What’s it like to Drive the Digital Workplace at Porsche as Product Owner Collaboration
“The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
Following my passion of hiking, I crossed the Alps on a 7-day trip with a mixed group of all ages last year — which made me realize the importance of collaboration (again). No matter whether in professional or private life: Climbing mountains and enjoying the wonderful view after a successful ascent is much more fun in a team than alone. Being part of a group that follows a common goal not only keeps you motivated, it also nurtures a collaborative mindset that has the power to overcome great obstacles and accomplish something really big.
I believe this mindset helps me in my daily work. As Product Owner, it is my job to identify and prioritize the needs of the Porsche employees (“WHAT is to do”) and the product team is responsible for the implementation (“HOW we gonna make it”). Therefore, the Collaboration team helps employees take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital technologies and thereby enables them to work smarter, drive efficiency and spend less time with tedious tasks.
Within our newly established department called “Digital Workplace”, more than 75 colleagues follow the vision to create a place where each Porsche employee worldwide loves to work. That’s an ambitious goal, but especially in times like these, where most of our colleagues (have to) work remotely, digital collaboration is key — and providing the right tools our highest priority.
How we manage collaboration
Whereas traditional IT teams tend to work in a single context (i.e. in specific areas and on specific projects), we work cross-departmental and within several agile product teams — each with its own area of responsibility. The product team Collaboration with me as a Product Owner is one of these teams. We work in two-weekly sprints implementing new features with the aim to make the daily collaboration for all Porsche employees as simple as possible. Therefore, we deal with:
(1) Personal organization
(2) Organization as department or team
(3) Organization as whole company
Our main tech-topics are central enterprise portals, intelligent search solutions combined with cognitive services, simultaneous real-time collaboration on documents, forms and workflows to replace analog paper processes.
Collaboration is about people ❤
And yet, collaboration is centered primarily not around technology per se, but rather around people. In other words, we understand collaboration as a people-driven and purpose-driven process. Putting people first is essential. It’s, therefore, less about the delivery of specific tools and more about addressing the needs of employees and using technology to evolve the workplace.
Even for the most tech-savvy teams, identifying and leveraging the right tools can be a challenge. To help our customers, we identify their needs and try to understand their processes in order to implement prototypical solutions. We want to simplify collaboration across individuals, teams, divisions, locations, languages and countries at Porsche.
One and a half years working for Porsche — a short summary
So, how did I get here? Computers and latest technologies have always been my passion. I first started coding when I was twelve years old using Visual Basic on my (then high-tech) computer. Since then, my passion for IT grows daily. After my studies of Medical Informatics in Heidelberg and Heilbronn, I began my career at Kaufland Information Systems as IT Business Consultant, where I learned requirements engineering and the importance of understanding customer needs.
In 2018, I moved to Stuttgart area looking for a new challenge. Little did I know that applying for the job at Porsche would lead to such an amazing adventure. I really wasn’t sure at first and thought it was a bold move to go for the job at Porsche, but when I was invited for a job interview I realized that I had made the right choice. I found a very open and collaborative environment from the beginning, which left me more and more impressed with the company.
Joining Porsche has been an incredible opportunity and I’m extremely proud to be part of the company in such exciting times. Driving the digital workplace at Porsche and working with so many professionals who want to make a difference has been an exciting journey so far. I’m looking forward to where the next steps are leading.
Do you want to be part of our IT? 👋
If you’d like to experience the digital fascination of Porsche as well, have a look at our job offers on jobs.porsche.com.
Shari Langes is Product Owner Collaboration at Porsche.
About this publication: Where innovation meets tradition. There’s more to Porsche than sports cars — we’re tackling new challenges, develop digital products and think digital with a focus on the customer. On our Medium blog, we tell these stories. It´s about our #nextvisions, smart technologies and the people that drive our digital journey. Please follow us on Twitter (Porsche Digital, Next Visions), Instagram (Porsche Digital, Next Visions, Porsche Newsroom) and LinkedIn (Porsche AG, Porsche Digital) for more.