In their quest to enhance its portfolio with a broad spectrum of proven standards for customized offerings, SKIDATA engaged in a series of extensive initiatives.
BearingPoint leveraged the strategic goal-setting framework, Objectives and Key Results (OKR), to enable SKIDATA to create more customer-centric, flexible, and scalable solutions, and deliver the business strategy. OKRs are supported by the Workpath software platform, empowering SKIDATA with higher transparency, improved cross-country and cross-function collaboration, and a better management of strategic priorities.
SKIDATA’s fast global growth demanded new ways of addressing diverse customer requirements and value. Having transformed regional operations and central functions, which are both dependent on the same core processes, the company was further challenged by slow time-to-market and a high effort to integrate customer feedback into its solutions.
Consequently, SKIDATA’s ability to perform bold innovations was hindered by their decision-making processes. At the same time, the company’s formerly employed goal-setting method was no longer supporting the required impact on its business performance.
SKIDATA needed to redesign its internal goal-setting process to ensure that employees’ objectives, regardless of their roles and location, were aligned to support the company’s overall strategy. SKIDATA wanted to improve communication and collaboration across all operations and functions, empower each employee to continuously deliver customer-centric projects, and build up knowledge among teams.
BearingPoint leveraged its extensive expertise in agile transformation and OKR implementation to support SKIDATA to rollout OKR as a strategic execution tool, in a step-by-step transformation approach. In this journey, SKIDATA also partnered with Workpath, an expert leader through an end-to-end outcome management platform, which combines software with extensive OKR enablement. The Workpath Platform enables companies to work more outcome-oriented creating the required transparency, alignment and focus through OKRs.
Starting in January 2021, SKIDATA performed a successful pilot project in selected areas, using OKR as a strategic goal-management methodology. BearingPoint trained SKIDATA’s teams and managers, using various workshop and training formats and a sustainable Train-the-Trainer concept. After the creation of Organizational OKRs by the Top Management, the selected pilot areas defined their specific OKR sets. Over the next three cycles, the OKR implementation was rolled out company-wide, adding new teams across all regions and support functions. With BearingPoint’s OKR coaches’ help, the Program Lead Office was created, a cross-functional transformation team focusing on objectives within and across units and along the value stream.
By leveraging so-called “Change OKRs”, the Program Lead Office managed the effort in an adaptive and agile way while continuously measuring the progress of the OKR program rollout. Throughout the entire implementation, BearingPoint coaches acted as sparring partners for the Program Lead Office and its OKR-associated roles, providing best practices and advice on specific solutions. At the same time, SKIDATA built an internal OKR Coach “Community of Practice”, engaging its teams with internal masterclasses and learning journeys.
The Workpath platform supported SKIDATA with an excellent fit of features along the strategy execution process that target the company’s strategic goals: increased customer focus, transparency, and alignment. The features include: “Goal Quality Checker” to ensure outcome-oriented goals that target the customer, “Contribution Requests” that help clarify dependencies and contributions between teams, the “Goal Graph” to show dependencies and create transparency on potential blockers in the process, and the “Analytics Suites” to provide valuable insights on the OKR process, quality, and delivery.
A company-wide and low-threshold transparency of strategic goals was one of the expected improvements, so the rollout started with a top-down approach. Top managers drafted and published their strategic goals, followed editorially by unit managers, and the functional teams that aligned their goals vertically, but also horizontally, based on the objectives they had in common with other teams. Step by step, every unit increased the number of teams attending the OKR methodology in every goal-setting cycle.
Re-organization through self-organization
One of the most important characteristics was that every business unit and function was empowered to conduct its own rollout approach: it was diversified appropriately according to the business units’ needs. The regular meetings and discussions within the transformation team were priceless. One of the most remarkable aspects of this self-organized process was the experimentation with so-called “OKR teams” across the whole company. These teams performed cross-functionally around specific “Objectives”, within and across units and along the value stream.
SKIDATA substantially improved its time-to-market by making agility and change a priority for the entire organization. The OKR methodology, together with the Workpath platform, enabled SKIDATA to be more customer-centric and outcome-oriented, by significantly reducing the ineffective goal-setting process and increasing its teams’ focus on innovative customer solutions.
The newly given transparency of strategic goals enables seamless collaboration and alignment across all SKIDATA’s units and functions, connecting the operational work to the overall strategy. All teams are now united behind common measurable goals and kept on the same page by using data-driven analytics.
The management effort shifted from solving misalignment between teams to creating stronger dependencies between units, leading to greater efficiency and effectiveness. Interdisciplinary teams are now built dynamically, focusing on shared objectives that drive innovations and new business solutions rather than on unsynchronized long-term milestones. The OKR framework brought clarity throughout the company goal-setting process, at all levels, helping to break up silos and foster company-wide discussions while easing the information flow and providing new learnings.
BearingPoint was invited to support SKIDATA on its journey toward transforming how it managed goals and objectives, and for us it was important to have a strong partner at our sides. The team gave us some deep insights into how we could become more agile and have better value-driven outcomes using the OKR framework. Over the last year, the BearingPoint team has supported us in adapting old ways of working into new ways, leading to a company-wide implementation of OKRs. Taking this new approach, and with the added value of Agile, our partnership has gone from strength to strength in enabling SKIDATA to focus on what matters: value-based outcomes for everyone at SKIDATA and its customers.
Dr. Steven Partridge, VP Transformation & BPM @ SKIDATA
SKIDATA is an international leader in the field of access solutions and their management. More than 10,000 SKIDATA installations worldwide – in ski resorts, stadiums, airports, shopping malls, cities, and amusement parks – provide secure and reliable access and entry control for people and vehicles. The company is headquartered in Salzburg, Austria, and has subsidiaries in 27 countries. With its countless partners, SKIDATA is present in more than 100 countries.