Kesko's K Markkinointi uses LSC to raise their marketing services to the next level

We've had a lot of success (and fun) working with teams in different parts of the Kesko group and, in some instances, introducing them to our Lean Service Creation (LSC) methodology. I recently talked to a friend of mine, Product Owner of Kesko’s K Markkinointi, a service which provides targeted marketing services to the group's retailers.

I first met Emilia Majuri in October 2016 when she and a team of people from Kesko's marketing services attended a LSC program. They had an idea for a solution that would work based on data, marketing intelligence and automation – this is what they wanted to utilize. The team worked with Futurice, various specialists and retailers to find a problem worth solving.

So Emilia, how working using Lean Service Creation differed from your previous ways of working?

One big change has been the fact that we don't put the solution at the center of our work. It was the hardest thing to change, but definitely the best possible model for building a new operating model and application. We also worked in a multidisciplinary team and in close cooperation with both K-retailers and the experts at our chains.

We created a project room that we used for dailies, retros sprint plannings - all things that were totally new to us. We celebrated things together and adopted a collective Fight the System attitude - we never gave up if the old model we used to work with got in our way and tried to slow us down. It was thanks to this attitude that we managed to create the solution on time despite the tighter than tight schedule.

What sort of impact has this had on the team?

Our group spirit is much stronger now. We've embraced new roles and a new way of working. It's all had a huge positive impact on our motivation.

How has the rest of the organization reacted to the changes in your team?

Even though we've changed the way we work, we have gone out of our way to make sure people understand that we respect many of the old ways of doing things at Kesko and also work to support the rest of the organization. However it's been great to see others get excited about this new way of working, because we've been able to show everyone how well the project advances using this model. We've brought stakeholders together in completely new ways and it’s been really amazing to experience how big of an impact this has had in our organisaiton.

The new service you've been creating is out now. What has the feedback from K retailers been like?

The first week, we had almost hundred K retailers participate in over three hundred different marketing programs. That's a phenomenal reception, compared to the fact that we were able to serve only a fraction of K retailers before! The figures are growing steadily and we can say that we have indeed exceeded all expectations!

The feedback has been good and the users have been happy with the new service. We've also received some great ideas for further development. Here's a message we received form a happy K retailer:

Wow that was easy 👍 Thank you to whoever thought of this, great work 👏👏

Were you surprised by the reception?

Not really. We worked closely with the end user - the K retailers - and experts from almost day one, so we knew the service was what they needed and wanted. We made sure to communicate efficiently with all stakeholders about the work we were doing, so as many people as possible were able to follow what was up with the project.

And all this on time and without budget overruns?

Yes! K Markkinointi worked in a very agile way. It worked, because we had a very knowledgeable team, support from the group, a working cooperation through all of Kesko's stakeholders, tenacity and a fight the system spirit when faced with no for an answer.

What's your secret?

The service was never going to fly if the people creating it didn't believe in it. We were happy and excited to work on it and maintained a real can-do attitude throughout the project.

What happens next?

Now we're really going to blow the lid off data-led marketing! We're excited to continue developing the app. We've proven that an agile working model and bringing the end-users and K retailers into the heart of the development project is how we want to work in the future, too. Kesko will continue creating amazing new digital services in a data-led, agile and customer-centered way, just like K Markkinointi.