Increasing project speed and impact

Telenor DK and Implement Consulting Group

12 September 2018

Using Agile and Design Thinking to introduce New Ways of Working at Telenor

Telenor was looking for a tailored approach to increase the speed and impact of its projects. Together, we have designed a New Way of Working, leveraging the best of Design Thinking and Agile methods to be infused in the organisation through large-scale application. The practice has been anchored in the day-to-day support of individual project teams, with Implement acting as a sparring partner and facilitator to ensure continuous progress and shorter time to impact for Telenor’s top strategic projects.

Telenor has historically been a major telecommunications player in Denmark. In a fast-paced environment driven by technological disruptions and a volatile customer base, Telenor wanted to strengthen its position by developing new capabilities designed to make the company stay relevant and get ahead of the game. After having developed and rolled out a strategic innovation education programme, Telenor teamed up with Implement to shape, pilot and anchor these new capabilities throughout the organisation.

Building capabilities

The focus was set on two core capabilities:

  1. Achieving a shared problem-solving mindset, using user-centric innovation methods to solve complex problems.
  2. Establishing an Agile project model, shortening the time to impact and allowing for an iterative development process.

Implement joined Telenor’s transformation team as method stewards in order to help them translate their ambitions into actionable plans, clear working structures and hands-on activities within their teams.

The first step consisted of prototyping and experimenting with the New Way of Working based on Project Half Double and Design Thinking in the strategic programmes for three months. Experiences and learning from the pilot programmes were captured and iterated on the principles and tools that put together and formed a tailored methodology. Following this, Implement and Telenor expanded the pool of strategic programmes and key initiatives where this methodology was to be applied, while at the same time applying its essence into the line organisation. As a final step, a large-scale training programme was rolled out throughout the organisation, building and strengthening capabilities in key areas.

Along the journey, Telenor spotted one additional capability to be reinforced: portfolio management. The objective here was to design a robust governance process, enabling Telenor to focus its resources on the right projects and create the best possible framework for the New Way of Working. The exercise was conducted first with the commercial portfolio and then with the technology portfolio, with the end goal of merging them together.

The clarity and transparency this has created across the entire organisation has created an awareness of the importance of benefits realisation at Telenor. Now, projects are evaluated on the basis of the impact they create and not only if the deliverables are on time and within budget.

A joint journey to building new capabilities at Telenor

  • Developing and tailoring the New Way of Working through co-designing, prototyping and piloting the methodology in practice

  • Achieving higher speed and impact in projects (target from 1.2 years to 6 months), by building in-house capabilities and hands-on project support

  • Establishing a robust governance structure to prioritise projects and resources in support of the New Way of Working

Transformation on its way

A few months down the road, all parties involved can sense an acceleration of the innovation and execution process, with a large base of employees already having experienced or been trained in the New Way of Working.

Cross-functional teams are collaborating more effectively thanks to newly recruited or trained sprint masters, method stewards, and service designers infusing their mindset and methods in every employee’s day-to-day work. Together, they ensure that each project solves the right challenge and that the solution has gone through a user-centric prototyping process – ensuring sure it is designed right.

With a solid governance system in place, the dialogue around resource allocation and prioritisation has reached a new level and helps all stakeholders create and maintain a portfolio of projects set to yield the greatest collective impact.

Related0 4