Niceshops GmbH is an internationally active Austrian e-commerce company with headquarters in Saaz, Styria, and additional locations in Graz, Vienna and Ulm. The company operates around 40 different shop portals - a total of 341 international online shops.
With over 500 employees within the organization and practicing a mixture of methods to reinforce self-organization – their influences are:
- Sociocracy (with minor elements of Holacracy)
- Agile Self-Organization
- Collegial Leadership of Organizational Development
- Systemic Management
But how is the organization able to bring transparency and structure with various teams spread out in different headquarters? We spoke to the Niceshops team for a quick chat on how Holaspirit has been of great help for the organization and teams.
We asked the team what were the challenges/problems they needed to solve before finding Holaspirit?
“The organization faced troubles to visualize their flexible and adaptive organization appropriately using classic organigrams. Especially, finding a way to describe in a clear way if colleagues worked in different departments was a tough one.
Another key challenge was to be very transparent in who does what in the organization facing tremendous growth in people over the last couple of years - from 50 to 500.”
We asked the team what were some trends in their industry that drove the organization to use Holaspirit, they added: “The main trend we would refer to is the need to be very adaptive in terms of evolution of our organization pressured by the VUCA-world surrounding us. Being able to constantly adapt the organization based on changes in our market.”
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When asked about what features from Holaspirit helped to the success of solving old issues to their teams/organization, they replied: “We started quite experimental on a very basic level. Thus, being able to create roles and circles and describe them quite specifically was already a big leap forward to us."
"The Holaspirit framework of roles and circles helped us to stay focussed and describe the purpose & accountabilities of each of our roles and circles. The level of transparency we have now is tremendous. Every colleague in the organization has access to all actual roles & circles at any given time.”
💡How can you start bringing structure to your organization?
- Start with bringing visibility to your organization by structuring your teams by circles and sub-circles.
- Add each member’s roles and accountabilities so it's documented on who does what and no misunderstandings arrive.
- Color customization: bring some fun to your panel with Holaspirit’s color customization options.
We asked Niceshops what were their most-used features that have helped their teams in bringing agility?
“We are intensively using roles, circles, domains for organizational development purposes. Circle Leads are prototyping new roles or circles and then ‘activating’ them, which means they get communicated in a specific meeting.
Other than that we started using the quite new ‘OKR’ feature in the first iteration. It helps the circles a lot in making their upcoming goals transparent and also measurable.”
📈 How can you start aligning the organization’s purpose with the team’s goals with Holaspirit?
- Align OKRs of your circle to company OKR to see how your objectives contribute to the larger purpose.
- Set your purpose and start tracking your actions and measure your progress, plus Holaspirit helps you to build a goal tree directly from the hierarchy view.
- You’re able to set a time-frame in each OKR and when creating or editing one on Holaspirit, you can link one OKR to another OKR from any circle.
- If you think along the way, some objectives are not do-able or not realistic enough, set new ones, and change gears.
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What has been the most impressive feature, service or thing Niceshops has had with Holaspirit?
“One quite outstanding feature is actually not a feature - it’s the amazing customer support. Both, response times and quality of responses are outstanding. In this regard, I also like that feature requests are taken seriously and seemingly a product team is actually quite carefully considering building new features into the product.
Apart from that, I like the visualization of the chart being able to zoom in and out. In general, navigation is quite easy and at least the basic features are quite accessible and easy to use.”
Niceshops has taken an overall of four weeks of transformation with Holaspirit. They believe in going all-in for the win: “We opted to go all-in straight from scratch. No long-term transformation plan. This works because niceshops have a strong bias to commit on experiments. Thus, the initial iteration of the implementation only took around 4 weeks or so.”
🗒 But what are some tips the Niceshops team could provide to new users at Holaspirit?
“Use your current organization charts and just “draw” them differently in the first place. Visualizing the organization in circles already creates a different feeling. And then, iteratively use more and more features depending on the methodology you are using. The cool thing about Holaspirit is its flexibility at the end.”