The enterprise roundtable is an event format from Workpath, where selected practitioners from medium-sized businesses as well as corporates come together to exchange in a moderated format and trustful environment on topics revolving around a new working and business world.
For the first enterprise roundtable 15 particpants followed the invitation from Workpath and came to Munich. Amongst others Timo Salzsieder, CIO of Metro AG, Stefan Machheit, Executive Agile Consultant at Otto Group as well as Andre Wilhelmi, People Manager at Flixbus.
The first Enterprise Roundtable
On September 21st the first Enterprise Roundtable took place in Munich. After a warm welcome and brief introduction of Johannes Müller, CEO of Workpath, Doris Leinen from DB Systel shared her experiences from and approach to a transformation with more than 4.000 employees.
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) at DB Systel
Since 2014 Doris Leinen is driving the transformation process of the Deutsche Bahn corporation – towards a more future-oriented and sustainable organization. One of the greatest efforts turned out to be the restructuring of the organizational structure of DB Systel from a pyramid to a self-organized network organization.
„We have a focus on a becoming a “self-organized network organization”, right now, we emphasize OKRs as bottom-up approach.“
For this process teams were send on the way to transformation. More than 50 of those teams already work with the modern and agile OKR method for goal and performance management. Moderated workshops helped to introduce employees to Objectives und Key Results and the creation of such for DB Systel. In the course of this, the team OKRs were also aligned with the overall strategy.
„It is a matter of fact that if the transformation is not concretely planned in the backlog of the teams, nothing will just happen casually.“
Moreover, also the management level was integrated into the transformation process and distributed onto new roles that fit the new organizational structure and ambition. The leadership circle of DB Systel now occupies the three roles of the Agility Manager, Product Owner and Exekutive Team.
Andre Wilhelmi on OKRs at Zalando and Flixbus
The former Product Manager and Producer of Zalando and current People Manager of the FlixMobility Tech GmbH (Flixbus), Andre Wilhelmi, spoke about how you can succeed in scaling OKR processes with thousands of employees. With the around 15 other participants he shared his experience with the transformational tool OKRs, which he helped introducing already at both firms.
„For me bottom-up means that I personally decide, how I can contribute towards the different Objectives – and not that I come up with something, how I think where the company should go.“
In the course of the OKR implementations Wilhelmi amongst other things learned that internally trained as well as externally hired experts are a key element for the introduction of new, agile processes. For Zalando OKR experts turned out to be a great support to overcome the initial chaos and uncalrities regardinng the actual way of working of OKRs. At Flixbus, the organization opted for offering a OKR training for all new hires.
Important for Wilhelmi above all is that OKRs allow organizations to show where they want to go. Outcome instead of output orientation therefore is most important to him when it is about setting Objectives the right way.
The biggest take away for Wilhelmi from those two transformation processes was most of all that a general commitment across all organizational levels as well as a good feedback culture are indispensable for an efficent functioning of such a change process.
HolidayCheck´s journey towards an agile network organization with OKRs as operating system
Mathias Gorf, agile coach at the HolidayCheck Group, firstly talked about the OKR cycle and how it is carried out every quarter at HolidayCheck. The OKR cycle is an important tool to ensure the correct and consistent implementation of the goal and performance management method.
From his experience with OKRs at HolidayCheck Gorf, similar to Wilhelmi, recommends to early in the process educate and train so called “OKR Champions”. Books like “Radical Focus” from Christina Wodtke or “The Phoenix Project” from Gene Kim furthermore where important companions for the agile coach.
The complete interviews with participants from the Enterprise Roundtable will be published soon in the Workpath Magazine. If you want to make sure that you won´t miss them, sign up for our newsletter.
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