February 18, 2020No Comments

Challenges with agile transformation & the value of speed

What is agile

Agile is mostly used when talking about how to do software development but is now spreading to more than just that. The world is moving faster and companies need to embrace agile to avoid having competitors and startups eat from their cake.

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change
- Charles Darwin

For someone new to agile it is best to start from the agile manifesto to get the basic understanding.

The agile manifesto


The 4 values of the agile manifesto:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

The 12 principles of the agile manifesto:

  • Prioritize the customer
  • Welcome change requirements
  • Deliver working software frequently
  • Business people and developers must work together daily
  • Build projects around motivated individuals
  • Face-to-face conversations
  • Working software to measure success
  • Promote sustainable development
  • Technical excellence and good design
  • Simplicity
  • Self-organizing teams
  • Team reflection at regular intervals

The agile manifesto was created for software development, but agile can be used in a lot of different areas. Agile is more than just the values and principles of the agile manifesto!

When going into how to do agile work then Scrum and Kanban are the most common methods/practices.

Here's a 5 min video that explains Scrum:

And here's a 5 min video that explains Kanban:

But to get your company to become truly agile it is not just to start using an agile methodology like Scrum or Kanban. There are so many other things to also change.

The value of speed study

We at Cartina wanted to know what challenges occur at companies who starts an agile transformation journey. And also to learn the positive examples and how to overcome those challenges. That is why we did this study we call "The value of speed" where we have both looked at companies like Spotify, ING and Swisscom as well interviewed a lot of big and well known Swedish companies.

Participants of the study:

  • TUI
  • SJ
  • Kronans apotek
  • ICA
  • Electrolux
  • SEB
  • Telenor
  • SAS
  • Scandic
  • Santander
  • Vattenfall

Drivers for starting an agile transformation journey

In the study we asked what were the initial drivers for why they started their agile transformation journey and here are the 6 biggest reasons:

  1. Speed
  2. Become more customer-driven
  3. Cost savings
  4. Remove silos
  5. Engagement
  6. Increase competence

The actual benefits of doing an agile transformation journey

The benefits that the participant companies have seen from their agile transformation journey differed a bit in order:

  1. Speed
  2. Remove silos
  3. Become more customer-driven
  4. Engagement
  5. Cost savings
  6. Increase competence

Challenges with an agile transformation journey

In the study we could identify the following main challenges with the work of transforming an organisation to agile:

  • Leadership & learning culture
  • Communication & measures
  • People & skills
  • Funding & governance
  • Technology

Leadership & learning culture

Leadership & learning culture

Want to hear what the study found for positive examples on how to overcome this?
Click the button to send Erika Kaati-Söderström an email and we can arrange a presentation about the study for your company.

Send email


Communication & measures

Want to hear what the study found for positive examples on how to overcome this?
Click the button to send Erika Kaati-Söderström an email and we can arrange a presentation about the study for your company.

Send email


People & skills

Want to hear what the study found for positive examples on how to overcome this?
Click the button to send Erika Kaati-Söderström an email and we can arrange a presentation about the study for your company.

Send email


Funding & governance

Want to hear what the study found for positive examples on how to overcome this?
Click the button to send Erika Kaati-Söderström an email and we can arrange a presentation about the study for your company.

Send email



Want to hear what the study found for positive examples on how to overcome this?
Click the button to send Erika Kaati-Söderström an email and we can arrange a presentation about the study for your company.

Send email

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May 9, 2019No Comments

The rules for automation – Trend #3 of 6 from SXSW 2019

In 2018...

We talked about Data integrity and how we need to protect ourselves from big players using or selling our personal data.

In 2019...

We were talking about Data for automation, discussing how to best approach automation in a way that fosters human value and robot-to-human collaboration.

Automating our own value 

The fear of automation greatly disrupting labor markets has been increasingly tangible, and something that many speakers decided to approach in various ways. Some with concern, some with the sense that “We are all being promoted”. From the more politically engaged speakers, there is a case being made that we are currently defining ourselves as the economic value that we create, and that we are now making human labor less and less essential to the economy.

