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Agile Transformation

Croatia Osiguranje: Agile Coaching for ASW Department

agile coaching croatia osiguranje

One of the goals of the largest insurance organization on the local market “Croatia osiguranje” was to create a modern organization in line with global trends and innovations.

Intro

The biggest change I can notice is the amount of communication and changes in prioritizing work. Because we introduced the Product Owner role, our team members were no longer ‘bombarded’ by a large number of requests that may have some business value but we thoroughly think together about the value of the work we do.

Intro

Project

One of the goals of the largest insurance organization on the local market “Croatia osiguranje” was to create a modern organization in line with global trends and innovations. Not only such organization then becomes a great place to work for current employees but also an excellent choice for the potential ones. If we step a bit further from following trends and making the company attractive to potential employees, agile brings the most change in generating true business value and eliminating waste in daily activities by changing the point of view towards work in general.

So, we asked main characters of this success story to share their experience and their journey. Here is their story.

 

Why Agile?

In a team of highly capable individuals, blindly following the rules and processes becomes obsolete. There are a couple of main benefits of giving people the possibility and the tools (like scrum) to self improve the way they work.

The first one is the organizations focus on people and trusting them to know the best way to improve their work and its outputs. Believing it’s beneficial for everyone to try and explore how we can all work in a better way, from one iteration to another, from one sprint to another.

The other important benefit is being honest and admitting to ourselves there may be things we haven’t been doing in the best way possible, that there is room to grow and that all teams and individuals can help us with that growth.
That is exactly how you get rid of the ‘I am the one who knows best’ paradigm that is so often present in the business world. Actively including everyone in the decision making process not only helps develop employees’ autonomy, it also contributes towards better human resources management from the organization’s perspective.

There is also the other aspect of introducing an agile way of work that must not be neglected and is a huge benefit compared to the traditional way of working.

Agile way of working makes the planning of current priorities and future work way easier and in line with the work dynamics and client needs. Such planning makes it possible to react faster to market changes and, of course, to deliver more often and more efficiently than when making half-year plans.

Challenges

Of course, a couple of risks come with all the benefits of the agile way of working. One of the risks is the fact that agile way of working requires a significant change of mindset and we can’t always take for granted the change would come easily to everyone.

Employees need to accept  new and significantly different ways of working and management needs to accept the risk of losing employees who could experience the change as unpleasant or forced. That’s why the teams have to keep as much autonomy as possible in creating their scrum activities and optimizations. The other real risk when implementing agile way of working is that the rest of organization will have a hard time accepting that change. Having that in mind, we should work actively to minimize that risk.

What Has Changed?

When we embarked on our agile transformation journey, we knew very little about the Scrum Master roleand only in theory. It was great to learn alongside teams who were also at the beginning of their agile journey. We were just introduced to agile and to each other. We discussed some of the problems, changes in processes, ‘missing links’ in communications, but also our attitudes, skill sets, knowledge and interests for the first time.

“The teams, as well as myself, went through a kind of ‘adaptation period’ and that is still going on. The biggest change I can notice is the amount of communication and changes in prioritizing work.

Because we introduced the Product Owner role, our team members were no longer ‘bombarded’ by a large number of requests that may have some business value but we thoroughly think together about the value of the work we do. There is a significant progress in awareness that the number of people available is limited.

Many of the changes came as a consequence of team members taking a different perspective and realizing there is ‘a better way to do things’. One of the biggest of these changes is that we have started the process of completely changing the structure of submitting and monitoring requests towards the IT department.

As a psychologist I cannot but notice how agile methodologies actually align with organizational psychology when it comes to work outcomes, such as motivation, behaving responsibly within an organization, the perception of autonomy and working efficiency.

Mario Zulić, Scrum Master, Croatia osiguranje

 

What’s Next?

We definitely plan on expanding the agile way of working within our organization, with the emphasis on scrum framework and even more on approach towards work and the culture of continuous improvement.

We are rolling-out agile methodologies within the rest of ASW Development Department and will then continue with other departments. In parallel we aim to spread the word about the benefits of this way of working beyond the IT departments, to the rest of the organization. Jeff Shuterland, the author of Scrum Guide, said ‘Adapt or die!’ and one thing is sure – Croatia osiguranje plans to stay and grow as a market leader.

Adi Sarić, Director of ASW Development Department

Dario Pakozdi, Head of Business Analysis

Mario Zulić, Scrum Master

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