OBOS's approach to improving processes using ShiftX
“ShiftX encourages a bottom-up approach by allowing those who participate in the process to suggest improvements.”
OBOS is the largest housing developer in Norway and one of the largest in Scandinavia. With 2500 employees, managing over 5000 housing cooperatives, and spread over 250 000 houses, they've got a lot of different business processes to track, structure, and digitalize.
Hilde Rannem Rostad was hired to digitalize their economic functions in 2019. She quickly realized how everything was related to processes.
– My mission was to digitalize a great part of the organization. I quickly understood that it's all about processes and people, and about understanding the technology and how to use it in the best way. There's no way around working with processes, Hilde says.
Hilde was introduced to ShiftX through a colleague. As someone constantly on the hunt for new technology, she couldn't resist taking a closer look.
- When I saw this, I was very enthused. I like gadgets and new tech, but also because I saw it as a new way to work with processes.
A new way of work
Hilde explains how in large workshops, they would map out processes using yellow post-its, and afterward, a couple of Visio experts would sit down in a room to map up the results before presenting them. This is a very common way of working with processes, but you risk losing valuable input from the people involved.
- You had to be an expert to use Visio, and it wasn't something for the average Joe in the organization. It also wasn't given that the people that attended these workshops thought this was how the process really looked like, Hilde says.
Some tools, however, are easier to use and not limited to specialists, which increases collaboration and knowledge sharing so everyone sees the same picture. Hilde refers to ShiftX as such a tool.
- ShiftX creates a type of dynamic atmosphere, a type of cooperation. With ShiftX you can sit down together in the same workshop and map out the same picture. Nobody needs to do a job afterward. And it lowers the bar for wanting to change or play around with our processes, Hilde says.
The answer to continuous improvement
OBOS handles about 500 000 incoming invoices each year, and accounting and invoice handling is a large part of what they do. When first mapping out this process in ShiftX, which had developed over several years, they noticed how it involved and affected others as well.
Hilde explains how people got surprised during workshops, and suddenly asked “Is this how it really is? Do you really send it there? Do they have to see this?”. And that's when they began to see the possibilities for improvement using ShiftX.
-The interactions this system leads to are pretty unique, I think, Hilde says.
A typical scenario is for leaders and managers to seek alternative ways of working with processes when they want to make improvements. People affected by these changes are often not involved in the process, and this is where we see a strong use case and why we developed ShiftX. Hilde agrees, and says the following:
-Among the things I like about ShiftX, which was one of the reasons we chose it, is this somewhat fluffy saying "to democratize the process work." ShiftX encourages a bottom-up approach by allowing those who participate in the process to suggest improvements.
In closing, Hilde comments that she now finds process work fun with ShiftX.
Breakfast seminar recording
Watch Hilde speak at the ShiftX breakfast seminar in Oslo about how to take advantage of the possibilities in new technology.
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