In its first decade on the scene, NewMotion has been behind nothing short of an electric charging revolution. But the ambitions of Europe’s largest electric charging partner certainly don’t stop here. NewMotion is determined to make e-mobility as easy and accessible as possible for the widest possible audience, irrespective of lifestyle, company, car or budget. To help in their preparations for further growth, NewMotion called in the experts from Epic Agility to implement an even more robust Agile methodology in all layers of the organisation.
Jeroen Molenaar, Founder of Epic Agility, explains how his company took on the challenge.
‘As an entrepreneur, the only way to allow your company to grow healthily is by daring to make the right moves. And the entrepreneurs behind NewMotion have the courage to do just that. They want to grow, and are therefore always on the lookout for potential improvements. What can be done differently, and primarily, what can be done better? It’s a continuous process, and you have to stick with it. The desire to modernise is a mainspring of healthy business growth. It might sound odd, but I am convinced that you can modernise by daring to stay put. To allow yourself to recharge before racing forward like never before.
Agile working and training for management and teams
NewMotion had already been working with Agile for a number of years, but it was yet to be introduced throughout the company. In order to accelerate and improve their way of working, NewMotion was keen to also implement the Agile methodology at the strategic and management levels. Epic Agility’s years of international experience with Agile working and training at both management and team levels was the main reason for entrusting the job to us. Epic Agility takes a much broader and pragmatic approach than other Agile coaches, who often only train at either team or system level.
Strong Agile foundations
Even during the initial discussions, it became clear that everyone at the company fully supported and was comfortable with the fundamentals of the Agile methodology. Improvements were therefore focused on several highly practical matters. More structure was top of the wish list. I was personally charged with helping management to set the priorities, enabling my colleagues Saskia Langenberg and Jona Rens to create space at team level for the development of the quarterly plans.
Change the language
NewMotion devises smart charging solutions, and we come up with smart, pragmatic Agile solutions that – however minor they are – have a major impact. My first move was to rename the ‘Management Team’ the ‘Leadership Team’. The idea behind this is simple: it not only has a totally different connotation, a different approach is also implied. A manager is a commander in control, while a leader is much more supportive. Saskia and Jona meanwhile set to work with the change team, to ensure that the initial focus was keenly on the change itself.
‘NewMotion Agile way of working’
The change team comprised representatives of all eleven teams, and developed a communications plan addressing the ‘why’ of the ‘NewMotion Agile way of working’. All of the teams were introduced to the plan at once during an energetic ‘Grand Demo’.
Following this online kick-off presentation, we organised a major ‘Big Room’ quarterly planning session, during which the eleven teams were invited to get hands-on with the priorities set by the Leadership Team.
Organising the digital ‘Big Room’ session wasn’t without its challenges. Such sessions are normally large, physical events during which participants get through countless Post-it notes. In search of the same effect, we created an environment allowing the teams to use digital sticky notes. This worked surprisingly well, and was perhaps even more efficient than the physical approach. We usually guide teams through the space, to aid communication and see what the others are writing, but everything was now constantly visible on the screen.
The ease with which physical meetings were transformed into successful digital sessions typifies NewMotion. As you can probably imagine, it can be difficult to create teams when you can only collaborate online. This can be especially challenging at the leadership level, where team members can experience high levels of pressure. But everyone at NewMotion is used to being flexible and quickly adjusting to the situation, which meant an abundance of energy at team level. This proved to be infectious: the Leadership Team was mightily impressed by everything happening within the organisation, and was pleasantly surprised by the effective plans that resulted from the quarterly meetings.
A huge compliment
The fact that we worked together to achieve great things during a period in which everything was forced into the digital world deserves a huge compliment. It confirms what I’ve been saying for years: if you communicate effectively and openly with each other, the sky’s the limit. Also in a period in which working (together) online is the only option’.
If you would like to find out more about the Agile change process that we implemented for NewMotion, please get in touch.