Google’s Chief Decision Scientist Cassie Kozyrkov firmly disagreed, arguing that it would be foolish and meaningless to create machines and artificial intelligence that would compete with human skills, human values and human needs. Instead we need to find how technology can complement us, in such a way that we can do what we do best, and technology can do the same. What we need is not more competition, what we need is more tools to leverage our human skills.

The chatbot of our dreams 

As the use of automation tools becomes more wide spread, people start to adjust to this. For example, if you are using a functionality that “optimizes” the time at which you send out your weekly newsletter emails, they might just arrive at the same time as every other non-personal email to your recipients’ mailbox. Instantly, they might get categorized as unimportant and moved to the trash folder.

For some information or experiences to reach all the way through, we might want to amplify the human touch. In this example, pressing the send-button yourself at an irregular time can increase the chances of your email being read. In some cases, it may be the opposite.

One study presented by Aleksandra Przegalinska, a philosopher and researcher at MIT, found that a simple text bot with no human resemblance provokes almost no emotions in the human it is interacting with. However, one with clear human traits (think Sophia the robot) evoked a lot of emotions. But they were negative ones; people felt much more unease interacting with the more human chatbot.

What does this tell us? That we want to carefully select what we decide to automate and consider what we want to alleviate in the interaction with customers or users.

Alex - The robotic news reporter

Image: bbc.com

Russian news channel Rossiya 24 have created a robot – Alex – reading some of its news bulletins.
The question is: Which emotions is he creating for the viewers?

The state of play

As users of, or friends to, automated systems it seems that we want to know when we are interacting with one. The separation between human-to-human contact and human-to-machine contact makes the experience different. It also differs in what context or mood we are in.

A representative from Slack shared their approach to finding out in what situations their users enjoy interacting with machines. Turns out it is when we are in a so-called state of play. When someone adds their 23rd reaction to a certain message in Slack, you can be rather sure that they are not busy doing some important work – this has proven to be a great point at which to introduce a machine that initiates contact with the user.

Identifying situations where users are more receptive and open to machine interactions is an important part of developing a good system design.

Slack interacting with their users in a State of play

The human-machine collaboration

Whether it is in the context of autonomous vehicles, chatbots or any other automated system, we are facing some tricky but important challenges to create a system that is helpful.

One being the need to consider how these systems learn and adapt over time. They are in many ways adaptive to their environments, just like humans, and if your company decides to employ a chatbot in customer service you need to not only think about the technology but also how to ensure that it stays true to corporate values and has some integrity in its interaction with customers and users.

A second one is that when building large-scale autonomous systems, human interaction in combination with these systems is likely to make them deviate from the most optimal functioning. We are seeing increasing numbers of autonomous cars trying to be introduced to the roads and one issue is how they are to collaborate with human drivers. This will evolve beyond our roads and into our organizations as well, which is why we need to evaluate both where to take advantage of automation but also how to design this interaction.

If our employees and/or customers are interacting with a system, there are multiple dimensions that, positively and negatively, affect the outcome of this. Being aware of this when structuring the systems we should consider whether we want this to be a fully automated process or one with human touch points, as it greatly affects the optimal design. A better design will increase the level of trust in a system and ultimately, with more trust, we can be comfortable releasing more data to it and subsequently improve its ability.

According to Aleksandra Przegalinska there are three important dimensions in building a trustful collaboration between a human and a robot:

  • Transparency -- Honesty: The agent is what it is and does not pretend to be something else. It does not deny its status
  • Predictability -- Integrity: Seen as a factor associated with credibility, and concerns the trustors’  expectation that an object of trust will act consistently in line with past experiences. If the user perceives the chatbots as predictable, this may lead to a feeling of trust in the chatbot
  • Control -- Benevolence: The degree to which the motivations and intents of the trustee are in line with those of the trustor

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SXSW is one of the biggest digital conferences in the world, and a global meeting place for the world’s most innovative technology companies and people interested in how disruption can transform their business and everyday lives. The event takes place during during 10 days each year and this year Cartina had the chance to be part of it.

This series consists of 6 global mega trends that business leaders, experts, innovators and disruptors talked about during the days in Austin.

Visst borde fler läsa detta? Glöm inte att dela!

