Local Business Consultancy why innovation! Assists Singapore Airlines with their Agile Transformation

October 02, 2019 - 02:11
Local Business Consultancy why innovation! Assists Singapore Airlines with their Agile Transformation

SIA embraces agile practices in IT delivery to deliver the world’s leading digital airline experience.


SINGAPORE - MediaOutReach - October 2, 2019 - Singapore-basedbusiness consultancy why innovation! started on its Agile Adoption coachingjourney with Singapore Airlines (SIA) last March. SIA aims to transform itsbusiness digitally to continue thriving in a rapidly changing globalenvironment.


why innovation! kickstarted the Agile transformationprogram with SIA in March 2018, carrying the specific objectives of:

  • Enhancing cross team collaboration within the Business and Developmentunits to roll out efficient and consistent work plans
  • Helping Team Members adopt Agile approaches in redefining initiativesand products
  • Improving the speed of IT departments to develop systems and releaseproducts
  • Keeping abreast of the latest technological practices via a customizedAgile framework in line with SIA's context and culture

TheProcess of Execution

In the competitive aviation landscape, customersare exposed to a wide variety of options. With this, SIA is constantlyanticipating their customers' needs, while maintaining a short and efficientturnaround time.


why innovation!'s role was to foster andenhance collaboration and communication between SIA's Business and ITdepartments so as to improve quality and efficiency across all work processes.  With these new practices, SIA is now able tobetter control their output, while reacting more quickly to feedback andresults across all different stakeholders.


One example was the 1SQ app, an employee app toaccess key company information and self-service functions on the go - the firstof its kind for Singapore companies. Its features include company news and eventannouncements, balloting opportunities, self-service tools such as traveldocument updates, and leave applications. Uniting features from variousenterprise systems across SIA was not easy but with agile coaching, the squadlaunched the minimum viable product (MVP) with core features after three monthsof development, hitting a monthly release cycle in February 2019. The frequentreleases and feedback created a cycle that kept the squad focused onimprovements that really matter to SIA employees.


Thus far, the various groups across SIA's businessand IT departments coached by why innovation! have reported improved responsetimings, system efficacy, and more stable workflow structures within and acrosstheir departments. Agile awareness is raised among close to 1,200 employeesthrough a blended learning process which includes professional training,workshops and coaching practices. The training will continue in differenttrenches over the next six to eight months and will continue to result inhigher levels of learning, and quicker response cycles.


whyinnovation!'s Role in the Industry of Change

Aside from SIA, the why innovation! team hasworked with several other high-profile clients, including DFS, ComfortDelgro,Prudential, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Cathay Pacific, assisting themin their transformation to adopt a nimbler, more adaptable business model.


The consultancy specialises in enablinginternal capabilities for BusinessAgility, which is the process oftransforming an organization's structure or nature, such that it can embraceand constantly adapt in a fast-changing environment. As compared to thetraditional Waterfall Methodology typically employed by large corporations, anAgile mindset allows for organizations to improve turnaround time, granting itthe ability to continuously adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace, and gearitself up for enhanced Digital Innovation.


"The transformation program at SIA is a greatexample to follow not only in its own industry. The scale of the change, thespeed of adoption and the business impact represent a pretty uniquecombination. The unconditional support of the top management combined with thestrong capability of SIA leaders to manage such Organizational Change Programare the key reasons of this success. As SIA's transformation partner, whyinnovation! brings a systematic Agile Transformation approach including a setof Agile and Change Management assets to accelerate Agile adoption at alllevels of the organization. We are proud to be part of this exciting journey,"said Yann Hamon, Managing Director of why innovation!.


why innovation! was also invited to the Chief DigitalOfficer Innovation Summit, organized by Questex Asia earlier in March 2019.Yann was featured as a speaker alongside 18 other representatives includingthose from S.T. Engineering, Standard Chartered, and Pearson. The consultancyis also gearing up to celebrate its 5th anniversary this year, featuring alineup of speakers consisting of why innovation!'s most prolific clients andYann himself as he shares about the new strategies of the company movingforward.

