A mixture of methods
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.
Niceshops is using a mixture of methods to reinforce self-organization within the company.
Their practiced methods are:
→ Sociocracy (with some minor elements of Holacracy)
→ Agile self-organization
→ Collegial Leadership of organizational development
→ Systemic Management
The team states that there weren't many tools in the market they were aware of – having to choose between Glassfrog and Holaspirit. The decision for Holaspirit was mainly because it is more flexible in regards to the organization's mixture of methods and their practices within the organization.
The team's recommendation when using Holaspirit:
"Our recommendation for all who want to start using 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."
Niceshops started quite experimental on a very basic level, being able to create roles and circles and describe them in detail was already a big leap forward to the team.
The Holaspirit framework of roles and circles helped them to stay focused and describe the purpose & accountabilities of each of their 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. We are intensively using roles, circles, domains for organizational development purposes. Circle Leads are prototyping new roles or circles and then 'activting' them which means they get communicated in a specific meeting."
The organization faced issues to visualize their flexible and adaptive organization using classic organigrams. They specifically found it difficult for all team members to have clarity from various departments.
With a rapid growth within employees – going from 50 to 500 – Niceshops needed transparency on who does what.
The organization had a rather quick implementation journey and were able to launch their platform in no time. Their growth went from 300 roles and expanded quickly to around 650 roles.
Niceshops opted to go all-in straight from scratch, without a long-term transformation plan. For Niceshops this worked due to their strong bias to commit on experiments. And yet, the initial iteration of the implementation only took around 4 weeks or so.
"We made it a habit to link to Holaspirit if we want to show adaptions in the organization. It’s also extremely important to keep the information in Holaspirit up-to-date. Apart from that Holaspirit is a key tool in our organizational development workshops because it’s so easy to draft adaptions in the organization."
"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."
– Team Niceshops