In the second interview of this series Ladina Schubert talks about how she connects people from different departments to work towards a common goal. She joined ERNI three years ago. Her passion is to build bridges between Business and IT, mapping out key competencies and fostering interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. Ladina currently works as a Business Analyst and Project Leader in a digitalization project in the public transportation sector.
In her free time, she likes being outside, going for a hike with friends or skiing in winter.
What experiences do you have in Digital Business Consulting?
I have experience in supporting teams by creating and developing strategies and concepts for their projects. I do this by moderating workshops and asking relevant questions, which help them define key elements and their scope.
Further, I do research and conduct interviews to acquire content-relevant knowledge and work closely together with the different stakeholders involved in such projects. This gives me the skills to support teams with prioritizing topics, breaking down complex structures, and concretizing vague ideas.
In what project did you use that experience and how did you do it?
For the past 1.5 years, I have been working as a business analyst and project leader in a digitalization project in the public transportation sector. In this project, I took an intermediary role between business and IT by connecting people, products, and projects within a defined framework. This project was part of the engineering division, where the business and the IT departments were separated for a long time.
Our task was to connect these departments with each other. To do so, our team identified the needs within the business sector and connected people from the business department with those from IT. Like that, they could work out solutions together. I supported the teams with implementing a suitable framework, in which the teams could develop joint solutions.
In regard to a data-based collaboration, our project team analyzed the current situation with all their different tools, systems, applications and media breaks. Then we drafted a concept on how to eliminate the media breaks and how to build interfaces to collaborate more efficiently on the same data in the future.
What were the challenges in that project?
One was the size of the company. It is quite big and has many specialist areas within the main departments. Any of these areas work relatively autonomously, with their own methods and tools. It was challenging to get an overview of all the areas and tools, then to connect them with each other, foster interdisciplinary collaboration, and pave the way towards data-consist cooperation.
Another one was when we tried to initiate a change process regarding interdisciplinary collaboration. For this transformation we wanted as many people as possible from the specialist areas to take active roles in the process. The change is ongoing and will continue in the future. It has a lot to do with connecting people and adapting a certain mindset to create interdisciplinary solutions for future challenges.
What have been the core tasks?
Our team was a mix of three staff members from ERNI and staff working for the customer. The three ERNI people were all Business Analysts. A Lead Business Analyst who was responsible for strategic questions and has already worked for this customer for several years. He knows the company very well, has a lot of domain know-how, and is excellent in methods and techniques.
The other two (my colleague and I) are also Business Analysts. It was a good mix. My colleague is very good at modeling processes and documenting requirements. My expertise is setting up and moderating workshops to identify key aspects of the given process and to connect different stakeholders.
With which methods and competencies did ERNI support the customers in realizing their project?
Our core competencies were the different skills of our team and the combination of those. Personally, I see our core competency in supporting our customers to structure and plan their project, to successfully reach project goals, and to make sure we keep our focus.
To achieve our goals, we used methods like design thinking or liberating structures for moderating workshops but also integrated agile methodologies and adapted some inputs from leading SAFe.
What did ERNI contribute to the project, regarding digitalization?
We supported the setup of the project, initiated the change process, helped to create the corresponding vision, goals, and strategy, and connected people from IT with people from the business. We defined requirements with the experts from the customer’s side and made sure that those requirements were implemented.
We also made sure that the strategic projects were connected to operative tasks and projects. I think the combination of my colleagues and my different backgrounds and skills were a good asset to the customer’s team.
With the backup of our ERNI network that supported us with their 20 years of experience in software engineering and consulting, we enabled the customer to discover new approaches and to successfully realize their project.