SA Water’s agile journey by Frank Vassallo

SA Water is South Australia’s leading provider of water and sewerage services for over 1.6 million people. For more than 160 years SA Water has been working together with South Australians to ensure a reliable supply of safe, clean water and a dependable sewerage system. SA Water is a statutory corporation reporting to an independent Board, and is included in the portfolio of the South Australian Minister for Environment and Water.

With a vision to provide world class water services for a better life, SA Water is undertaking an organisation-wide journey that puts customers at the heart. Its program of transformational initiatives includes embracing digital technology and agile project management approaches to change the way it delivers water and sewerage services. Its digital transformation work was recognised in April this year when it was named Digital Utility of the Year at the Digital Utility Awards.

This presentation and discussion will focus on how SA Water has embraced agile methodology to deliver IT capital projects, including its world-leading smart water network in the Adelaide CBD. The journey from a traditional project management approach to adaptive, flexible and agile ways of working was initiated to shift SA Water to a bi-modal operating environment. This new way of working has involved innovative governance solutions and ensures SA Water’s project approach is aligned to its business strategy and focused on putting customers at the heart.

It will also cover the challenges and opportunities encountered; how an agile approach is being expanded into the business and IT operations; and the next steps in SA Water’s agile journey.

Frank Vassallo | Agile Practice Lead @ SA Water

Highly qualified IT Delivery Leader with extensive experience in agile and traditional methods over 25 years in public and private sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom across a number of industries, including Utilities, Natural Resource Management, Land Administration, Taxation, Insurance, Agribusiness, Criminal Justice, Health, Retail and Education.

Roles in these organisations have included all aspects of the software and systems development life-cycle.

Specialising in the management and delivery of enterprise wide IT programs and projects meeting strategic business objectives and customer requirements.

For the past few years I have worked for SA Water as the IT Delivery Program Manager for our Operational Technology Program, which is a series of technology investments aimed to improve the safety and efficiency of SA Water’s resources delivering customer services in the field.

In conjunction, I have been a key member of our agile transformation and change, which has been led through program and project delivery and recently started a new role as Agile Practice Lead, leading and establishing a practice to provide coaching to build our capability and culture in the agile ways of working across the organisation.

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