The future is now: working agile with the right mindset

Three ada-Fellows from Henkel share their personal experiences and hacks for becoming more agile

Digitalization People Future Culture Sep 11, 2019
Drei ada-Fellows von Henkel teilen ihre persönlichen Erfahrungen und Hacks für mehr Agilität


What will the working world of the future look like? How can we support technical progress innovatively? And which new rules apply in the age of artificial intelligence? These and many other questions are being addressed by the "ada | Fellowship", a nationwide education program, which was brought to life by the Handelsblatt Media Group.

The initiative, named after the British programming pioneer Ada Lovelace (1815 - 1852), offers a platform for digital life and the economy of the future. This year, roughly 500 selected participants embarked on a digital learning journey, including 30 Henkel employees. The fellows are taking part in an interdisciplinary, part-time program with live events, interactive workshops and online learning modules. The aim: learn today to understand tomorrow.

One of the topics the fellows are tackling is called “Meet the Method." It gives an insight on agile working methods and talks about project management models such as Scrum, Design Thinking or Kanban. But how agile are our fellows and how do they implement agile working methods within their teams? We asked three of our ada fellows about their experiences:

How important is the right mindset for agile work?

Serwan Yildirim, Senior Manager Global Controlling Functions

"The right mindset is first and foremost a question of the corporate culture. Agile project management and an error-accepting culture make a significant contribution to a project’s success. As Lawrence J. Peter said: 'You avoid mistakes by gaining experience. Experience is gained by making mistakes.'"


What have you learned this month from the ada program regarding agile working methods?


"For me, agility describes how to deal with flexibility and change within organizations. Specifically, it is the willingness of a company to communicate transparently with its employees so the respective work environment can be adapted individually to each employee, making it more efficient for both parties."


Which agile hacks do you use in your everyday life?

Picture Artur Menarski_rund

"It’s a variety of different tricks and methods. We do a short 'stand-up meeting' every day, for example. And, depending on the topic or project, we use different methods like Scrum or Design Thinking. In addition, we also work with project management tools like JIRA for the communication within agile project teams."


What's the next step?

Until March 2020, the ada fellows have monthly changing modules dealing with living and working in the world of tomorrow as well as important future technologies. But ada is much more: In addition to digital skills, the main focus lies on the community and learning from each other. Through the program, the fellows have the opportunity to intensively exchange ideas and work on joint projects.