SIA embraces agile practices in IT delivery to deliver the world’s leading digital airline experience.
SINGAPORE – Media OutReach – October 2, 2019 – Singapore-based business consultancy why innovation! started on its Agile Adoption coaching journey with Singapore Airlines (SIA) last March. SIA aims to transform its business digitally to continue thriving in a rapidly changing global environment.
why innovation! kickstarted the Agile transformation program with SIA in March 2018, carrying the specific objectives of:
- Enhancing cross team collaboration within the Business and Development units to roll out efficient and consistent work plans
- Helping Team Members adopt Agile approaches in redefining initiatives and products
- Improving the speed of IT departments to develop systems and release products
- Keeping abreast of the latest technological practices via a customized Agile framework in line with SIA’s context and culture
The Process of Execution
In the competitive aviation landscape, customers are exposed to a wide variety of options. With this, SIA is constantly anticipating their customers’ needs, while maintaining a short and efficient turnaround time.
why innovation!’s role was to foster and enhance collaboration and communication between SIA’s Business and IT departments so as to improve quality and efficiency across all work processes. With these new practices, SIA is now able to better control their output, while reacting more quickly to feedback and results across all different stakeholders.
One example was the 1SQ app, an employee app to access key company information and self-service functions on the go – the first of its kind for Singapore companies. Its features include company news and event announcements, balloting opportunities, self-service tools such as travel document updates, and leave applications. Uniting features from various enterprise systems across SIA was not easy but with agile coaching, the squad launched the minimum viable product (MVP) with core features after three months of development, hitting a monthly release cycle in February 2019. The frequent releases and feedback created a cycle that kept the squad focused on improvements that really matter to SIA employees.
Thus far, the various groups across SIA’s business and IT departments coached by why innovation! have reported improved response timings, system efficacy, and more stable workflow structures within and across their departments. Agile awareness is raised among close to 1,200 employees through a blended learning process which includes professional training, workshops and coaching practices. The training will continue in different trenches over the next six to eight months and will continue to result in higher levels of learning, and quicker response cycles.
why innovation!’s Role in the Industry of Change
Aside from SIA, the why innovation! team has worked with several other high-profile clients, including DFS, ComfortDelgro, Prudential, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Cathay Pacific, assisting them in their transformation to adopt a nimbler, more adaptable business model.
The consultancy specialises in enabling internal capabilities for Business Agility, which is the process of transforming an organization’s structure or nature, such that it can embrace and constantly adapt in a fast-changing environment. As compared to the traditional Waterfall Methodology typically employed by large corporations, an Agile mindset allows for organizations to improve turnaround time, granting it the ability to continuously adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace, and gear itself up for enhanced Digital Innovation.
“The transformation program at SIA is a great example to follow not only in its own industry. The scale of the change, the speed of adoption and the business impact represent a pretty unique combination. The unconditional support of the top management combined with the strong capability of SIA leaders to manage such Organizational Change Program are the key reasons of this success. As SIA’s transformation partner, why innovation! brings a systematic Agile Transformation approach including a set of Agile and Change Management assets to accelerate Agile adoption at all levels of the organization. We are proud to be part of this exciting journey,” said Yann Hamon, Managing Director of why innovation!.
why innovation! was also invited to the Chief Digital Officer Innovation Summit, organized by Questex Asia earlier in March 2019. Yann was featured as a speaker alongside 18 other representatives including those from S.T. Engineering, Standard Chartered, and Pearson. The consultancy is also gearing up to celebrate its 5th anniversary this year, featuring a lineup of speakers consisting of why innovation!’s most prolific clients and Yann himself as he shares about the new strategies of the company moving forward.
Annexe A: Corporate Bios
About Yann Hamon
Yann Hamon is the Managing Director of why innovation!, a consultancy specialised in accelerating digital transformation by increasing business agility and digital innovation. Over the past years, the company has helped Singapore Airlines, DFS, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Chanel, ComfortDelGro, Carrefour, Roche and many big companies to tackle innovation challenges by nurturing a culture of agility and enhancing the development of new digital products, services and ways of working.
why innovation! is now operating with 40+ professionals in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and has been delivering sustainable and practical outcomes through consulting, coaching and training teams, organisations and leaders.
Yann carries over 30 years of experience in software, system and product engineering and 20 years of practice in Organizational Change Management with a focus on Agile Enterprise, Product Organization and Digital Innovation. Through his international career in Europe, Australia and Asia, he has worked and supported a variety of individuals and teams in technology and business, from engineers to CxOs. He owns a PhD in Computer Sciences, specialised in Artificial Intelligence for Software Engineering.
Annexe B: Agile Methodology
History of Agile
The Agile Manifesto, a set of values and guiding principles, was created as a new way of working in order to deal with greater complexity and uncertainty in operating environments. The continuous delivery of working software, and therefore customer value, could be described as the ‘holy grail’ of software development. As a human-centered framework, the greatest challenge for most organizations looking to adopt Agile is to fundamentally shift behaviors and mindsets. The 12 guiding principles of Agile enable a more collaborative and motivated work environment, allowing for the “productive and creative delivery of products of the highest possible value”[i].
Agile vs. Waterfall
In a “traditional” project management (Waterfall) setting, each project follows the same life cycle which includes the stages such as requirements (scope), design, implementation, verification and maintenance as shown in the figure above. The entire project is planned upfront without any room for changing requirements. This approach assumes that time, cost and scope are all fixed.
Whilst a traditional methodology focuses on upfront planning, Agile gives prominence to people, customer collaboration, and flexibility. It focuses more on incorporating customer feedback through continuous releases of small increments product, enabling the product to be tested in market and adapt accordingly.
The Agile Mindset
Mastering Agile is not an easy task. It requires a fundamental shift in the product mindset towards an incremental and iterative approach — a far different approach to “traditional” Waterfall ways of working. From the outset, this also means ensuring organizations are truly listening to the voice of the customer. Practices such as design thinking and innovation labs help in this regard, but without proper application, bias often creeps in. At why innovation!, we focus transformational activities on accelerating the delivery of business value — optimizing release and product management strategies with the customer in mind.