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Dutch Plant Protection Board Breathes New Life into Old System

Dutch board for pesticide management learns Agile approach to work and updates its old legacy system into a new cloud architecture
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Agile, DevOps, Software Development

Public and Utilities


The Dutch Board for the Authorization of Plant Protection Projects and Biocides (CTBG) is the leading organization in charge of protecting consumers from harmful pesticides and deciding what products can go on the market in the Netherlands. Each year, CTBG assesses whether pesticides and other products are safe for humans, animals, and the environment. The governmental organization is charged with processing many applications each year in accordance with international agreements. The number of applications has grown tremendously over the years particularly with the advent of Brexit and its resulting and long-lasting effects.

Update an outdated legacy system
Prepare for changes in IT architecture and get rid of legacy systems
A complete Agile approach from the top down

Moving from Legacy to Efficiency

MST (Middelen Stoffen Toepassingen), CTBG’s core business application was outdated and struggled to keep up with the pace of business. Unable to be supported, the legacy architecture in place proved costly in the long run as maintenance and upkeep meant both time and money. CTBG had reached capacity with the old architecture. Replacing the system would save money and enable new, more efficient ways of working that would also be able to handle the number of applications coming in. CTBG asked Xebia for their expertise in transforming, not only its IT infrastructures but also in training teams how to work with Agile in concert with DevOps and Scrum.

All Hands Approach

Xebia wanted to bring greater visibility to CTBG’s core functions by modernizing its IT infrastructure and workflow. They had to create a reliable path so CTBG’s employees could also be brought up to speed with the new technologies and ways of working that accompanied it. Furthermore, a large component of the task for Xebia was to develop an up-to-date, modern interface using a public API to display data. The scope of the project meant ensuring the data from the legacy system was saved and could be transferred into the new IT architecture without any hitches. Xebia’s lead engineer Urs Peter explained: “To successfully complete this project we had to take a complete approach, including process, organization and training.”

“Xebia fully lived up to its promise and delivered a flawlessly working product from a functional and technological point of view. We are very grateful. Thanks to Xebia, we have a sound basis for our business for the years to come.”
Ivonne Geerenstein-Klarenbeek MST Project Manager

Building a Modern Platform

CTBG was tasked with learning how to work in an Agile fashion, with autonomous, self-organizing teams working in concert on business features and deliverables. “We started with a room and a Wi-Fi connection. At the time, CTGB had no technical staff, no preference for a technical platform, and no experience with Scrum,” explained Peter. Another pressing task was filling the backlog. With knowledge dispersed amongst different staff members, Xebia led employees in consolidating knowledge, experience, and skills and using this newfound unity to quickly work in sprints and manage the new platform without errors and less lag time. With Xebia’s help, CTBG successfully modernized and migrated to the cloud.

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