Continuously developing digitalisation

With OSPlus_neo, Kreissparkasse Düsseldorf is increasingly focusing on digital customer communication. In a workshop, the board of directors and management worked on the future orientation of the bank in the open air in a Corona-like manner.

// Corporate Culture, Digital Transformation

Like all banks worldwide, Kreissparkasse Düsseldorf wants to improve its challenging business situation with digitalisation. Growing customer benefits and efficiency gains are the dual goal, and the use of technical possibilities is the path. However, at the centre of every technical change are the people who are to bring about this change. In a workshop for the board and second management level, the bankers were inspired by agile methods and thus gave their digitalisation process further tailwind. In keeping with Corona, the workshop took place outdoors and on foot at the end of August. But that was not the only special feature of this unusual conference, which was moderated by culture change consultant Uwe Rotermund.

For Savings Banks, digitalisation means making ever greater use of OSPlus

The savings banks in Germany are technologically supported by the IT service provider Finanz Informatik and use the core banking system OSPlus. This modular banking software is used by customers to varying degrees, so that the level of digitalisation varies from savings bank to savings bank. With OSPlus_neo, Finanz Informatik offers its customers a tool for the digital integration of customer communication that unifies the advisory and sales process for advisors and customers independent of location and tools. The Düsseldorf-based company wants to make even greater use of the possibilities offered by this tool in the future.

Savings bank board members Christoph Wintgen and Prof. Dr. Svend Reuse have thus given their bank a digitalisation boost. In an agile open-air workshop, they attuned themselves and the management of the second management level to this topic. In line with their digital agenda, the Düsseldorf bankers will make extensive use of the diverse OSPlus_neo features in the future.

Initiate and strengthen change with agile methods

In strengthening their digitalisation strategy, the Düsseldorf board members wanted to work with agile methods. They expected to be able to develop more personal responsibility and dynamics than with classically organised projects.

You have to live digitalisation, not order it!

Christoph Wintgen Board Member Kreissparkasse Düsseldorf

They hired Uwe Rotermund, an expert in agile project and change management who also has extensive experience in change processes at savings banks. The task was to conduct a motivating workshop in line with Corona to strengthen the digitalisation projects and to teach agile working methods.

The Düsseldorf board members had already developed the idea of a "walkshop" around the Elbsee and Unterbacher See lakes in the south of Düsseldorf. Combined with noventum's agile change management workshop methods and some other entertaining and playful elements, the workshop was a success. Savings bank CEO Christoph Wintgen emphasises: "In the workshop, we jointly identified some important measures to promote digitalisation, which are now being continued independently with agile project management by the Kreissparkasse. We are pleased that our management has seized the momentum to further develop our savings bank under its own steam."

Agile change management is work, but fun

Anyone who had seen the more than twenty participants of the day workshop on the banks of Lake Elbe in the morning would hardly have thought of a bank managers' conference. No office attitude was noticeable as the management team, divided into small groups, set off.

On their approx. 13 km walk around the lakes, the bankers worked out the next steps for the further digitalisation of their savings bank.

The walk was divided into four steps:

  1. bundle and prioritise topics with the intuitive Eigenland® survey method.
  2. visualise and transfer the ideas to a Kanban wall in nature.
  3. self-determined "pulling" of the most urgent tasks for the upcoming "sprint
  4. making agile "order slips".

At the other stations on the hike around the lakes, further agile methods were applied, with wind and rain giving the day its very own character.

Agility and banks? Not a compelling contradiction

"The intensive workshop with Uwe Rotermund is a milestone on our way to establishing agile working methods and further expanding digitalisation at Kreissparkasse. Together, we sharpened our focus and had a lot of fun," explains Prof. Dr. Svend Reuse, member of the Board of Directors of the Sparkasse.  Workshop moderator Uwe Rotermund finds it remarkable that modern management methods are used with so much enthusiasm, especially in industries like the highly regulated banking sector. "The intensive workshop with the management of Kreissparkasse Düsseldorf was not the first agile change workshop, but certainly the most unusual. At other banks, too, we repeatedly experience that bankers are dynamic and inspired professionals and that our management methods with agile and playful elements are very welcome. In Düsseldorf, we again made the experience: laughter, movement and change belong together."


Kreissparkasse Düsseldorf

Kreissparkasse Düsseldorf is a savings bank under public law with its registered office in Düsseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to Düsseldorf, its business area includes the cities of Erkrath, Heiligenhaus, Mettmann and Wülfrath. In the 2019 financial year, Kreissparkasse Düsseldorf reported total assets of €2.868 billion and had customer deposits of €2.394 billion. According to the 2019 Savings Bank Rankings, it is ranked 144th in terms of total assets. It operates 17 branches/self-service locations and employs 503 people. As a savings bank, it conducts universal banking business.

In S-Group business, the Sparkasse cooperates with Helaba, Landesbausparkasse, DekaBank, Deutsche Leasing and Provinzial. With its decentralised structure, Kreissparkasse Düsseldorf is the market leader in Erkrath, Heiligenhaus, Mettmann and Wülfrath. In Düsseldorf, it competes with various credit institutions.

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