May 8, 2019No Comments

Radical Collaboration – Trend #2 of 6 from SXSW 2019

In 2018...

We were talking about the importance of diversity in terms of

designing technology in a functional way

In 2019...

The discussion has moved towards the back end, asking the question how we can build

new technology and society in a sustainable way.

Creating sustainable impact

The importance of diversity (whether it is about diversity of mind/thought, skin color, gender and many more) in society, organizations and all human settings is nothing new. But similar to how many industries are crossing over each other, we are now seeing the need for a similar shift in the structure of teams and organizations.

The difference from diversity as we know it, is what Priscilla Chan Zuckerberg phrased as Radical Collaboration. When we bring together people with completely disparate ideas and ask them to solve a single issue, we create a tension that can be a great tool to solve the new kinds of challenges that society is facing.

In order for us to make our relationship with technology prosperous in the long term, we need groups with conflicting perspectives to join hands behind a solution. To create a sustainable impact, being one where future challenges and resources as well as opportunities are taken into consideration when solving for innovations and strategies, is something companies and society at large should put on their agenda.

With great scale, comes great responsibility

As we bring fundamental changes to society, we need to consider things not in isolation, but as a whole. The unprecedented speed with which technology can scale opinions, ideas, products and solutions puts increasing power in the hands of the decision makers. In order for these technologies to work in a socially beneficial way, we need there to be a broad set of perspectives included throughout the entire development process.

In areas from education, to transportation systems, to AI, this is being brought up as the most prominent way to create sustainable societies. We need to figure out how to make smarter, less biased, more inclusive and long-term decisions.

We’re all speaking different languages and we don’t have enough interpreters
Priscilla Chan, on the need to create more cross-disciplinary teams and people through “Radical collaborations”

Priscilla Chan at SXSW 2019.
Image: chanzuckerberg.com

The future of decision making

The idea that - if we have a richness of perspectives, someone might call out things that are too selective - is guiding more and more institutions in their way of working. At Google, they are trying to develop “Decision Intelligence” where they are finding ways to educate and train people in decision making. Note that this is not single-disciplinary decision makers but people who are required to understand a wide array of topics.*

* Google and its peers are generally not seen as best-in-class when talking about diversity. The controversy around Google’s AI Ethics Council might support such opinions. Nonetheless this example was brought up during the conference as one thing Google does to address this topic, and no interpretation is put behind it here.  

There are Computer science departments where philosophy, sociology and arts subjects are brought into the curriculum. Stanford has created an institute for human-centered artificial intelligence with just this goal: “... to become an interdisciplinary, global hub for AI thinkers, learners, researchers, developers, builders and users from academia, government and industry, as well as leaders and policymakers who want to understand and leverage AI’s impact and potential.”

I think that we don’t realize how valuable social scientists are
Cassie Kozyrkov,
Chief Decision Scientist at Google

Further, there are numerous companies evaluating the use of a “Chief Ethics Officer” or “Chief Values Officer” to broaden their perspectives in decision making processes. Independent of the success of these projects lies the conclusion that many future decisions will require multidisciplinary knowledge and understanding, posing challenges to companies and society to foster such skills.

Potential addition to the board room

Image: forbes.com

Forbes, among others, are noting the emergency of a new kind of management disciple, a Chief Ethics Officer. Highlighting the attention that putting a broader set of perspectives into decision making processes.

Communicating what is under the hood

Finding new types of collaborations can be detrimental in solving society’s greatest challenges, but it can also lead to a new understanding of how to cater to your customers wishes. A globalized economy requires that you listen to a more disparate customer base, and if you want to flourish in this fast-paced market – you need to create a workforce that reflects this.

Once you set the internal structures, don’t be afraid to communicate it to the outside. In a panel discussion with designer Rebecca Minkoff and Kimberly Jenkins, professor at Parsons School of Design, the one piece of advice given to marketers was to “take a look internally and make sure what you communicate is what you stand for, if not – change”.

For example, 85% of consumer decisions today are influenced by women, of which a large share want to shop from female-lead business, yet most don’t know where to find these. Finding what internal structures speak to this group and captures their behavior can thus be detrimental.

