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Arise goes Agile

Updated: Aug 2, 2021

Five dudes in front of a large number of sticky notes
Making Arise agile. The mallard may or may not have helped.

ARISE is all about facilitating and innovating services that aid species recognition and biodiversity monitoring. In that sense it aims to deliver many services or even products around biodiversity. All connected around data from various sources, interoperable layers and services to build on top of that data. Sounds complex? You could almost compare it to building a platform like Spotify, Amazon or Airbnb, with many tiny services both visible and invisible. These gigantic platforms didn't just pop up in a day or even a year. They were built iteratively and shaped over time. How? By taking an Agile product development mindset.

Why? Even though we know the potential value of ARISE, the 'what', and we have the rough sketches of what it would look like (see our Architectural Design study blog), we don't always know 'how' we should build it. Working Agile will enable the ARISE team to set clear goals while starting small so we can change our course rapidly when needed. In practice, this means starting with pilots or small prototypes instead of building a fully fledged platform and only lifting the curtain in 5 years - and then finding out it was the wrong thing. Agile also means getting a lot of feedback from our "users", anyone who would potentially make use of ARISE in the future... you?


Now, we didn't say that was easy. Many of the ARISE team come from various backgrounds, and from various organizations as we are a consortium. So how did we go Agile? Well, by going on an actual, in person bootcamp altogether! Under the excellent guidance of the Scrum Academy trainer, Steije de Lat, 5 teams, plus an extra day for the Team leads, accounted for a total of 36 hours plunging into all sorts of topics and exercises. We're not talking about sitting and listening, but actual hands-on work, such as, nitpicking of our priorities, thinking about what our users need instead of what we think they need, breaking down the work within each team, so we can start building.... today.

people sitting on the ground, classroom style. There's a taxidermized fox in the back.
Part of "team ARISE" creating an Agile mindset during their bootcamp. Fun fact: At Naturalis, there are dead animals everywhere. The photographer is almost touching a taxidermized porcupine here.

What we learned and valued; really owning the work, how we can collaborate even with distributed team members and across various teams and maybe even more important, getting to know each other better to create an even bigger positive vibe to kick-start ARISE.


So, we're going supersonic very soon, showing small pilots and prototypes first and tuning them to the needs of our users. The soil fungal sample pilot was just one example, so follow us to stay updated. We hope you help us build ARISE! So please connect with us to tell us more about your needs around biodiversity.


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