Agile into the Future

The Agil.Award honors new work methods at Leoni

Kitzingen – Outstanding work: Leoni wins the “Agil.Award.” The prize, awarded jointly by the Bavarian Employers’ Associations for the Metalworking and Electrical Industries (bayme) and the Association of the Bavarian Metal and Electrical Industry (vbm), recognizes companies that have successfully implemented agility in their organizations and embody it in an exemplary manner.

In the award ceremony on December 9, 2022 at the Haus der Bayerischen Wirtschaft in Munich, Leoni won in the category of “Companies with 250 and more employees.” The Agil.Award is a science-based prize and is awarded each year in four categories by an independent jury from science and business.

In presenting the award, Dr. Florian Herrmann, Bavarian State Minister for Federal and Media Affairs, offered special praise to Leoni for introducing a broad range of agile working methods across many different disciplines, as well as establishing the underlying mindset. In doing so, the company has intentionally modeled its development on the motto “Learn fast, fail fast.” Leoni understands that producing faster results, regardless of whether they are positive or negative, clearly adds value for the organization. The agile mindset also includes values such as transparency, openness to change, focusing on the essential, respect, and conscientiousness.

Another trademark of the agile approach at Leoni is the use of cross-functional development teams. Among their other efforts, these interdisciplinary teams collaborate closely in the newly dedicated Innovation Industrialization Center (IIC) at Leoni’s site in Kitzingen. Since September 2022, the IIC has offered space and technical equipment to enablemore comprehensive observation – and thus faster implementation – of new products and production techniques.

More fun at work

As Walter Glück, Chief Technology Officer at Leoni, points out: “By using agile methods, we can allow our employees to be more innovative, work more independently, achieve better performance, and have more fun at work.”

A case in point for the new agile project management process is the development of a backbone for low-voltage energy transmission. The original goal was to study the technology needed for serial production and to build a demonstrator for further discussions with customers. After the project was changed over to agile project management shortly before its launch, it became evident that the individual process steps would be completed much more quickly. For example, the complex process of hardware development took only six months instead of the usual two years. Moreover, the product quality was so good that the demonstrator immediately became a new product for the Leoni portfolio.

Extraordinary commitment

Leoni’s agility, flexibility, and customer focus have also been recognized through two other recently awarded honors. Firstly, automotive manufacturer BMW recognized Leoni with its Supplier Innovation Award in November 2022. Leoni received this recognition for its extraordinary commitment, above all by its Ukrainian employees, by whose efforts the company was able to maintain its supply chains despite daily threats posed by the Russian attack on their country.

Secondly, the well-known US trade journal “Automotive News” honored Leoni CEO Aldo Kamper for the company’s handling of the situation in Ukraine by presenting him with the “All Star” award in the “Industry Leader of the Year” category.