Materialise Software provides companies with a platform of software tools that manage and control the 3D printing process more efficiently, allowing to meet the highest standards of the most demanding industries.


3D printing is a market filled with innovation and disruption, where start-ups focus on only part of the end-to-end (E2E) process or on specific materials and techniques. This makes it challenging for mature companies to remain competitive. As an established player in the market for three decades, Materialise’s software engineering department has built many different software solutions. Each solution plays a role in the various phases of the 3D printing flow: part design and preparation, build preparation, simulation, machine control, build quality inspection, and production management.

These solutions cover the complete E2E process of additive manufacturing and support various print materials for different printing techniques, which each have unique challenges and requirements. Materialises rapid growth across the globe provided software development teams with additional synchronisation challenges.
To avoid falling behind the competition, Materialise needed to optimise their way of working by providing an integrated software product suite. The company wanted to achieve the following objectives:

  • Increase the alignment within the software department
    and between different products and teams.
  • Increase customer focus, resulting in higher quality products.
  • Increase predictability of software deliveries and accelerate time to market.
  • Increase employee engagement.

CTG and Materialise decided to implement a customised way of working based on the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) leveraging CTG’s Agile Transformation solution. It was clear that adopting an Agile approach would help the company accelerate progress toward its goals.

One of the first steps was creating a guiding coalition, a team comprised of people in different roles and working in different parts of the software engineering division.
This team would be responsible for driving the definition and implementation of the roadmap. CTG’s Agile coaches supported this team by providing guidance and assistance every step of the way.

The next step was to manage the necessary leadership training and coaching for the people involved. In total, 44 software engineers were trained in the first months as we prepared to start the journey with the complete department of about 120. CTG ran workshops for Agile Coaches and management, as well as a trial run for the first big room planning (Program Increment (PI) planning) event before it was held. During PI planning, the software engineering department and all stakeholders were brought together, and management presented the business goals that Materialise wanted to achieve to create alignment and clear communication between everyone involved.

Together, this group then developed a roadmap for achieving these goals, including identifying roles and potential risks. Once up and running, CTG’s Agile coach actively supported the transformation by assisting the guiding coalition, facilitating big room events, coaching internal staff operating at the program and portfolio level, and performing workshops with different stakeholders based on operational needs.

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