This is the story so far.
SPII’s history is a tale of challenges and successes, of change and reinforcement, of will and adaptability.
A story that started decades ago, when a local entrepreneur founded “Studio for Professional Industrial Engineering”.
But even the most adaptable companies need a real change, from time to time. And when SPII most needed it, and wanted to update its processes and resources in order to keep up with an ever changing world, it was time for…an Evolution.
SPII EVO was a process, a journey of change, a long marathon that challenged and shook everything in its path.
But in the aftermath, it was exactly what it needed to be: a real and durable change. The actualization of a process that was already ongoing, that everyone felt deep within, but needed to be explored and expanded into a new shape.
Today, about 5 years down the road, SPII is still the same company. Yet, it’s deeply different.
The aftermath of a (r)evolution
The people who experienced SPII Evolution confirm it: it was a real challenge, that involved everyone, at every level.
It was fun, challenging, engaging, active, and the resulting projects were undoubtedly great.
But beyond the specific details of the winning projects, some very important needs emerged during SPIIEvo:
- Better communication and information exchange at all levels;
- Greater delegation and more distributed responsibilities;
- Digitization of some processes that still took place more traditionally;
- And a general desire for more information sharing, in and outward.
After it was all over, the risk was…to go back to the initial situation. So many companies start with the best intentions but then get caught up in the everyday processes, in the demands of production, and slowly slide back to what was before.
SPII didn’t wan’t this to happen – and it didn’t let it.
Not all was implemented at once, clearly. Some changes happened immediately, others later on, within a process of continuous improvement that turned into something far more special: a new mindset.
Communication is the new gold
The greatest desire was clearly for an improved communication, not only at a formal level, but also an informal one. A context that would allow a greater flow of information, new friendships, more opportunities to interact.
One very well received answer to it was the Evo Room, a space for people to rest, eat, chat and enjoy their time. But not only.
Stand up meetings and systematic departmental meetings also started to take place.
“For example, every week I hold an “Operation Meeting” to talk about structural issues with all the managers of the Operational functions, with a long term approach“, Silvio Zuffetti told me.
“Then, they hold a “Production Meeting” to discuss topics related to production, issues with often a shorter time-frame.
Plus, every day they meet for the so-called Stand Up Meetings: first, 10 minutes each with their own department, then 20 minutes among them“.
In this way, each manager has it all: short, medium and long term visibility. They share information with their team, after receiving a training on communication and feedback methods, to make communication more effective.
The goal is to have everyone who is interested aware of what is going on. But also to share successes and milestones, such as project kick-offs and production kick-offs every time a new product begins its lifecycle, at the engineering level and then at the production level.
This renewed and more systematic attention to communication, feedback, agility, and overall transparency of all the processes is a great result that emerged partly from SPII Evo, one that today is ingrained in everyone’s mindset and actions.
It’s not only a matter of “knowing”: it is about taking active part in it.
Do you remember the “it depends on me/it depends on others” dichotomy? That’s also why they have recently decided to link the production bonuses directly to the economic results of the company: because its success depends on everyone, quite literally!
An agile way of working
An agile and transparent company needs to have an agile and transparent organization.
So, after SPII Evo, the organization chart was completely revised, creating Work Teams with well-defined responsibilities and areas of action.
If the success of the company depends on everyone, then everyone has the responsibility to take action.
The Managers of each team now have greater responsibility for the results of their teams, which in turn stimulates them to make the people they work with more responsible. It’s a positive loop, one that enhances proactivity and autonomy.
But also one that is always supported by tons of information, training, growth, as the SPII ACADEMY can testify.
This all was driven also by the digitization of processes and tools, a trend that is ongoing, with more than 10 projects in progress at the moment. New software and methods are always on the way, in a continuous effort to simplify processes and help everyone with work.
Information is real only when shared
What SPII did after SPII Evo, and what it does today, is not just some specific action. It’s an overall tendency towards improvement which, apart from all the communication mechanisms explained above, also expands to the outside.
If you are reading this all, it’s exactly because of that: a desire not only to communicate internally, but also externally.
To use social and traditional media in a really connecting and empowering way, to reach out to a community of train drivers and other stakeholders, whose work is impacted everyday by SPII’s work.
This is exactly how an award-winning product like IntelliArm was born, actually.
It’s a circular process, one that is directed outward, through external communication. And comes back inward, with a greater sense of belonging, of pride and of general knowledge.
Always remembering the one thing that allowed SPII to be still here, still now: its people. At the center, always.
See you next time,