Annexe A: Corporate Bios

AboutYann Hamon

Yann Hamon is the Managing Director of why innovation!, a consultancyspecialised in accelerating digital transformation by increasing businessagility and digital innovation. Over the past years, the company has helpedSingapore Airlines, DFS, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Chanel, ComfortDelGro, Carrefour,Roche and many big companies to tackle innovation challenges by nurturing aculture of agility and enhancing the development of new digital products,services and ways of working.


whyinnovation! is now operating with 40+ professionals in Singapore, Hong Kong andShanghai, and has been delivering sustainable and practical outcomes throughconsulting, coaching and training teams, organisations and leaders.


Yann carriesover 30 years of experience in software, system and product engineering and 20years of practice in Organizational Change Management with a focus on AgileEnterprise, Product Organization and Digital Innovation. Through hisinternational career in Europe, Australia and Asia, he has worked and supporteda variety of individuals and teams in technology and business, from engineersto CxOs. He owns a PhD in Computer Sciences, specialised in ArtificialIntelligence for Software Engineering.

Annexe B:Agile Methodology

History of Agile

The Agile Manifesto, a set ofvalues and guiding principles, was created as a new way of working in order todeal with greater complexity and uncertainty in operating environments. The continuousdelivery of working software, and therefore customer value, could be describedas the 'holy grail' of software development. As a human-centered framework, thegreatest challenge for most organizations looking to adopt Agile is tofundamentally shift behaviors and mindsets. The 12 guiding principles of Agileenable a more collaborative and motivated work environment, allowing for the"productive and creative delivery of products of the highest possible value"[i].

Agile vs. Waterfall

In a "traditional" project management (Waterfall) setting,each project follows the same life cycle which includes the stages such asrequirements (scope), design, implementation, verification and maintenance asshown in the figure above. The entire project is planned upfront without anyroom for changing requirements. This approach assumes that time, cost and scopeare all fixed.

Whilst a traditional methodology focuses on upfrontplanning, Agile gives prominence to people, customer collaboration, and flexibility.It focuses more on incorporating customer feedback through continuous releasesof small increments product, enabling the product to be tested in market andadapt accordingly.


TheAgile Mindset

Mastering Agile is not an easy task. It requires a fundamentalshift in the product mindset towards an incremental and iterative approach -- afar different approach to "traditional" Waterfall ways of working. From theoutset, this also means ensuring organizations are truly listening to the voiceof the customer. Practices such as design thinking and innovation labs help inthis regard, but without proper application, bias often creeps in. At whyinnovation!, we focus transformational activities on accelerating the deliveryof business value -- optimizing release and product management strategies withthe customer in mind.


[i] The Scrum Guide, 2017, Ken Schwaber& Jeff Sutherland

About why innovation!

why innovation! is a digital transformationconsultancy specialised in accelerating organizational transformation byincreasing business agility and digital innovation. Over the past years, thecompany has helped Singapore Airlines, DFS, BNP Paribas, HSBC, Chanel,ComfortDelGro, Carrefour, Roche and many big companies to tackle innovationchallenges by nurturing a culture of agility and enhancing the development ofnew digital products, services and ways of working. It is now operating with more than40 professionals in Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and has been deliveringsustainable and practical outcomes through consulting, coaching and trainingteams, organisations and leaders.

About Singapore Airlines

The SIAGroup's history dates back to 1947 with the maiden flight of Malayan AirwaysLimited. The airline was later renamed Malaysian Airways Limited and thenMalaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA). In 1972, MSA split into Singapore Airlines(SIA) and Malaysian Airline System. Initially operating a modest fleet of 10aircraft to 22 cities in 18 countries, SIA has since grown to be a world-classinternational airline group.


SingaporeAirlines is committed to the constant enhancement of the three main pillars ofits brand promise: Service Excellence, Product Leadership and NetworkConnectivity. The SIA Group fleet and network are also expanding in support ofthe development of its portfolio strategy, in which it has investments in bothfull-service and low-cost airline operations. This portfolio of airlinesserving short-, medium- and long-haul markets gives the SIA Group moreflexibility and nimbleness, with the right vehicles to serve the right markets.


In 2018,Singapore Airlines launched the world's longest commercial flight, withnon-stop services between Singapore and New York, as well as non-stop servicesbetween Singapore to Los Angeles, and increased non-stop services to SanFrancisco, using the new Airbus A350-900ULR (ultra-long-range). In September2019, Seattle became the fifth US city in Singapore Airlines' route network --and the fourth to be served non-stop from Singapore.