How and why agile is applied to the work of the system administration team

April was funded in 1996 to further Free Software. The technical debt accumulated over the years became a blocker when the organization grew over 5,000 voting members. Late 2012, the system administration team decided to resolve the issue by embrassing the devops development method.
The agile methods have been adapted with the key idea that the team will eventually be self organized. It may take months, maybe years. A key idea is that each team member understands and interprets, in his own way, the fundamental principles of agility.
Agility is a new idea and the devops movement is even younger : they are a source of inspiration rather than rules to be followed. At any given moment in time, a method is implemented ( see for instance the summary of the sprint planning meeting ), discussed and transformed. For instance, the team members try to meet about once a month to discuss planning and review what has been done since the last meeting. However, because the team is composed of a majority of volunteers, organizing the meetings is often challenging. The actual frequency and communication methods cannot be defined once for all : they need to be adapted depending on personalities and professional occupations.