.

I think I have finished the book in less than 1 hour.

I learnt a lot and started to use this new method the day after in my office.


  • Very flexible: you can do whatever you want with your sketchnotes. There is no limit.
  • Very accessible: you can draw your sketchnotes without using any special tool pen and paper is more than enough!

I will continue to share with you my latest feedback on sketchnote.


To become a premium logistics company

Customer needs How Premium Logistics companies answer it
I want to visualize in real time my products that are being transported and stored Informatics platform allowing it and accessible on cloud (where is the product, what temperature, what humidity …)
I want to be able to modify the route of my products which are being transported Flexibility
Informatics platform allowing it
I want to be able to place an order very quickly Informatics platform to manage order, billing …
Integrated Informatics platform with tools used by customers (ERP …)
Reactivity (in the event of a natural disaster respond quickly to the customer …)
Understanding of the production method used by the client, common language …
I want my provider to do everything outside my core business Door to door service
Simple administrative task related to logistics
I want my supplier to offer me several options Transport methods
Integrated logistics (air, road, sea, railway)
Different size and function of transportation (refrigeration, high security etc …)
Storage and handling options
Warehousing in different locations
Different size and storage function (overlocked, secured …)
I am sure that my supplier will take care of my products very well Personnel trained (difficult delivery locations, handling in case of need …)
Secure the transported products (safety rules respected)
Adapted handling and transport tools
Adapted packaging
Supplier’s commitement:  to not interrupt the production line
Insurance of products during whole logistics lifecycle

Some key points to prepare a Business Process

  • Business Process preparation is a project(unique, temporary, progressively elaborated):  it should be planned and executed as a project.
  • It is important to define the tools to be used during process preparation.
  • If processes will be prepared in Microsoft Powerpoint, it is strongly proposed to not work on PPT during workshops & brainstorming. A mindmapping tool, or classical tools such as board, post its would be better in order to focus on processes instead of format.
  • The presentation format is to be defined at the beginning: which icon for exemple to be used for actions, decisions, start of processes end of processes etc…
  • Each process should start by a « Start of Process » and finishes by a  » End of Process » icon
  • Information collection is crucial: to not hesitate to contact business specialist during process preparation

Some key points for CRM roll out for Call Centers in Automobile Industry

Even if the list is not exhaustif; I would like to share with you some key points concerning CRM roll out for Call Centers in Automobile industry. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any remarks.

Key Point Suggestions
1 Workshops for business requirement collection Corporate Solution presentation, demonstration in Salesforce, Business Requirement Collection
2 Workshops duration 8 sessions x 2 hours
3 Workshops content •       Session 1: Roles and profiles, queues management

•       Session 2: Queues management

•       Session 3: Goodwill management

•       Session 4: Lead Management

•       Session 5: Workflow and template management

•       Session 6: Fields and picklists review

•       Session 7: Webform Configuration

•       Session 8: Configuration kit validation

4 Roll out in multi countries Countries can be managed as record types. For the countries using same language it is preferable to create one language for each country.
5 Salesforce initialization Salesforce is not a database tool so it is important to decide the data that will initialize Salesforce with. We suggest to import customers having a vehicle relation since the last 3 years.
6 Tests •     Corporate business tests: 2 x 2h

•      Corporate business tests with the country: 1 x 2h

•       Country tests: 3 x 2h

7 Agents training •       Back office agents training: 6 hours

•       Front office agents training: 4 hours

•       Key users training: 4 hours

8 Local administrators training •       Local administrators are the users who will manage their users locally. We suggest to have 2 local administrators per country. Their training can be done in 1 session of 2 hours.
9 Regular meetings after Go Live •       We strongly recommand that Corporate business accompany countries even after Go live via regular meetings if possible weekly.
10 Interface with other tools •       Salesforce should be connected at least:

•       To the customer database

•       To the vehicle database

11 Communication channels integration •       It is important to manage all communication channels such as chat, phone, webform with Salesforce


International projects roll-out for automobile industry

For a multinational company, align its subsidiaries on common standards and performance levels is a complex exercise which is part of large-scale transformation projects.

Two major trends are emerging:

Change accelerates:  Multiplication of projects within the company to finish in a reduced time.

Change becomes international:  Globalisation imposes to realize these projects within multicultural entities.

These trends raise 2 questions:

– How international transformation projects are different from other projects involving a single entity?

– How to bring to a successful conclusion the change management in subsidiaries abroad?

We can identify three structural levels:

– Region level Consider cultural aspects

– Country level Examine the structure of the subsidiary

– Team level Appreciate local professional skills.

Region level – Consider cultural aspects

To conduct global transformation projects, cultural differences should be taken into account. According to Hofstede’s work, two criteria are dominant:

Power distance: Autonomy, ability to progress, respect for authority.

