A concept to structure an ICT-company and to handle development projects


IPLS is a concept to structure and organise an ICT-company at all levels. IPLS stands for ‘Intelligent Power of Large and Small’ and combines the power of a large-scale ICT company and the power of a small start-up.


Typically, a large-scale ICT-company comes with structure, competence centres, well-defined processes, expertise and scalability, but often lacks flexibility, speed, ownership and entrepreneurship. A smaller, start-up ICT-company comes with flexibility, an entrepreneurial mindset, speed and ownership, but often misses structure, multiple competences, clear processes and scalability. 


IPLS merges the advantages of large and a small into one, resulting in a powerful, extremely flexible, scalable and highly efficient software development organisation.



The 5 IPLS building blocks


IPLS exists out of 5 major and integrated building ‘blocks'. 




# 1

IPLS customer centric development teams


The first building block of the IPLS concept is a customer centric development team. The IPLS teams are the core of IPLS and exist out of ideally 4 to 5 developers and one dedicated tester. Each IPLS team is headed by a team lead who is the primus inter pares (the first among equals) of the team.

An IPLS team is not set-up for one single project but works together for several years. As the team members are working together for a long period, they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, resulting in a strong and intense collaboration.

An entrepreneurial mindset, flexibility, ownership, accountability, and a close collaboration with the customer are driving and key factors of an IPLS team. As an IPLS team sees no boundaries in their commitment, they traditionally adopt an object in astronomy like a planet, a moon, a star, a nebula, … as team name.

Although an IPLS team acts like a small enterprise, it is not an island or acting on its own. The IPLS concept includes guidance and support from experienced IPLS consultants and strong and well-defined IPLS processes.

When an IPLS team is in between 2 customer projects, they will not go 'to-the-beach' but stick together to work on specific internal projects to enhance their skills.  

IPLS teams


And what about larger development projects requiring more than one team?

For larger or complex development projects IPLS combines multiple teams in the so-called IPLS development train based on SAFe. One team will take place in the locomotive leading the train and additional teams will be working in the connected wagons. A team in the dispatching defines the direction of the train and ensure the path to its destination can be reached without any obstacles, delays and in the most efficient way.

Learn more about the IPLS development train.



# 2

IPLS consultants


The second building block of the IPLS is the IPLS consultant. To strengthen and broaden the entrepreneurial mindset and knowledge of an IPLS team, a group of experienced IPLS consultants supports and guides the IPLS teams.

An IPLS consultant has a strong and proven expertise and knowledge in a specific (niche) field of custom software development, like e.g. architecture, database management, security, performance, CSS & design implementation, project management, UI and UX, customer relations, server dimensioning, team motivation, process implementation, emerging technologies, ….

IPLS consultants are pro-actively supporting IPLS teams, but also re-actively on request of the team itself. IPLS consultants are involved in customer contact and can be contacted by the customer to discuss specific development related topics.


Although an IPLS team can count on the guidance and support of multiple IPLS consultants, there will always be one IPLS consultant that is dedicated to the team as team sponsor.

IPLS consultant



# 3

IPLS processes


The third building block of the IPLS are well-defined, clear and lean IPLS processes. There are 2 types of IPLS processes:

- The non-negotiable IPLS processes
- The flexible IPLS processes


The non-negotiable IPLS processes are followed by each IPLS team and every IPLS consultant without exception, like e.g. security, release management, infrastructure, code reviewing, Git-use, naming conventions, coding standards, development environments, … Several of the non-negotiable IPLS processes are DevOps related. IPLS stimulates and encourages DevOps and the use of tools to increase (process) efficiency.


The flexible IPLS processes are also followed by each IPLS team but are eligible for adjustment and customization based on the specific project needs or customer interactions of the team. Flexible IPLS processes are often related to project management, human resources, and customer interaction. 


IPLS consultants are the guardians of the implementation of IPLS processes across an organisation.



# 4

IPLS development methodology


The fourth building block of IPLS is the IPLS development methodology. The IPLS development methodology is a hybrid development methodology combining Agile and Waterfall.  

The core of the IPLS development methodology is Agile and the processes, values and principles of Agile are followed without fail. But the development methodology is injected with and enriched by the positive and valuable elements of the classic Waterfall development methodology like focus on:

- Documentation
- Clear planning
- Reliable budget estimates




# 5

IPLS core values


The fifth building block of the IPLS concept are the IPLS core values. IPLS embraces and rigidly encourages all stakeholders to follows these 6 IPLS core values:

- Customer centric
- Transparency
- Flexibility
- Ownership
- Team accountability
- Pro-activity