Gwyneth Paltrow explained that the more controversy there is, the better her company GOOP does financially. When brands get called out by consumers, that should be considered an honor – it means people care enough about them. By being diverse and transparent, fostering radical collaboration and communicating this, companies and brands can speak to the modern and powerful consumer and stay relevant.


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SXSW is one of the biggest digital conferences in the world, and a global meeting place for the world’s most innovative technology companies and people interested in how disruption can transform their business and everyday lives. The event takes place during during 10 days each year and this year Cartina had the chance to be part of it.

This series consists of 6 global mega trends that business leaders, experts, innovators and disruptors talked about during the days in Austin.

Visst borde fler läsa detta? Glöm inte att dela!

June 11, 2018No Comments

Ett bättre alternativ till den årliga employee performance management processen

Har ni också en traditionell årlig employee performance management process? Upplever ni att det är en administrativ börda som inte ger så mycket effekt? Läs mer i detta inlägg om hur ni kan få till en iterativ feedbackmodell och få mer engagerade medarbetare. Syftet som företag borde uppfylla med sin employee performance management process

Syftet är att engagera och motivera medarbetare, att skapa en kultur där människor växer både i sitt yrke och som individer

Faktorer som driver på behovet att förändra den gamla klassiska modellen för employee performance management:

  1. Millennials har en annan inställning och preferenser kring flexibilitet, syfte och att ha möjlighet att själv styra och påverka. Även mer förväntan på att en arbetsplats ska vara produktiv, engagerande och rolig.
  2. Gigekonomin och automation leder till medarbetare som inte är anställda i traditionell mening
  3. Marknaden blir mer komplex och global. Ledare behöver ta kontrollen över en diversifierad och multikulturell organisation där mer fokus ligger på individer och hållbara lösningar
  4. Digitaliseringen och ny teknologi leder till nya möjligheter att mäta, kommunicera och utveckla organisationer och individer.
    1. HR får därmed möjlighet att helt revolutionera medarbetarens upplevelse genom digitala plattformar & verktyg
    2. Medarbetare har större förväntan på bra digitala hjälpmedel som idag används privat i vardagen
  5. Ökat fokus på att organisationer ska vara agila
    1. Företag har börjat belöna innovation, experimenterande och design thinking för att ändra medarbetares inställning
    2. Från effektiva organisationer till organisationer som är designade för snabbhet och förmåga att anpassa sig

Vad är viktigt att tänka på vid införande av en modern employee performance management process?

  1. Hur ska vi uppnå en kontinuerlig feedback-kultur?
  2. Hur kan vi sätta ett format och struktur för check-ins?
  3. Hur kan vi formulera och följa upp agila mål?
  4. Ta bort performance ratings eftersom det inte driver engagemang eller utveckling
  5. Digitala verktyg för performance management måste sänka barriärer för feedback och utvecklingssamtal
  6. Hur säkerställer vi att kringliggande processer (t.ex. lönerevision och karriärplanering) fungerar i den nya modellen?

Exempel på några företag där man infört kontinuerlig PM

Är du intresserad av mer läsning så kan vi rekommendera:



Vi på Cartina jobbar med anpassa företags employee performance management processer till framtiden med hjälp av digitalisering och förändrade arbetssätt.

Företag behöver gå från en årlig tillbakablickande process med lågt värdeskapande, till en iterativ feedback modell som är framåtblickande där fokus ligger på medarbetarnas utveckling.

Modellen behovsanpassas till befintligt eller framtida HR-system där fokus kommer ligga på att göra alla medarbetare delaktiga i varandras utveckling via en enkel "Mobile first" lösning.

Intresserad? Ta kontakt genom att klicka på knappen nedan så kan vi skicka över en mer omfattande presentation och inleda en förutsättningslös diskussion.

Skicka epost

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January 19, 2018No Comments

Digital Democratization Trend #7 of 8 from Web Summit

Since the invention of internet, the democratization of technology and knowledge has exploded. At Web Summit we spotted how the future of digital democratization is going to look like - and what is happening right now.

