Further development of project work with Bosch Rexroth by doing Open Space workshops
Open Space Technology, or OST for short, a methodology developed by Harrison Owen, has been an integral part foryouandyourcustomers’ company culture for years. OST offers an open and self-responsible framework in which both employees and companies can develop further. For the first time at foryouandyourcustomers Munich, Open Space has now been used together with the long-time customer Bosch Rexroth.
“After a long, corona-induced phase of purely online collaboration, we had decided, together with those responsible at Bosch Rexroth, to devote two intensive days to joint projects as well as cross-team collaboration and individual as well as collective further development,” said Florian Knaupp, organiser and senior solution architect at foryouandyourcustomers Munich. In addition to the experience gained from numerous Open Space workshops, foryouandyourcustomers also provided the appropriate setting. The large and inviting office in Munich’s popular Lehel district was divided into numerous workshop rooms. In addition, there were enough open spaces for networking, to be able to withdraw once in a while, to hold conversations beyond current workshop topics and to take care of daily matters in peace in between – a “dynamic and productive feel-good atmosphere”, as one participant aptly described it.
What exactly characterises Open Space, Florian Knaupp? “Open Space is a workshop method that not only offers participants freedom for self-organisation and self-determination, but also demands it. Free space in finding topics and generally free space in participating in the individual workshops,” he explained. “For these reasons, there was also no fixed schedule for the event. Together with Bosch, we only specified the main topic of the day – Digital Content Chain (DCC) – in accordance with our current project work, the introduction of Stibo STEP as Product Information Management System (PIM). And Marcus Tenzer, VP Business Digital Organization at Bosch Rexroth, added: “The basic prerequisite for participation in the Open Space Days from our side was that everyone is personally affected by the guiding theme of DCC and that there is an urgent need for action for our company, as a certain willingness and motivation to act was assumed.“
20 employees from Bosch Rexroth and eight participants from foryouandyourcustomers made intensive use of the framework provided. It took less than 20 minutes to fill the agenda for the 14 open space sessions on the first day. Topics covering the entire product lifecycle management across all channels, from data to customers, found their way in and ran like a thread through the workshops.
„The participants really made good use of Open Space. A great method to put the concept of empowered teams into practice.“
“Although this was the first time we used the Open Space methodology in the project team, it was immediately accepted by everyone. I particularly liked how everyone was given the chance to contribute their topic and thus help shape the agenda. This method illustrates the change in working methods and thus the mindset change necessary for digitalisation,” summarised Annette Springer (Product Owner PIM).
“We ourselves have had extremely positive experiences with the use of the Open Space methodology in the past,” Florian Knaupp agreed. “It helps us to encourage and support employees to take responsibility, to develop themselves and address their topics and, in the process, to create an environment that supports these projects.“
The topics for the individual Open Space workshops were already determined by the participants after a short time.
For two days in the Munich office of foryouandyourcustomers , projects were discussed, urgent topics were deepened and informed about the next steps, new topics were initiated and cooperation was promoted and strengthened. “The flexibility of the Open Space format helped to make the workshops as efficient as possible,” said one participant, and a colleague summed up: “Seeing familiar faces live once again, discussing topics together with them, but also with participants from outside the project — internal as well as from foryouandyourcustomers — and in this way also gaining insights into the work and challenges of others, I found extremely valuable for future collaboration. The days here have helped me personally and professionally as well as our company. I am already looking forward to the following discussions and deepening of individual results that we have collected.“ Frank Lehrieder, enterprise architect at Bosch Rexroth, also concluded the workshops as “a definitely successful experiment”, because: “The participants really made good use of Open Space. A great method to put the concept of empowered teams into practice.” To be continued.