Building an agile organization @ The LEGO Agency 🇬🇧
In this presentation I will share our story of how we changed the way we work when bringing digital experiences such as LEGO.com and LEGO Life to children all over the world. Get inspired by our successes, learn from our mistakes and become more aware of the darker side of building an agile organization.
Lars is an agile leader and practitioner working at The LEGO Group where he is part of the leadership team for digital marketing development, heading up portfolio management and Product Owners.
Starting out as a developer, Lars early on found his calling working with people and processes in agile software teams and team of teams and, for many years, even enjoyed doing so in a tightly controlled Prince2/CMMI setting, delivering digital products for the Defense industry. Having grown up as a “LEGO kid”, he could not resist the chance to work at LEGO when he got the opportunity 5 years ago. Since 2015 he has been part of scaling agility beyond the team level working in program and portfolio management roles and leading digital project managers and product owners.
Lars finds his motivation in learning new things every day and in helping others to do the same – especially his three kids.
Interview with Lars
Lego has been around since 1932. When did the company start «going agile»?
The first Scrum teams in LEGO date back to 2007 and the development of LEGO Universe, a MMO-game we developed that unfortunately wasn’t a great success. When the game was discontinued, the spirit and learnings from these teams lived a quiet life in a corner of LEGO until around 2014 where the digital part of our internal marketing agency faced increasing challenges with growth of demand and the pace of the market. That’s when we started experimenting with agile in more teams and beyond the team level.
Today, our approach to digital consumer engagement is increasingly influenced by «agile» all the way from strategy to delivery and our internal IT department has started on the journey as well.
To what extent is agile a driver for a digital product like Lego Life?
For those who don’t know it, LEGO Life is a safe social network for kids to share their LEGO creations with other kids around the world and to engage in LEGO content. LEGO Life has from the beginning been one of the most agile undertakings we have. It has not «just» agile development teams, but a close integration of delivery and business with ongoing, insights driven, prioritization of the coming releases. Having been part of it myself, I’m quite proud of what we have achieved.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Lego?
In short: The people around me. I get to lead a group of talented Product Owners that I can challenge and develop and who challenge me back. I am part of a leadership team that share my ambition to constantly challenge our ways of working with focus on motivation, learning and delivery.
Oh.. and then there is the LEGO brick. It is ever present around here. From LEGO models around the office, over being able to see our products for the coming years, to the company culture that is strongly influenced by 85 years of working on play and creativity.
As a father of three children, do you ever get a break from Lego?
Ehh… no. But I have stopped putting up extra shelves in my boys room and I have accepted the fact that I do not have to have EVERY LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collectors series model.
Why should I come to your talk at Agile Leadership Day?
I don’t believe in blindly copying what other companies have done so there will be no Do’s and Dont’s. But hearing others stories of struggle and success has always inspired and motivated me to continue and aim higher. I hope you will get just that.
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