The hard part of running a company is the people. There are few tools that give feedback about how our employees are doing

-Stewart Butterfield, CEO at Slack

The great conversation

The way we communicate and interact has gone through major changes the last decade with social media platforms as disruptors. But for organizations the change has been slower. E-mail is still the most used communication tool, but there are many new solutions entering the field. One of those is Slack which simplifies communication and increases the transparency in organizations.


Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack argues that its main advantage is that it increases information sharing and transparency within organizations compared to e-mail. Each time we use Slack, we create signals about e.g. which channels we are frequently using and whose messages we are likely to read first etc. These signals can be analyzed via machine learning, enabling Slack to become an always on duty assistant that increases the user’s efficiency.


But Slack is going one step further to create a seamless organizational design. By using AI to analyze and understand positive and negative sentiments, it is possible to identify frictions within the organization. It might be a lack of alignment between different functions and departments, or even between two colleagues.


Identifying these frictions will greatly enhance the overall performance and culture in organizations. Furthermore, it can also be applicable beyond professional organizations. For example, it is proven that toxic conversations online often precede violence, and AI can measure how violent and toxic a conversation is, enabling us to take on proactive actions to prevent further escalation. This would greatly reduce the effectiveness that internet bullies and extremist groups have online today.



Slack is a cloud-based communication platform. Its original use was for organizations, but with time it has also become popular as a community platform where people can join channels that discuss specific topics. Everything that your team discusses in Slack is searchable, including files, conversations and people.


Blockchain - Power to the consumer

Before social media, big media companies were the owners of global conversations and media platforms were for the elite, not the general public. Today, social media is switching their positions. Most people are yet dependent on banks to handle their identity and money, but the blockchain technique can prove to have the same effect on banks as social media had on traditional media. Blockchain technique is built on an open source platform, where all data and information are available to everyone. It removes the need of involving a third part, and gives the power to the individual.


The full potential is still uncertain, but there are many areas where drastic changes can happen in the near future. Using Bitcoin as a currency is the most popular example. Another enabler that has been discussed is digital identity, a technology that has already been introduced in Estonia. It allows people to safely share their health records with doctors or sign big business contracts online. Taking this one step further, we might even be able to vote digitally in political elections and have global digital passports.



One way to effectively democratize technology is to use open source platforms. The creator of a specific code or system can choose to share it on a platform where anyone can freely download, apply or develop it further. Tech giants like Google and Facebook are examples of contributors to open source platforms, were Android is one of Googles most famous projects.  


Decentralize AI

The automation AI provides is already improving over 700 professions, lowering costs and increasing output. Still AI is mainly a company secret and unavailable for public use. AI is also modularized, meaning algorithms in a self-driving car can’t recognize the ingredients in a bag of cookies.


To solve these two aspects, Ben Goertzel from SingularityNET has created a platform where everyone can contribute and use AI-solutions. This means that the barriers to reach General Intelligence is drastically lowered, and AI can come to benefit everyone and not become a company secret.



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Web Summit is the world’s largest tech event, and a global meeting place for the world’s most innovative technology companies and people interested in how disruption can transform their business and everyday lives.

The event takes place during a couple of days each year and Cartina had the chance to be part of it in late 2017. We really got to experience the latest innovations and meet the frontrunners within different areas of technology – resulting in these trends.

This series consists of 8 global mega trends that business leaders, experts, innovators and disruptors talked about during the days in Lisbon. If you want to read the full report, click the button above and we will email it to you.

Here you can read about the previous trends we wrote about:

AI - Doomsday Prophecy

AI - Real World Superhero

Mad Men to Math Men

Monopoly of Innovation

Augmented Revolution

Humanity 2.0


Visst borde fler läsa detta? glöm inte att dela!


Cartina has since 2013 helped both multinationals and startups translate digital opportunities into lasting and profitable business. We have since the start mainly worked with management services but are now expanding our offering with tech & design.

With a desire to develop oneself, clients and colleagues, our team of several senior digital experts take pride in delivering sustainable solutions that matters for our clients and society. 
Cartina is founded and owned by the investment firm Acacia Asset Management AB together with partners in the firm.


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Stockholm, Sweden
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