Our new normal
We just wanted to work more efficiently. And suddenly we found ourselves knee-deep in an agency-wide transformation. In this article, we write about what we’ve changed, how we went about it, what we’ve learned and what we still want to implement.
Since the first lockdown in March 2020 most diffies work from home. Since then, internal meetings, customer appointments and collaborative work have taken place online without any problems – thanks to digital solutions. At that time, some internal changes had been going on already. Project requirements tend to become more complex, and customers need our intense support and strategic advice. So, we decided to implement new structures and workflows to work together more efficiently remotely and to meet the new challenges.
Design Thinking, agile methods and Scrum
To organize ourselves better, we first tried Scrum and stopped it right away. It just didn’t fit to our way of working. Then it’s gotta be the Spotify model! Nope, no match as well. But we fell hard for Design Thinking and agile methods. Annika from Digitalwerkstatt Forchheim lit our Design Thinking fire during a workshop – and it's still blazing today. Regarding agile methods, our coach Sven has accompanied .diff for a long time now. It was also Sven who encouraged us to develop our own framework.
The .diff way of working
How, where, with what kind of people, for what type of clients and how much do I want to work at all? What motivates me? What am I good at? Where do I see myself in the future? Questions that we try to answer for ourselves in our internal format called "difformation". Working methods, structures, processes, feedback culture, meeting culture, knowledge management, defining our purpose as an agency – we have digged into it all, discussed and revised all these topics to lay out a nourished basement for working mindfully, effectively and happy together.
The biggest change was implementing role-based working. Unlike job titles, roles are flexible and adaptable. We develop new roles as needed or dynamically adapt them to new challenges, for example, when a new project starts. Every diffie can then take on one or more roles that don't necessarily have to match its job title 100%, but are based on skills and interest – depending on experience or current need. This way of working allows us to promote, grow and empathize the strengths of each diffie and enable self-determined work.
Ready for the future
With this agile and human-centered way of working, we are improving our work culture and positioning .diff for the future as tasks will become even more complex in the future. That's exactly the kind of flexible and agile workflow we need to solve problems successfully. And to ensure that everyone’s feeling comfortable while getting work done, we are currently redesigning our industrial loft in Nuremberg as well. Because in after all, we want our environment to reflect and match our agile mindset and human-centered way of working. With the redesign, we want to create a place that adapts to our daily, human needs – not the other way around. We also want to use this space for events, co-working and networking in the future.