Acceptance of uncertainty:  Flexibility, ability to get out of his comfort zone.

Two additional factors also influence the adhesion capacity of transformation projects within the company:

The industrial age in the region: In a region with an old industrial culture, know-how is important and processes are deeply understood by stakeholders. Conversely, in emerging region, know-how is less important but less polluted by prejudices.

Industrial activity in the region: When the activity of the region where the subsidiary is located is important, the project will be prioritized and thus mobilization and allocation of local resources will be facilitated.

These cultural appearances to be taken into account during a transformation project can be mapped so in the following way for the automotive sector:


Country level – Examine the structure of the subsidiary

Each subsidiary will react differently to the step of change that appears. Different structural parameters must be considered for each of the subsidiaries in which the transformation project will be implemented:

Capital structure: Loyalty and belonging feelings are as important as the share of the subsidiary capital owned by the headquarter. Acceptance and commitment of the subsidiary for the project will be stronger.

The age of the subsidiary: Please note this factor is not necessarily similar to the age of the industrial sector of the region. Change will be even easier to implement than the subsidiary’s young.

Corporate culture: Ability to change also depends on the company culture, working methods and style of governance.

Geographical distance: Working hours differences make collaboration less reactive and physical meetings most complex and costly.

The structure of subsidiaries will impact the approach to take for the project implementation.

Team level – Appreciate local personal skills

At the last level, it is similar to the classical transformation projects: it is essential to understand local teams’ capabilities, strengths and weaknesses.

Language skills: Ease of dialogue and communication between headquarter and subsidiaries are often underestimated. Common language level between the project team of the subsidiary and that of the headquarter must be taken into account

Technical capabilities: Technical capacities are not necessarily the same from one country to another. It is essential to understand quickly the expertise of the subsidiaries project team members. It allows to work in more autonomous way for the local teams during the project execution.

Project minded team members: Transformation projects are managed and controlled through different methods – milestones, planning, recovery problems – to be shared. It is important to understand the project terms and priorities for all members.

Team cohesion: Many transformation projects make work together various departments of the subsidiary. Their level of understanding as their geographic distance depends on the country.

Autonomy: Personality and skills but also the management style of the hierarchy or the capitalization of knowledge are to be taken into account to identify the degree of autonomy of each subsidiary

All these criteria are used to characterize and better understand each project team. Some typical examples:



Difficulties of international transformation projects come from:

– The subsidiary, a lack of knowledge of the company’s standards or a lack of knowledge capitalization.

– The central, an excessive wish to standardize but especially to an underestimation of the differences between subsidiaries and local specificities.

Key success factors of an international transformation project are:

Involve the hierarchy: It is necessary to rely on strong sponsors, both within the parent company in the subsidiaries to support the management of change by highlighting the changing needs and objectives. These sponsors should be involved in the project from its introduction and sustainable manner not only in case of problems. A break between the headquarters and the subsidiaries is the most significant risk in this type of project.

Have an overview: Cultural risks and the local stresses are anticipated from the start of the project in the contextual analysis. This allows better control or avoid problems in the deployment phase impacts will be even less penalizing.

Identify key population: During the preparatory meetings, the behavior of the different actors will measure the degree of support the project of transformation. Each member of the project team will be more or less proactive. Success of the project requires the consent of all. The way to lead would be different depending on the speaker, as it is to rely on fast-mover actors, convince undecided and limit the power of nuisance from refractory people.

Adapt the project: Organizational problems, maladaptive processes and existing tensions between different services, are to be considered as the project of improvement opportunities. It is necessary to accept this compromise and seek consensus.

Written by: B Gagna, M Aladagli; Paris, 2015

How to manage incoming e-mails

We receive each day a lot of e-mails from a lot of people. It is important to know how to classify and treat them efficiently. After that I tried many different method, I think have found the best method and i want to share it with you.

If you have any comment&question please contact me.

1 / First of all, we get rid off all the folders that are unmanageable. 3 folders are more than enough :

  •  Inbox: For unclassified e-mails
  • Action: For the e-mails that we should act
  • Archive: For the e-mails that we should keep

You will find below my Outlook inbox. As you see, I have no unclassified e-mail and 125 e-mails that I should do at least 1 action



2 / We should use the below process for all incoming e-mails.


3 / We use the « speed actions » in order to replace the e-mails in one-click in the folders we defined before. Because the inbox is not a working area, is simply the folder in which we find our e-mails. (just as our mail boxes in the house)


It seems a bit complicated to do it for all incoming e-mails but be sure that it is much more easier than you think.

Just try to do it. You will see that you will have a very clear inbox and be very motivated to treat all your e-mails.