Whitepaper

Transforming a traditional company into a modern, resilient, and adaptable organization is not simply a question of introducing so-called “agile” methods. Task boards and daily scrums will not make a company more successful in the long term as long as the underlying traditional mindsets, whereby instructions are given and followed, remain unchanged. For a company to become sustainably successful, it needs to both permit and encourage employees to think and act in an entrepreneurial manner. If everyone puts the same level of commitment into their business units as they would into their own company, they become intrapreneurs—intra-corporate entrepreneurs. This means that they make decisions autonomously, assume responsibility, take risks, and make plans for the future. As such, they sustainably transform the organization from within.

The 2018 financial crisis as well as increasing pressure caused by digitalization and new types of financial services have forced banks to revisit their strategies and business models. This is why, over the past few years, many institutes have started comprehensive agile transformation programs—in parallel and/or as an addition to their digitalization initiatives. These transformations have already reached an advanced stage and, judging by their business reports, paid off. However, the wave of agility in the banking sector has not yet reached its peak; on the contrary: we have observed new, more radical forms of change that do not only affect the banks’ IT, but also units such as risk management, audit, and sales. Furthermore, modern management instruments such as objectives & key results and Obeya rooms have found their way into performance and portfolio management. This whitepaper will provide information on trends and current developments in the field of agile banking.

Organizations usually gain their first experience with agile ways of working at the team level: either through the impetus of individual teams that want to try out a new way of working or through officially (top-down) created agile pilot teams. The initial phase is often ambivalent: The euphoria of the proponents is pitted against the concerns of the skeptics – and that is precisely why the learning curve is very steep. Everyone concerned and, not least, management gain a sense of the benefits, but also of the challenges associated with cross-functional teams, short development cycles, flat hierarchies and self-organization. However, organizations cannot operate with isolated pilot teams forever, as this would give rise to too much friction with other areas.

Customers’ calls for adaptive insurance models and digital services are getting louder. “Usage-based insurance” reveals the underlying idea: why pay for flat-rate risk coverage if my individual risk is measurably lower? This development is enhanced by the Internet of Things. However, it presents insurance companies with their biggest hurdle yet: they need to become technology companies that keep their finger on the pulse.

Agility in a company isn’t only about how products are developed. Instead, agility is predominantly about how employees communicate with each other across all hierarchies, and how they contribute to the organization’s processes. The traditional annual employee performance review is one of the most important tools when it comes to defining one’s own targets and bringing them in line with the organization’s objectives. Previously, employees were little more than recipients of imposed targets and merely gave their consent—maybe suggesting a few small amendments. Agile employee performance reviews are significantly different, both with regard to who conducts them and how they are carried out. This whitepaper shows you how an agile employee performance review can be carried out and provides a simple tool which individuals can use to prepare for the review.

This whitepaper delves deeper into the term “agile mindset” and asks the question: “How can you tell if people and teams already have an agile mindset, or if they are at least working towards it?” To help with this, practical methods that support an agile mindset will be presented.

“We want to convert to the Spotify Model” – this is a request we have received many times in the last two years. The Swedish music-streaming platform is the epitome of a new, agile company. Even though Spotify only started turning a profit in 2018, their structural setup from 2012 seems to answer the question from companies across the world about how to build an agile organization.

Today, turning a company into an agile organization is a stated goal at many upper management levels. There is not, however, a single correct way to achieve this goal. The “why” for an agile transformation should first be clarified and then an appropriate strategy be designed. These strategies can be essentially summarized into three approaches: Lighthouse project, spin-off and radical transformation. In this whitepaper, you will learn what is involved with each approach and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Digitisation has now gained ground in even the most conservative sectors. Today, the question is no longer whether there will be changes, but what the scope of these changes will be. Anyone wishing to be among the winners of digitisation must act – but how best to deal with it?

One successful way is bundling digital initiatives in separate units largely independent of the parent organization…

An ERP system is no less than the backbone of a company. As a reflection of current business processes it is intended to support work flows and help keep them efficient. Seen from a functional point of view ERP systems offer countless possibilities. But it is also a fact that they rank among the most sluggish and, at the same time, most cost-intensive architectures in the IT landscape of a company. Should a company wish or have to adapt to changes on the market, the highly branched ERP giants…

Engineering expertise is the export hit of German, Swiss and Austrian enterprises. Development-intensive branches such as mechanical engineering, the automotive industry, medical technology and electrical engineering are key mainstays of the economy across Europe. However, global competition is catching up: shorter innovation cycles are called for, development projects must be completed faster, more economically, but nevertheless, in the same high quality. Agile management…

Medical technology has never lacked revolutionary ideas. Yet, cost pressure and new international competitors in the healthcare sector make shorter development cycles inevitable, even for this highly innovative industry. Many companies have to ask themselves, how, under current regulatory frameworks, product development can be faster, less cost intensive while still providing premium quality products? …

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