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Heini Dahlström of SOK receives Agile Influencer of 2023 Award

Published in News, Agile

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March 7, 2024 · 2 min read time

Nitor, renowned for its training and expertise in agile methodologies, has awarded the Agile Influencer of the Year award for the fourth time. The recipient of the 2023 award is Heini Dahlström, VP of Loyalty at SOK.

"This award recognises individuals who demonstrate inspirational leadership and a passion towards achieving results via agile thinking in their operating environment," notes Rami Sirkiä, Managing Director of Nitor Delta. Nitor Delta is the unit within Nitor responsible for agile transformation services and training.

At SOK, agile methodologies have been ingrained into various parts of the organisation for some time now. The aim has been to streamline processes, respond to customer needs in dynamic ways, and to enhance the meaningfulness of work. This fine-tuned approach to agility is a facet of this modern organisation, where multidisciplinary teams rely on customer-centric and business-focused thinking and technology.

Heini Dahlström has led the transformation of SOK's Loyalty unit, where efforts to deepen the right kind of expertise and focusing on customer-centric product leadership have yielded results in both internal thought processes and effectiveness. Previously insurmountable challenges are now tackled autonomously and swiftly.

With the impact of multidisciplinary teams, customer and data driven development, setting goals and measuring results, production costs have decreased while customer insight has improved. With new principles guiding productivity, development on the 10-year-old the S-Mobiili app has accelerated. Revamping the S-Etukortti section in the S-Mobiili app wouldn’t have proven such a success before.

"Product leadership is the overarching philosophy behind everything we do. When you understand what you want to have an impact on, you’re on the right track. We have created our own conditions for success, invested in people, and put the customer at the heart of our actions – now it's starting to show!" rejoices Heini Dahlström.

Without this new approach to operations, success milestones like the the Tilipäivä (Payday) campaign might not have been possible. The dynamic shift across the organization is evident in SOK's increasingly agile marketing team, whose operations are based on strong customer insight and driven by data-driven processes.

Sirkiä commends SOK for their systematic development efforts, and for implementing change in accordance with agile principles by advancing in small increments and experimenting fearlessly. The new ways of thinking and doing were refined before applying them to everyday practices. Heini Dahlström's work in developing her team is a continuation of this systematic agile transformation, and a testament to how the journey from theory to practice will lead to results.

"An agile influencer has the skill to create and maintain a work environment that encourages employees to take responsibility, make independent decisions, and act proactively, while also promoting continuous learning and development," summarizes Sirkiä the criteria for the award.

Recipients of the Agile Influencer of the Year award:

2023 Heini Dahlström, SOK
2022 Jari Jokiaho, DNA
2021 Automation and Controls Department, Wärtsilä
2020 Mirette Kangas, Yle

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