Transformation & Change108

Leadership and Agile Core Values Over Frameworks

Leadership and agile core values over frameworks by Harald Wild

Harald Wild

May 22, 2019


Being the association for all private health insurance companies in Germany we came from a very linear non agile environment.

As many others we had transformed our software-development team to scrum by 2011, including a PO employed in the department of our subsidiary company, we mainly do software-development for. That kept being the status for the next years.

After I had taken over the management of the IT department of the Verband der Privaten Krankenversicherung e.V. (Association of Private Health Insurance) in October 2017, I immediately started to develop the IT departments employees’ conceptual skills. We established a team of volunteers, which in the first step performed conceptual tasks and their operative implementation. This had the background to develop the IT department to a point where they know how to organize themselves, make well-founded decisions and work as a team.

With this we prepared the team for an agile transition and imparted the skills that will make the transition easier for the team.

In the meantime, together with my managing director, I have planned the expansion of the agile transition to the remaining business area, consisting of HR, Finance, Central Purchasing and Services. This in turn aroused the interest of the other divisions and the association's management. So we were able to slowly expand the agile transition accordingly.

An important part of our agile journey is that we chose a top down approach right from the start and thus the management team, including general management, started to build up know-how and transformed itself. More importantly, from the beginning we focused on understanding agility and thus the social and leadership part of the agile transition and not on frameworks like scrum. Therefore, the management team of the division (IT, Finance, HR...) was certified according to CAL1 of Scrum Allinace. Meanwhile, the CAL2 journey has begun together with Olaf Lewitz. Our team of employees now works independently, has designed and implemented the IT intranet and is looking for new tasks also independently. The team is currently being advised by our Agile Coach Alex Kylburg.

At the moment we are planning another CAL1 certification of employees from many business areas to further spread the transition. In IT, Scrummaster and Product owner certifications are now taking place to deepen the knowledge of the framework side. Various departments now structure their tasks via Kanban boards and conduct regular retrospectives. This has significantly strengthened communication and, above all, social metacommunication, so that social dissens now has significantly less influence on professional communication and this has been significantly optimized.

In addition, we have established a bimonthly open space in which many additional topics are clarified and discussed, which further enhances communication. We iterate with our clients to define and further develop our services and get early feedback. The evaluations of the customer satisfaction surveys show a significant increase in satisfaction and quality. We now take employee satisfaction surveys too, to make sure we are making the difference everybody wants to make.

We are somewhat proud of what we have accomplished in a little bit over a year and everybody is motivated in driving the change.

About Harald Wild

Harald Wild

Head of IT @ Verband der Privaten Krankenversicherung e. V.

Harald Wild has 20 years of experience in various areas of IT. 10 years as founder and managing director in the healthcare business in software development, multi-project management, network technology and smart home and another 10 years in various management positions in the insurance environment.

He has worked both operationally as a software developer, multi-project manager and Scrum Master, as well as head of software development, project management and IT business units.

Harald Wild studied Applied Computer Science and IT Business Management and is certified computer scientist in technical informatics, certified IT business manager in project management, certified agile leader credential 2 of the Scrum Alliance and certified agile business coach.

He accompanied and coached software development teams and companies during their agile transition and towards Scrum, since 2005 and is currently driving the agile transition of the Verband der Privaten Krankenversicherung e. V. in germany (Association of Private Health Insurance).

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