Competence networks: Agile network structure as an innovation driver

Competence networks: Agile network structure as an innovation driver

Each competence network has its own community within Audi AG’s social collaboration tools and is headed by a network leader. He or she is responsible for regular community dialog in the network and hosts the physical network meetings. The objective of these meetings is to bring various knowledge carriers together with parties interested in their knowledge, to leverage synergy effects, and to continue enhancing the competences already wielded. The competence networks also communicate among each other once a month, sharing experiences and presenting their procedures for accelerating the learning curve with efficacy. Additionally, various platforms were setup for communication, knowledge transfer, and benchlearning. One example here is the initiation of new innovative products with the aid of design thinking.

After the first networks were initiated, Q_PERIOR delivered assistance by anchoring them organizationally and starting new competence networks. Q_PERIOR deployed various agile methods to provide assistance in setting up the networks and shaping network identity. Furthermore, the subject of change management also played a large role in introducing this new form of collaboration. There is a primary focus on company-wide communication – transparency and commitment from top management were key here.

How do the competence networks work?

Companies need new internal structures to ready themselves for reacting to changing market conditions and the rapid developments in technology. For AUDI, it is imperative to achieve shorter and shorter innovation cycles despite the company’s complexity and size. That is why the processes and structures at Audi AG’s central IT have undergone transformation, bundling IT competences and strengthening innovation.
In the interest of establishing and enhancing knowledge and competence in the IT department for future technologies and methods, a secondary agile organizational structure consisting of competence networks was established alongside the existing hierarchical structure.
The strategic objective of the agile network organizational structure: stronger networking within the IT department as well as with other departments in order to swiftly integrate the potential from new IT technologies into company processes and products, and to initiate new products and projects.

What has this helped our client to achieve?

  • Lasting organizational anchoring of the networks
  • Successful execution of an Audi-wide roadshow for knowledge transfer with exhibition booths and interactive breakout sessions
  • Successful network setup & creation of identity among the networks
  • Establishment of a procedure for determining contact partners in issues pertaining to innovation
  • Introduction of regular benchlearning formats between network leaders and Audi management

“With the competence networks, we have setup an agile second operating system across hierarchies and departmental boundaries in our organization. These agile structures foster the establishment and enhancement of competences in technology and methods, serving as a driver for even more innovation.”

Silvio Buschbeck, competence network Coordinator, Audi AG

Our procedure

  • Agile project planning and steering
  • Change management assistance for the introduction of a network structure
  • Consulting / coaching on agile methods
  • Use of modern tools and methods (e.g. social collaboration tools for hybrid collaboration models, physical and virtual)
  • Support for online sites
  • Collaboration across departments and locations based on stakeholder analysis
  • Design thinking models for innovation development
  • Planning and execution of interdisciplinary events for knowledge transfer
  • Support in the implementation of innovative project ideas, e.g. smart conference room, Internet of Things prototype

Project success factors:

Top management as active driver

Integration work within management

Voluntary contribution and improvement of interdisciplinary competence

Technical infrastructure - Cooperation and communication via social collaboration tools

Independent structuring of topics as well as a separate structuring budget

Support from organizational developers, change managers, and agile coaches

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With Q_PERIOR, you have a strong partner at your side. We look forward to your challenge!