Review DWSC 2019 Digital Workplace Summit by communardo

We had the pleasure of co-sponsoring the latest communardo event in Hamburg. A day packed with interesting presentations and great conversations.

Thank you!

Thanks to everyone involved for organizing such a nice summit. The location was great and offered a fantastic panoramic view of Hamburg. In addition to the lectures and workshops, there was an exhibition of partners and solution providers.

The Exhibitors

catworkx, phat consulting, Yasoon, Re:solution, comalatech, Decadis, Seibert Media, Coyo, nintex, bitvodoo, Beezy, harmon .ie, Staffbase, Surface

The Sponsors

DWSC 2019 Sponsors

Key takeaways

In general, there was a sharp increase in the number of Microsoft partners, solutions and presentations. Companies are using both Microsoft and Atlassian to provide their employees and teams with the right solution. You can find the event’s agenda here!

The Presentations

Guido Bosbach, keynote speaker

Guido Bosbach, keynote speaker

Guido Bosbach’s keynote speech on the topic “The fish stinks from the head. Why and how we have to rethink management and leadership to make the future work” dealt with the change of mindsets in companies and especially the task of leadership in companies. (PDF of the presentation).
His theses are that an understanding of management and leadership must find its way into the company, that it must move away from traditional structures and offer more than isolated agile solutions, cultural change prescribed by the above and modern collaboration tools. In his opinion, companies need structures and processes that offer freedom, and enable work everywhere and make self-organization the standard.

Thomas Mickeleit, Microsoft

Thomas Mickeleit, Microsoft

Mensch, Raum, Technologie - Erfolgsfaktoren für die New World of Work” by Thomas Mickeleit (Microsoft) gave an interesting insight into the current position of digital change at Microsoft. He also emphasized that digital change does not mean providing new tools, but that it must extend to all areas of a company and its employees.

For people, this means more exchange with each other. More communication.

New spaces have been created. Microsoft had its headquarters in Munich Schwabing completely rebuilt in order to create rooms for different needs. There are open-plan offices for everyone work in, but retreats have also been created to be able to make phone calls, work in a concentrated manner or hold meetings.

Last but not least, these tools provide the technology which enables collaboration and exchange. At Microsoft these are Outlook, SharePoint, Yammer, the Office Apps and as a new product: Teams.

Markus Lobak & Thomas Klaghofer-Heinzle Julius Blum GmbH

Markus Lobak & Thomas Klaghofer-Heinzle Julius Blum GmbH

Another very interesting insight was provided by the lecture “COOPERATION.NEW.THINK. from the diaries of the DWP guerrillas” by Markus Lobak and Thomas Klaghofer-Heinzle from Julius Blum GmbH, a supplier of furniture fittings from Austria with an international presence.
An internal IT team was installed there for the digital workstation. They have set up an internal project “NEXT Einfach.Vernetzt.Arbeiten.Wissen” and thus communicated their goals within the company.

  • Simplifying collaboration through modern work methods and modern IT applications
  • Support employee networking
  • Leverage digital collaboration opportunities and enable employees to work efficiently
  • Document, share and make information and knowledge accessible within the company.

The first reaction: the IT department is enthusiastic, many employees are skeptical or get scared.
The project team begins to compare the previous work method with the new one and to compare the personal productivity with the one offered by teamwork with modern work methods. The former is less difficult for employees, but has less impact. Organizing as a team means more impact and added value by sharing new tools and ways of working. It is more difficult in the beginning, but is much more effective. It leads to more transparency and more open communication in the team. The employees are more connected, which intensifies the spreading co-operation and thereby leads to more speed and flexibility. Keyword agility. Information and knowledge are made available company-wide, the coordination loops are shortened or completely eliminated.
Their experience in the NEXT project is that it is very important to focus on the benefits for the employee. You have to be courageous and allow people to do things. Leaders must be actively integrated from the start. It is important to have a vision and to communicate it continuously. At the same time, space and time are needed for everyone to gain their own experience. The project team has always actively accompanied the employees.

All in all: The introduction of the digital workstation is not just a “sideline”.

Swetlana Heidebrecht & Antonia Richter, Springer

Swetlana Heidebrecht & Antonia Richter, Springer

The next lecture I attended - and winner of the public voting “Best lecture” - came from two employees of Axel Springer, Swetlana Heidebrecht and Antonia Richter. They spoke on the topic “Deep Work - focused work in a world full of distractions” and thus obviously from the hearts of many people present.

After a very interesting presentation of an investigation into how we spend our working day…

  • 85% of the time we spend on communication and collaboration (meetings, phone calls etc.)
  • 15% with work
  • 25% of the performance is lost through the pure presence of the smartphone
    About every 10 minutes We are interrupted or interrupt ourselves about every 10 minutes.

… introduce the Deep Work concept and how you brought it into the company at Springer and still do.

E.g. by different work hacks that help to find the way to focused work. One example is the so-called Pomodoro technique (named after a kitchen alarm clock in tomato form) which divides work into 25-minute steps and intersperses it with short breaks. A longer break follows four 25-minute periods. This technique assumes that the breaks increase the ability to think.

The focused work should also take place in teams. At Springer, retrospectives are held that should be as trouble-free as possible. In addition they agreed on meeting rules, which eliminate the disturbances (telephones, opened laptop, typing besides etc.) if possible, and refer also again and again to these rules. Even if this process is sometimes annoying, it is still important in order to achieve more focused work in a team.

Peggy Kautz & Swen Göbbels, Panasonic

Peggy Kautz & Swen Göbbels, Panasonic

This was followed by a lecture by Panasonic employees Peggy Kautz and Swen Göbbels - 100 years of Panasonic, 100 years of BT (before teams) in the Microsoft 365 Empowerment series. Panasonic has also started its own project to accompany the digital change in the company.

Denny Phung, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen

Denny Phung, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen

The lecture by Danny Phung from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen “Our Journey to the #digital - A Travel Report on the Digitization of the Workplace at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen”, described the change in the digital workplace as a journey with very different travel groups on board; which by the way is a very successful metaphor. There are “Globetrotter-Backpacker”, “I-always-go-camper”, “Do-we-have-all-inclusive-” and “Without-German-speaking tour-leaders-we-don’t-need-to-go-there” on board. In order to successfully implement a change, the “tour guide” should have experience with expectation management, motivation, frustration and despair.


This is a selection of lectures whose common theme is that change in the world of work is taking place and we need to find ways to deal with it. People and their diversity should always be the focus, as well as, the diversity of processes and needs. It takes time, patience and expertise to accompany and implement change.

Communardo once again held a raffle this year. The prizes could be won by visiting the exhibitors’ stands. Always a very successful opportunity to talk to them. The day ended with some finger food, drinks and nice conversations.

DWSC2019 Gallery

Next DWSC 2020

Save the date: 03.11.2020 in Frankfurt/Main