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Experience Report: Going Where No-One Has Gone Before

Presenters:  Mirette Kangas ✦ Antti Kirjavainen


Time: Thursday 17:45

Session Type: Long Form Experience Report

Duration: 45 Minutes

Themes: culture, transformation, leadership, enterprise, digital media, journalism


Two years ago, Yle (Finnish Broadcasting Company), received “The Best Lean Performance of the Year” award in Finland. What we have achieved in Lean-Agile is now one of the top benchmarks for Finnish corporations as well as other broadcasters in the European Broadcast Union (EBU).

We have traveled a long way but we are still at the beginning of our transformation story.

The transformation in Yle started from the development of digital services. In that area, there were plenty of benchmarks to draw upon, even when this transformation work started ten years ago. Ther were even benchmarks at the company strategy and portfolio levels. We had benchmarks in software development to draw influences from.

Now, our Lean Agile Culture Accelerator´s evolutionary purpose has become: To ensure Yle´s competitive advantage by adapting Lean culture in creative work as well as knowledge work.

Toward that goal, we have focused in many areas other than the development of digital services: creating creative cross/transmedia content, modern journalism (both broadcast and online) and all the disciplines related to these—including creative concepting, production, shooting, arranging sets, producing graphics, etc.

Working to transform the work of Yle to be part of the Lean Culture, the people responsible for this work often ask this question: "Where are the benchmarks to an agile way of doing 'this'?"  'This' can be  journalistic work in news desks, creative transmedia productions, strategic prioritization of company key product portfolios, or many other things.

After reaching out in our networks and making visits to several companies world-wide, we have come to the conclusion that it is us at Yle who have the task to create benchmarks in these areas.

That means our transformation work with experts of these disciplines is an exploration. We have adapted our ways for this:

  • New ways of sharing what we have learned from experiments in various parts of the organization.
  • Trainings which promote exploration together and adapting principles to different contexts over indoctrinating over set of principles and practices.
  • Community events to increase shared understanding through collaborative sense-making.
  • Demos where we share our new innovations and learnings from our mistakes and invite change agents from other organizations to share their stories.
  • Building networked communities inside and outside our company, to share findings and to learn from individuals and companies from networks.

Speaker's Bios

Mirette Kangas is Founder of Yle Agile Culture Accelerator(Finnish Broadcasting Company). After she worked for 10 years with a number of Internet companies including a media subsidiary of Nokia, Yle hired Mirette to be Head of Internet and Mobile Project Management. It was on this job that Mirette learned what "agile" was when two developers explained the essential concepts to her—and why it was a totally different apporach.  She realized that everything she knew about managing a project was about to change! (The concept of "lean thinking" was yet to come along at Yle, and by that time she had already been running many small bounded experiments to put "agile" to the test.) Mirrette has been a playing violin since she was 6 years old, and she is also an active member of the Helsinginkadun Filharmonikot a 65 member amateur syphony orchestra.

Antti Kirjavainen is co-founder of FlowaWolf in Helsinki, he's a Management 3.0 trainer and faciltitator, and a coach at ketteräyle - the Lean Agile Accelerator at Finnish broadcaster Yle. Antti was also part of the community at the first ALE in Berlin and many other ALE events. Many people the Agile community know Antti's background in games and his passion for helping people create their own Agile learning games.  (Some of us will always remember when he introduced us to the game "A Penny For My Thoughts".)

About the Program

This conference is different. We have a guiding theme, but we don't have a fixed program. You will create the program and agenda together at the event so that it emerge around your business needs and our theme.

Open Space Technology

Open Space that provides just enough structure to create the program, plan the outcomes, and design for participation — together.

Seed Sessions

'Seed Sessions' are an ALE tradition. They are a few prepared sessions and a daily keynote, which have been designed in advance to offer the seed germs of an idea for cultivation.

Power Transformance

Our theme is Power Transformance. It signals a basic shift in the power of our work environments using Lean and Agile principles to create change, renewal, and transformation.