SOCAR Türkiye names 3 challenges in agile transformation

Oil&Gas Materials 22 March 2023 12:51 (UTC +04:00)
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 22. Agile transformation created a number of challenges for SOCAR Türkiye, Refinery and Petrochemicals Business Unit Head of Business Excellence İbrahim Kadıoğlu told McKinsey, Trend reports.

“The first challenge was gaining top-team conviction, especially in an industry with very few examples of such a wide-scale and complex transformation. There were also certain capability gaps within the organization to address the significant changes in expectations from the organization which an agile operating model brings. For example, non-managerial roles are no longer responsible for carrying out just the tasks assigned to them but need to contribute to the overall planning and delivery processes of teams. Similarly, leaders are now required to engage across functions for planning and decision making, creating a one-team mentality. Adapting to these new expectations required extensive capability-building efforts which increased top-team conviction during the transformation and led to synchronization at the leadership level,” he said.

Kadıoğlu noted that the second challenge was the mindset of the employees and ensuring the benefits of this transformation were properly conveyed. Initially, there was resistance to change because the transition to any operating model has implications for existing processes.

“We proactively addressed any misconceptions through our continuous communication efforts of the implications of agile and our expectations of employees, while also ensuring we would be there for them to provide key resources when required. Product owners and agile coaches have played a key role in communicating these aspects on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

The third challenge, which Kadıoğlu highlighted, was the mismatch between the current processes and processes required in agile.

“Designing, aligning, and then implementing necessary changes while ensuring support from leadership can be a critical obstacle. One key example was the performance evaluation cycle and career progression design and implementation. The scorecards for employees as well as how the evaluation system would work (for example, which role would be the appraiser for a specific portion of performance metrics and how many people would evaluate each other) required a new design. Since this change would impact the whole organization, cross-departmental and senior leadership alignment was crucial. We were able to design and implement this fundamental change through cross-departmental cooperation and critical senior leadership buy-in,” he explained.


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