grow platform works agile: In a global market characterized by constant change, our Innovation Hubs network relies on the strategy of agile work. This enables our portfolio teams to adapt to new challenges even quicker and more flexibly, and to turn their business innovations into reality. Applying the agile work strategy to international collaborations creates the ideal conditions for innovative products and satisfied customers – and is a further visionary step towards making grow platform a global key player to drive disruptive business innovations for Bosch.
What does “agile work” at grow platform mean?
In principle, grow platform follows two approaches of agile working. While the agile work approach, among other things, is aimed internally at the teams in the collaboration, the lean startup approach is used and implemented externally to the customer. As intended with the scientific lean startup approach, the focus is primarily on the development and improvement of processes and their rationalization.
Both agile working ways are concentrating on developing first versions of a product as quickly as possible – and getting customer feedback early on. Customers are actively involved in the product development process so that changes and new desires can be implemented flexibly.
There is never a final product per se but one that is repeatedly adapted and improved, step by step along the way. By constantly learning from mistakes and by adapting to new conditions, those who work in an agile way can create innovative products and services that are perfectly matched to customer needs.
grow platform is about being innovative and absolutely customer focused. The strategy of agile work enables our international product owner to succeed in markets that are changing faster than ever before. It allows them to focus their resources on learning from experience, reacting quickly to new requirements and challenges, and implementing solutions profitably.
Teamwork as a success factor
The most important precondition for agile work is autonomously organized teamwork. grow platform portfolio teams define their goals and allocate tasks among themselves. Their work is always centered on the user problem. These needs serve as the compass toward the finished product.
Since change is an important factor in agile work, every grow platform team must regularly scrutinize itself, what it is doing, and how it is doing it. By constantly dialoguing with customers and with each other, the teams are able to react very flexibly, rapidly and with great efficiency to new challenges. This enables innovations to be implemented in a more targeted and expeditious manner.
At grow platform, the focus is on the interaction of team members. The agile work strategy creates a transparent corporate climate in which conflicts and problems are openly addressed. Everyone looks out for each other, no one on the team is overburdened, and challenges are solved together. “Strong agile teams are, therefore, also happy teams,” observes Karsten Rönner, general manager of grow platform.
It’s all about mindset
In agile work, every team member must be willing to acknowledge mistakes and learn from them. This requires a corporate culture that is based on appreciation, trust, motivation, openness, and transparency, and that always puts the individual before processes and tools.
In cultivating its portfolio teams, grow platform relies on this culture of acknowledging mistakes and learning from them: When failures occur, the ability to communicate them and learn from them is of the utmost importance. Only in this way products and processes can be improved in a targeted manner and new business ideas can be brought to market successfully.
The positive feedback from our teams has demonstrated that the agile work strategy is not only more efficient; it also boosts team members’ motivation and commitment. This enables grow platform to assist teams more creatively and enthusiastically in turning their business innovations into reality and delivering real added value for customers.
What do you consider to be the benefits of agile work?
In the past, lengthy planning phases had to be carried out before you even began to implement a new idea. This resulted in getting customer feedback quite late in the process, which meant that you only found out at the end of it whether what you had planned actually worked. The agile work strategy lets you focus much better on what customers want. When you’re aiming to create something new and innovative, you have to be able to act and react flexibly and dynamically.
What were your tasks in implementing the strategy?
The first thing was to introduce the SCRUM method into our teamwork model. To do so, we created the boards and set up a team. Here, it was important to get all the team members of our innovation hubs on board – while also taking into account their personal experiences, perspectives and needs. Because agile work only works if everyone’s pulling together
How did you introduce the agile work method?
We took a step-by-step approach. The main thing at the beginning was how to organize and hold our meetings. The global time differences alone put constraints on this. Instead of daily meetings, we agreed on holding weekly events at which we would present interim results and adapt our assignments and tasks flexibly to changing circumstances. This creates greater transparency – so, every team member knows exactly where things stand and what needs to be tackled next.
What’s the key to successful implementation?
It’s crucial for everyone to internalize the agile work mindset. For this to happen, you have to demonstrate to every member of the team that every development process is an experiment and that mistakes can sometimes occur. And when they do, it’s very important to say: ‘That’s okay. It’s the whole principle behind agile work: Keep trying and keep adapting. It’s the only way to learn from mistakes and continuously improve
Have you already reached all your objectives?
When I look back at where we started, I can say that we’ve already achieved a lot – especially in terms of teamwork. It’s now quite normal for a team member to take on a task on her or his own initiative and then involve all the other team members in it. The teams organize themselves independently and share ideas on how they can support each other.But, naturally, – and in keeping with the spirit of the agile work concept – there’s still room for us to improve.
Daul Dias is a certified Scrum Master (CSM) with many years of experience in project management (PMP). Working at Bosch since 1999 and involved in a wide range of projects in different business areas, Daul has recently heavily supported the agile work methodology and sprints of the Innovation Hub network at the home of Bosch Intrapreneurs.
– quick sprints to success
Originally from the IT sector, SCRUM is a work method for project and product management. According to the method, each development process is characterized by short cycles – so-called sprints – and regular feedback sessions with customers. Within a self-organizing team, there are predefined roles: The Product Owner prioritizes technical requirements, while the SCRUM Master is tasked with managing processes and removing any potential obstacles.
Toward the future with dynamism
grow platform is bridging the gap between business potential and business success to secure the future of Bosch. Since our portfolio teams must prevail in highly complex and constantly changing markets, the agile work strategy is a decisive key to success — because the strategy is always focused on the customer and his or her needs and wishes. Those who aim to turn a potential innovation project into a successful business must recognize from the outset that they will constantly be faced with new challenges — and setbacks.
At grow platform, agile work in small, self-organized teams forms the basis for rapid adjustments and the targeted improvement of entrepreneurial concepts. This is how we increase our likelihood of success and minimize potential risks in developing new business models. grow platform offers Bosch intrapreneurs an environment characterized by customized global support and organizational autonomy. This not only inspires confidence in collaborating with us — which, in turn, provides the basis for further establishing our global network for innovative business innovations —, it facilitates the creation of fast-growing, highly profitable companies.