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Adopting a Design Sprint to build a project management platform

Former innogy, now part of RWE Renewables, is one of the world's leading renewable energy companies. With 3,500 employees, the company is driving the expansion of renewable energy in more than 15 countries on four continents.


Thoughtworks served as a partner to innogy’s internal Digital Transformation team to equip and support their employees with tools, techniques and coaching on various transformation projects. One of these projects was the internal platform InnoSol. Innogy needed to streamline large photovoltaic projects to get better insights into progress and pipeline. For this, they wanted to develop an in-house project management tool to enable better collaboration, making pipelining more transparent and easing decision making to correctly allocate resources. 


When the InnoSol project started, the various departments were working with common office bundles, like Excel and Sharepoint. Project owners were also responsible for managing scattered material at the various photovoltaic locations. Even though the material was at hand, because the data management was manual, insights were lost or were not visible. Centralizing the data and displaying it better through an internal project platform would help improve this process in order to manage projects seamlessly. 


Together with various departments, we ran a Design Sprint (a time-boxed process that helps rapidly gain insights on a problem, ideate solutions, and test them quickly). Afterwards, we conducted a lean vendor discovery that allowed us to quickly scan and test existing SaaS on the market to avoid any unnecessary custom rebuild. While we actively involved the in-house DevOps team during the design sprint and post-activities, we seamlessly blended into delivery – minimizing and reducing delays or hand-overs. By connecting various stakeholders to the Design Sprint and keeping their involvement post their engagement, Thoughtworks enabled innogy to quickly deploy Innosol while also onboarding their own delivery team. 

As one of the early partners, Thoughtworks helped us build up knowledge in our internal development teams and laid the groundwork on how we adapted agile ways of working.
Robin Wallmeroth
Senior Product Manager, Digital Transformation RWE RES

Today, the InnoSol platform enables departments to better steer and jointly manage a large number of photovoltaic projects, with the capability to compare projects and have more transparency. The system is a crucial end-to-end value chain tool and important for innogy’s risk management, so it has become a daily tool for various units to work together. Further, after the initial launch the system has scaled internationally and is being used throughout innogy's portfolio today. 

In light of the digital transformation that innogy went through, the InnoSol project is one of the lighthouse use cases and has become one of innogy’s prime transformation references. Apart from the project itself, the various Design Sprints and overall transformational work by Thoughtworks has helped them bring multiple departments closer together, scaled agile ways of working and shifted mindsets with regards to customer-first approaches and product thinking, while at the same time delivering tangible outcomes.

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