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Deutsche Telekom Services Europe is building innovative solutions for the whole Deutsche Telekom Group. Ranging from automatization solutions to data processing and mining, the company develops solutions that improve the world around us.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Deutsche Telekom Services Europe (DTSE), the European shared service provider for Deutsche Telekom Group, realized they had to find new ways of working with remote teams and remote collaboration to adapt to the changing work environment. As the company planned for the future, they wanted to establish a common mindset to unite their efforts across departments. While DTSE teams were successful at collaborating on a project level, there was still room for improvement in fostering greater interdepartmental cooperation and ensuring transparency of company priorities. The realization was that they needed a better way to connect the everyday work being done to their strategic goals as a company, providing transparency from top to bottom and bottom up.
Thus launched the new way of working initiative. DTSE identified three main outcomes they wanted to achieve before identifying the right solution. First, solve the strategy execution disconnect they needed a better way to breakdown their strategic goals and mission into tangible results that their individual employees can act on. Second, change their mindset: they needed to go beyond only top-down goals and unleash the power of teams and employees to set their own goals and decide what’s important to them. And third, make both transparent: managers and employees should understand the impact of their work, fostering more discussions around what’s expected and intensifying collaboration between the silos.
DTSE decided on using objectives and key results (OKRs) as the method to achieve their desired outcomes. The priority was to find an OKR software that would not constrain them to follow only the platform’s rules but would instead be a vehicle for their OKR methodology. The goal was to first teach the teams the OKR methodology, have them learn how to embed OKRs into their existing ways of working, then be able to provide a configurable tool that could seamlessly support them on their OKR journey.
After selecting Quantive Results as the right OKR software solution for their requirements, they started an OKR pilot where volunteers could explore using OKR, offering training, coaching, and access to Quantive Results to begin evaluating tangible successes. The technical implementation of Quantive Results went quite smoothly.
“Your support team was extremely supportive, in methodology training and technical questions. Which is something I haven’t seen in other projects.”, Lutz Jansen, the Head of Technology Portfolio and Strategy at DTSE, shared.
During the OKR pilot phase, managers and employees alike found the Quantive Results OKR software to be configurable, flexible, and easy to use, with most functionality being only two clicks away. The most benefits for DTSE came from being able to adapt the platform to the unique needs of different teams and not having to force them to only use OKRs one way. They were able to create a baseline of agreed-upon rules, then offer a range of different ways to adapt Quantive Results to each team’s ways of working. Not to mention the power of extensibility and integrations like Jira and MS teams, and embedded Platform Intelligence that guides users in creating OKRs, even natively in German.
The Insightboards were especially valuable for the managers and team leads to implement OKRs into their day-to-day work. The dashboards provide an easy way to flag goals that require attention at the management level, making it possible to react and interact quickly, encouraging more discussions and greater collaboration across different departments.
The leadership at DTSE learned two key takeaways from their OKR pilot program. To achieve success with OKRs, it was important to have management buy-in and involvement at all levels.
“The methodology is quite easy, your tool is super supportive in it, but it's really, something of a mindset shift; it's a journey and everybody has to take part.”, Stefan Rose, Senior Project Manager and project lead on the new ways of working initiative at DTSE, shared.
Stefan further emphasized the importance of training and empowering key players to create a lighthouse into their strategy, setting a good example that motivates their teams to start with OKRs.
In light of these lessons learned, DTSE has now begun moving beyond their pilot and implementing OKRs in more departments. They are expertly navigating their next steps by focusing on building the foundation and key sponsors within their management board first. Utilizing Insightboards, they have drafted a transparent and clear strategic plan that maps their five strategic initiatives to their three supporting targets and further down into quarterly OKRs that are visibility aligned and actionable. With the transparency, knowledge-sharing, and efficiency improvements they have already gained, they are excited to realize even more benefits as additional teams start using Quantive Results.
Deutsche Telekom Services Europe’s strategy revolves around digitally transforming its products and processes, forming the core of their approach. In an industry continually experiencing increased automation and emerging of new competitors, they recognize the need for clever solutions, techniques, and digital technologies. “And OKRs are really one of the leverages to get there, to be ahead of the wave; I am convinced of this.”, Lutz stated, and if you establish successful methods, “then it's about scaling. And finding more cases where you can apply it and be able to scale your internal teams and then acquire new business again.”
The efforts of DTSE have been further validated by other Telekom entities looking for OKR solutions, who are reaching out to hear about Quantive Results and learn from their experience with OKRs. As an already established market leader, Deutsche Telekom’s ability to leverage OKRs to stay ahead of the curve will be invaluable for supporting their missions of transforming themselves from their position as Leading European Telco into the Leading Digital Telco.
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