Software development company DVT has appointed Stephen de Villiers Graaff as a Principal Agile Consultant to support its Agile@DVT training and consulting service in Cape Town.

Agile@DVT services include consulting and training in enterprise Agile adoption; consulting and training in change management; consulting and training in hybrid Waterfall/Agile models; and consulting and training in pure Agile and combined Scrum, Agile and Kanban methods.

A 20-year industry veteran, de Villiers Graaff began his career as a software developer before moving into traditional project management and, more recently, development and support management roles. In his latter roles he explored implementing different frameworks within the Agile methodology for the teams he was managing, and realised his true passion for Agile and its derivatives.

“You could say I moved on from ‘being in the machine’ to ‘making the machine more efficient’,” he says. “That’s the real, bottom-line benefit when it comes to Agile – it’s all about maximising the efficiency and minimising the waste of your software systems and the teams that implement them.”

At an enterprise level, de Villiers Graaff is drawn to the scaling power of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). He is a certified Scrum Master and one of the few certified SAFe Program Consultants in the country.

“Agile@DVT is going to break through the mold of traditional small-scale Agile implementations in Cape Town,” he says. “We’re going to show customers how they can move past their ad-hoc Agile deployments and push Agile up the chain into the portfolio and program levels of larger enterprises. It’s definitely an exciting time to be an Agile consultant in Cape Town and I’m delighted to be part of it.”

De Villiers Graaff is responsible for a number of high-profile Agile implementations over the past five years, including major projects at First Contact, StatPro and McGregorBFA. He also worked on the Agile transformation at one of South Africa’s leading retail chains before his DVT recruitment.

“I don’t see myself as an Agile purist,” he says. “I mostly take a pragmatic approach to Agile transformation because every site has its own challenges. It’s all about the people and how they interact, be it at a team level, or higher up the chain. My approach has always been to find the right balance, to find the ‘sweet spot’, and this resonates with DVT’s approach and specifically with my role at Agile@DVT.”