"Agile" Era at Ford Otosan

Ali Rıza Aksoy

Ali Rıza Aksoy İnsan Kaynakları Lideri

Since November 2019 on this path that we set together with BCG, one of the most known consultancy firms of the world, we strive to be more “agile” in order to be closer to our customers, to be faster, and to keep moving forward by learning from each small step we take…

To briefly mention what the "agile" working principle is, I can describe it as “accelerating” institutions by abandoning “ensiled and hierarchical” organizations in a volatile and uncertain competition environment; and “working on the task to be done in an order with the highest return rate by breaking them into small pieces in a certain manner”. It is among the most important methodologies of recent times in terms of digitalizing business life and ways of working. Our goal while choosing the “agility” that would feed and integrate with our “Dynamic Balance” common culture was to better focus on our company’s values, reach shorter times in terms of launching to the market and “provide a better working environment for our colleagues”.

In this article, I will briefly approach our ongoing transformation in terms of my field of expertise. As a human resource professional, I would like to talk about what kind of effects such a transformation within the company, insight of an “agile” way of working have; and about some advantages that agility has brought to our business life.

Initially, we began by analyzing the current situation. We conducted surveys and one-on-one interviews with our colleagues. We contacted more than 1,300 colleagues with our surveys, and we did not take any hierarchy into account during our interviews. We evaluated our company’s new way of working altogether. Thus, we obtained the opinions of everyone that we will implement this system together; and we got a data pool for ourselves to measure their happiness. Because as HR, we knew that happy employees meant happy customers.

We researched, discussed, and worked hard to find the right way of working for us and all our customers that we reach by the end of the day, to change and to transform. We all learned together, experienced with joy together, and strived to build again and better.

After taking the first step into the “agility” journey, we established teams that gather the necessary skills from different functions by forming strong, multi-disciplinary squads. We aim to make small but utilizable advances. We constantly evaluated our needs, plans, and results.

Even though I write it so easily right now, actually it is a pretty challenging but also an extremely instructional process. Because there is such a thing as easy for those who embrace the change. :)

The new team structure also positively affected the interaction between people. A firm bond is formed between our teams with the help of the "agile" understanding that emphasizes the importance of frequent and face-to-face communication. Problems are now being solved quicker with this effective interaction. We learn by experience that agile methodologies encourage accountability and face-to-face communication. As our loss and mistakes decreased, our success and experience increased.

We decided to choose the most suitable way for us -and of course- for our customers and to proceed on this path. Whichever path you choose, always choose the “suitable” one for you, your team, and of course for your customers.

And remember that "agility" is inherently flexible.