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Energizing people to realise agile transformation


Albert Heijn


People, Tech & AI transformation

Albert Heijn IT wanted to be able to respond faster to customer demands. With the help of their technology implementation partner they had a roadmap for agile transformation ready to go. Except … it wasn’t coming to life.

The smart and savvy plans AH IT had made, remained on the desks of the MT. It failed to mobilise and change the organisation. That’s where &samhoud was asked to step in. In an agile change approach, we energized the people behind the technology by inviting them to a whole new way of working. And it worked out great.

Our approach for change

This is how we realised breakthrough change, getting the people at Albert Heijn IT ready for action:

  1. The change was managed agile
    The way the change was designed had to invite the new way of working. We formed 5 design teams. Each team focuses on designing and implementing new work processes, agile portfolio management and more.
  2. We developed a vision- and agile-driven LT
    Both hierarchical managers and informal leaders from within the organisation helped shape the change in the organisation. In addition, their skills were developed around agile leadership & mindset.
  3. We inspired with a change story
    Together with the MT & LT, the change story for AH IT was established. Leaders were also trained in storytelling to inspire their employees.
  4. We steered the realisation of change
    At AH IT this was achieved by setting up a control system including an Obeya room, team reports and biweekly performance dialogues. From then and there, the plans became a reality.
  5. Communication set up to fit the change
    Through vlogs, newsflashes and (online) demos, employees were informed, involved and activated to contribute to the change.

What really changed?

To transform the traditional working environment into an agile working environment, the collaboration between IT and business needed to be established. As digital technology is a key enabler of the business strategy, the IT MT made a collective effort with the business to formulate a new and exciting IT strategy. Both the technology perspective (which describes the strategic plans for technology, providing foundational IT capabilities on key transformation areas) as the business perspective (which describes the strategic IT plans for the business and are mostly driven by business strategy) were represented.

The impact

  • 92% agile workforce trained;
  • Relevant roles assigned to SAFE;
  • Agile and SAFE processes defined;
  • Significant increase in implementation CICD and automated regression and/or acceptance tests;
  • Improved collaboration business & IT;
  • Creation of a highly collaborative working environment;
  • Creation of a culture of continuous learning, high degrees of ownership and individual responsibility;
  • Leadership development, changing from command-and-control to a coaching and growth-oriented leadership style;

Want to know more?


Want to know more?

Nienke Huijs
Lead partner