A Scrum board for a whole company? Steering a company with an obeya room.
Several organizations face the problem, that despite their best efforts people are not aligned. They run towards their target without knowing and considering the targets of others and (unintentionally) block or sabotage each other. From target setting to reporting, planning and prioritization, all these mechanics fall victim to these conflicts as well as are recreating the problem itself.
About 3 years ago the transformation team of an Austrian digital bank identified how the current target setting and tracking process pits people against each other. To address such a fundamental problem, the organization needed to rethink how people interact and how the organisation creates value. Adapting this view impacts the target setting process, the reporting and planning mechanics, the surrounding meetings and decision paths as it really takes effect.
Building on the ideas of impact mapping, lean and flight levels, we successfully redesigned our processes in 2020, creating an end-to-end alignment through its value chains. The centre was a 360 degree physical obeya room, which served both a planning, reporting and decision making platform.
The presentation will start from the setup at the time, introducing the obeya concept and pinpointing the problems. Then it follows the discussion through workshops while stakeholders understand their hidden dependencies and competing priorities. It can be observed how the “business-line” concept (an end-to-end view on product-clusters) in the obeya and shared understanding emerges from these exchanges.
To sustainably address these recurring challenges, practical ideas and visual adjustments will be presented that ended up in the obeyas of the company that helped people stay in the collaborative setup and mindset created by the preceding discussion.
The resulting company heatmap will be presented, where the current state of the company and planned capacity investment are visualized, easy-to-consume and in-context. It can be traced how the nested obeya setup makes it possible that C-level executives and team members have a common understanding to talk about challenges and priorities. The resulting end-to-end view empowered people to stay aligned across expertise and organizational boundaries, and empowered the company to act as a data driven organization, increasing productivity and employee happiness.
Alex Bock is a passionate Project & Transformation Manager who helps organizations to deliver mission impossible projects efficiently and to focus on the right things taking the strategic priorities into account. He supports organizations in their agile transformation to deliver the expected value and keep getting better as a whole company.