More and more teams at A1 are working in an agile manner to be able to quickly react to market changes. Changes are not only observed within the teams but are also clearly visible in the working spaces: Post-Its on the walls, invitations to reviews and Obeya walls. At A1 Austria it is Karin Mairhofer who works intensively on the topic of agile working and spreads it across the whole company. In an open conversation she shares how she works on the green field of agility, what motivates her and how she deals with challenges.

»Quickly reacting to change, delivering fast and target-oriented and having fun at work.«

Karin Mairhofer

Karin Mairhofer, Member of the A1 Agile Transition Team @ A1 Austria

I am working in an agile Team – the A1 Agile Transition Team – short A2T2. We support the agile transformation, organize awareness events, facilitate knowledge transfer and support teams on their agile journey. I have been working for A1 for a while now and I am happy that, one year ago, I decided to join the A2T2 team. The close collaboration in the team, which is essential for agile working, motivates and inspires me every day. It is so different to the “normal” teams I have worked with.

»Courage, commitment and focus are the backbone of agility.«

Living and making progress with agile values

What fascinates me about this way of working is that the agile teams have internalized the agile values and are living them so naturally. Openness and transparency show where improvement is necessary and possible. Respect and courage help to allow different opinions and to draw from an abundance of ideas and opinions to be able to try something new. In my former role as project manager, I experienced how valuable trust is: A few years ago a member of the team suggested to start working with Scrum. I trusted my team and decided to give it a shot – and it worked out great! We made huge progress with the project.

Spreading knowledge

Working with different teams, I sometimes feel like a gardener casting and spreading her passion and knowledge about agile working. Just recently, when I was working with a team in the call center or while writing user stories in Supply Chain Management, I felt how fulfilling and motivating this work is. But don’t get me wrong: Agile methods are not merely meant to bring fun to your workday (that is, of course, a nice side effect though ;) ) but they are all about success in business. We can react faster, respond to feedback and improve products and services in shorter cycles.

»If you live by these values, the world becomes a better place – of that I am sure.«

Gardening without spade or garden gloves

This year I was especially excited about organizing the Agile Garden event series with about 150 participants and visitors each. In a journey through the different seasons of the year, we cast the seeds of the agile values, premises and methods in spring to help the plant of agility to grow. In Summer it was all about the right nutrients that are necessary for self-organization. This is something the gardeners – the servant leaders – are responsible for. At the autumn edition of the Agile Garden we celebrated the harvest festival with the great successes of the past few months. It was a wonderful celebration before the beginning of the New Year and before we take further steps on the exciting agile journey at A1 together.

The incredibly inspiring spirit of this event series derives from the voluntary contribution of the participants – everyone enjoys being part of the event and happily shares experiences around agility and agile working. For the future I would love to see as many bees as possible who carry the nectar of agility across the fields at A1.

And by the way: If you have read the text until the end to find out what an Obeya Wall is, here comes the solution: Obeya is the japanese word for “big room” or “war room”. For us it means collective planning on a wall to make dependencies transparent.

Let’s continue the agile way! #MakeItHappen