METRO SYSTEMS Romania becomes Agile

07.05.2015. METRO SYSTEMS Romania, member of METRO GROUP, which provides complete IT solutions for all sales lines of METRO in more than 30 countries across Europe and Asia, announces its transition towards Agile practices and organizational culture at enterprise level.

At the #msysconf2015 conference, held on April 29, 2015 in Bucharest, were presented the strategy of the company, the guiding principles, and the strategic directions: employee engagement, innovation and agility. More than 800 employees of METRO SYSTEMS Romania attended this conference, and among the speakers there were Juergen Boekholt, Managing Director, METRO SYSTEMS Romania, Sorin Lăpădat, Managing Director, METRO SYSTEMS Romania, Jurgen Appelo, CEO, Happy Melly, Petru Jucovschi, Cloud Solutions Architect, Microsoft Romania, Radu Orjanu, Manager, Application Integration, METRO SYSTEMS Romania, Iulia Raducanu, Raluca Manolache, Gabriela Tudor, Valentin Remus Lucian, Adrian Mirea - Application Operation, CRM, as well as Robert Matyas - Campus Support Brasov, METRO SYSTEMS Romania.

 “As for employee engagement we actively listen to our people and understand what motivates them, set an appropriate and challenging climate to encourage individual growth, allow people to appropriate decision-making freedom and deal constructively with mistakes (positive error culture), help people see the importance of what they are doing and how they contribute to the success of the company.” declared Juergen Boekholt, Managing Director, METRO SYSTEMS Romania.

“One of the essential keys to success in staying competitive is innovation. Every innovation starts with an idea. We build an open, fertile, creative environment, empower people to take responsibility for contributing with ideas and results, we organize ideas workshops, crowd sourcing ideas Within METRO SYSTEMS Romania, the process between generating an idea and the innovation, followed by prototypes, implementation and launch will be accompanied by innovation experts in order to facilitate the application of the appropriate methodology.  This is why innovation, success and agility perfectly go together. “, added Juergen Boekholt.

Sorin Lăpădat, Managing Director, METRO SYSTEMS Romania spoke about the Agile philosophy and the “Agile” transformation program, which involves the application of agile practices and an Agile organizational culture at company level. “In the context of the fast-paced retail environment, the IT companies are constantly challenged to adapt to the rapid evolution of the customers' requirements, by providing innovating and high quality solutions, as well as by the professional development of their employees, in line with the technological tendencies and modern IT practices. The companies that develop and run software systems use more and more Agile development processes and operating methods to stay at the top of a very competitive market. The “Agile” processes are collaborative, iterative and focused on a continuous improvement of the services. As a result, the use of the Agile practices supports a rapid and high quality development cycle, from idea to a productive solution" said Sorin Lăpădat, Managing Director, METRO SYSTEMS Romania.

The transition to the Agile culture starts from the central element, the “team”, which underlines the importance of the entrepreneurship and cooperation, imposing transparency and communication between all the parties involved.

“By applying this agility program, we aim to act more rapidly, more simply and more efficiently in order to serve the needs of our customers, to increase the ability to manage the change of priorities, to increase the productivity of the teams and the visibility of the projects. These are but few of the reasons why embracing the Agile philosophy is so important for METRO SYSTEMS Romania”, concluded Sorin Lăpădat.

The #msysconf2015 conference was also attended by Jurgen Appelo, the #1 management writer in Europe, the author of the book "Management 3.0", which describes the role of the manager within agile organisations. Jurgen is the CEO of the business network Happy Melly and co-founder of the Lean Agile Europe and Stoos networks. “The 21st century will see the rise and dominance of the creative economy. In an ever-changing environment, success can only come from a never-ending wellspring of ideas that help workers to make fun, make money, and make a difference. There is only one place where those ideas can come from: people. The knowledge you have today? It’s useless tomorrow. More important now is that people are creative networkers. So how do we get people to be creative?“, declared Jurgen Appelo.

Appelo also spoke about the 7 important rules for creativity managers: nurture diversity, create markets, rely on merits, make no prediction, update the workplace, change constraints, open boundaries. At the same time, he also introduced the 7 rules for creative employees: find many ideas, generate many ideas, make connections, seek diversion, execute your ideas, appreciate mistakes, learn from failure.    

Also, during the conference, Petru Jucovschi, Cloud Solutions Architect, Microsoft Romania presented Microsoft’s vision “mobile-first, cloud-first world” and spoke about the fact that innovation about the business model is related to redefining the competitive high-tech landscape and about the importance of the commitment towards openness and transparency. Petru’s presentation was focused on examples from the real world and very convincing technological references for the persons with a technical background.

Radu Orjanu, Manager, Application Integration, METRO SYSTEMS Romania made a presentation of the concept of Cloud Computing. “The manner in which the traditional, monolithic applications are thought, developed and administered changed significantly. In the last years we hear more and more often speak about micro-services, a term promoted by Martin Fowler. Based on these, we will explore the manner in which we think about the applications of cloud management platforms of the next generation.” said Radu Orjanu, Manager, Application Integration, METRO SYSTEMS Romania.                     

The conference ended with the history of the 4 months experience at the head office of the METRO Cash & Carry warehouse in Weiterstadt, Germany, “The Weiterstadt Adventure” of the joint teams Application Operation - Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and the Braşov Campus Support of METRO SYSTEMS Romania. What also needs to be noticed is the prompt response of the team, as a result of the needs that appeared after the implementation of the new business concept – Food Service Distribution. The team provided support mainly for the CRM suite of applications, but it also became involved in other adjacent IT areas (Helpdesk, Networking). The result of this collaboration consisted in a better understanding of the business need and contributed to rapidly solving the problems.

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international trading companies. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 30 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale – Media Markt and Saturn – the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing – Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.