Case Study – ING

How can we introduce the new Agile way of working to our employees?

ING Belgium One Agile Way of Working is inspiring both their own employees and the business world:

1. Translating vision into clear business value;
2. Alignment in how to prioritize;
3. Sharing and improving how daily work can be done;
4. How to organize for an optimal collaborative culture within business and IT;
5. Creating an innovative organization.

ING’s request

ING wanted to ensure all 2200 employees experienced the why of the new way of working and its importance, the key elements and roles and how the teams could take ownership for delivering great results.

ING was looking for ways to introduce the agile way of working as well as partners who could enable them to launch this transformation with an Agile Essential experience.

There was no off-the-shelf Agile program available in Europe that met ING’s ambitions. They found their answer in combining the strengths of their development partner (Nexum) with an organization well-known for their innovative concepts and interactive experiences (InContext).

And a great adventure it was. The level of effort ING, Nexum and InContext put in made the Agile Essentials simulation experience a great success.

Key benefits of the Agile Essential Experience

Key benefits for the organization and its employees:

  • Creating a common language for Agile principles, ceremonies and artefacts.
  • The power of people taking ownership. The benefits of the new way of workingwere made obvious for all levels of experience (no Agile-knowledge vs. 5+ years working in an Agile environment) via simple questions prioritizing actions needed and focusing on how to improve efforts.
  • ING Agile coaches were involved and had the opportunity to get to know the teams and their concerns and needs before the start. It gave them the perfect opportunity to experience their new role and empowered them to act as Agile coaches in the next step of the transformation as part of the Agile Coaching Center of Expertise.

The Agile Essential Program

1. The 3-day exploration simulation was designed to experiment, fail, learn and experience success.

Participants were faced with an ambitious challenge that was impossible to complete without collaboration, prioritization, understanding the customer as well as introducing new habits, rituals and principles into their work.

Even though participants were out of their comfort zone, they came out on top. They did it!  And they experienced the benefits of this new way of working.

2. A great challenge with great outcomes

And it was a challenge! The plan was to move to a new planet and attract people from Earth to join us in order to guarantee the survival of the human species. You can imagine how this felt during the first few days. We succeeded by applying simple values from the new way of working, such as improved customer interactions, team retrospectives and self-organization. The group understood the new key values and principles as well as getting to know basic (agile) practices.

What was the customer feedback like? Did they want to join us? Every final demo was unique, and the customers were amazed and couldn’t wait to join us on the new planet.


InContext was proud to be a part of this adventure 

InContext developed the Agile Essential concept and translated this into the 3-day program.

We facilitated in the 21 sessions with 2.200 participants as Agile coach and customer (role-play) in the experience and helped in onboarding the ING Agile coaches who were facilitating with us.

Like all new ventures it was tough in the beginning, but the new way of working shaped a great partnership between all parties involved and we feel inspired to design and create future successes in a variety of different roles and programs at ING.

great outcomes

“The 5 key questions that we continuously challenged ourselves with or the moments that our coach challenged us have been crucial in my exploration journey.”

Participant of the exploration experience