Taskmill and Lassila & Tikanoja started their cooperation in the spring of 2022, when L&T’s property services unit needed help in creating a development-related cooperation model between different business operations.
The main goal was to create an operating model, with which development planning can be done in an agile and participatory manner between different organizational units. At the same time, they wanted to find out how agile methods can help with business development.
Overlapping projects and the use of key personnel’s time as a challenge
“The main challenges were the overlapping of projects and the amount of simultaneous work. We had several projects progressing at the same time, promoted by a few key people, which caused delays in development and created personnel dependencies. We had identified that clarifying the common direction, improving cooperation between businesses and prioritizing development work more clearly than before could significantly improve both job satisfaction and value generation for customers,” says Reima Harju, Director of L&T’s property services.
Current state -analysis and agile coaching for business
Together with Taskmill, the agile change path was launched in May 2022. Since they wanted to approach agility from both portfolio and team level, L&T got the support of two of Taskmill’s Agile Coaches, Elina Jolma and Timo Ruottinen.
“We started the change path with an analysis of the current situation and interviews with key personnel. We wanted to hear about the challenges and wishes, so that we could think of the best ways to implement the changes from L&T’s point of view,” says Taskmill’s Agile Coach Timo Ruottinen.
From the point of view of change, increasing the organization’s competence in relation to agility and Lean also played a significant role. “At the very beginning of the change path, we organized coaching for the key personnel, where we discussed the application of agility from the perspective of the service industry. The training was carried out in person and it was wonderful to notice how the cooperation between the businesses started to build already during those days. The coaching gave a good push for the change and also nicely raised the expectations regarding the building of the cooperation model”, continues Agile Leadership Consultant Elina Jolma from Taskmill.
Agile joint-planning connects different business units
After the training, the development of the actual cooperation model 6 started. Together with experts from L&T, a model was created for quarterly joint planning, which brings together representatives of different organizational units, ICT and other centralized functions and creates transparency for the development of real estate services as a whole. “The model was piloted with ICT-related work, because the challenges in the simultaneous implementation of several projects were particularly visible in the daily life of the ICT development team. With joint planning, we especially wanted to increase the discussion of common goals between the businesses, create transparency for ongoing and planned work, and support prioritization,” explains L&T’s Product Owner Elina Korhonen.
“The joint planning was preceded by good preparation. We mapped the ongoing projects and development works in the businesses and based on these, we prepared for the development of the entire real estate services-level view,” continues Taskmill’s Timo Ruottinen.
“The actual joint planning event was carried out live in Helsinki’s Pitäjänmäki. At the event, we worked with a shared view built on the wall, crossing business boundaries. We broke down tasks into faster value-producing entities and, in addition, combined tasks that make sense to implement at the same time. We also identified dependencies and prioritized tasks with a rather heavy hand,” Elina Jolma sheds light on working methods.
Solving business challenges using the sprint model
“In addition to joint planning, we also tested agile methods on an operational level in business development. We used agile methods to solve business challenges with good results,” adds Timo Ruottinen.
Through the cooperation, L&T increased both the organization’s know-how about agility and gained practical experience in utilizing agile methods in business development. “Together with Taskmill, we were able to build a cooperation model and operating methods that we have been able to apply independently after the pilot phase. We also gained increased transparency and improved cooperation between units”, Reima Harju praises.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Taskmill’s competent consultants. I myself got to facilitate the joint planning after the pilot phase and the team was at least as actively and enthusiastically involved as the first time when Taskmill was with us. It has been easy for us to continue making our organization more agile, when we got a good boost for it with the support of Taskmill”, sums up Elina Korhonen.