Agile coal phase-out: how we support the IT of a large energy supplier

As is so often the case, political decisions do not have an immediately obvious impact on companies and their processes. The IT management of a large energy supplier therefore commissioned us to work with them to organise and prioritise the upcoming topics and tasks.

In view of the complex requirements and the long-term perspective, a method was needed that would make it possible to break down major strategic goals into manageable work packages. In this particular situation, we orientated ourselves on the OKR framework and interpreted it very freely. The result is a customised approach that enables our client to work towards the coal phase-out quickly, efficiently and with a strategic focus.

A brief OKR excursus

The OKR framework (Objectives and Key Results) is a methodology for goal setting and performance management in organisations that aims to promote transparency, alignment and motivation within a company. OKRs consist of two main components:

  • Objectives: These describe a completed and results-orientated state, which should be clearly inspiring and formulated as pictorially as possible. Objectives define the direction in which a team or the entire company should develop.
  • Key results: These are quantitatively measurable results that determine how the success of an objective is measured. Key results should be specific, achievable yet challenging and contain clear metrics for evaluating progress.

OKRs are usually set at different levels of a company, from individual employees to teams to the entire organisation, whereby the subordinate OKRs should be aligned with the overarching objectives to ensure overall alignment.

The workshop: a new approach

For an offsite workshop with IT management executives, we used the principles of the OKR framework and individual components and adapted them specifically to the client’s needs and framework conditions. The workshop began with an introduction to the basics of OKRs, followed by our adaptations and an intensive revision of the predefined objectives to make them relevant and realistic.

An important step was the categorisation of the objectives on a timeline, which enabled the team to develop a clear vision for the key results in 2024 and at the same time set the course for the following years. These key results were formulated with a clear view of what is achievable in the short term and what will serve as the basis for further objectives up to 2030. The subsequent decommissioning phase and the so-called eternity phase, for which suitable IT processes are also required, were also taken into account.

Our approach was particularly characterised by its pragmatism. We look at the underlying principles and the effects we want to achieve and this enabled the management team to utilise the agile methodology effectively without being restricted by it.

After the workshop: operationalisation and training

We then supported the company in transferring the results into their IT systems to ensure systematic tracking and implementation. In addition, a manual was created to serve as a guide for further work.

The enthusiasm for the method and the successes achieved as a result meant that the company now wants to make greater use of the OKR framework within the organisation and is starting with employee training to establish and deepen the methodology throughout the company. Regular consultations with the management team help to continuously monitor and adapt the process.


Our customised application of the OKR framework to the framework conditions of the energy supplier has proven to be extremely effective. It enabled our client and us to find an easy way to strategically and systematically address the challenges of the coal phase-out while aligning employees towards a common goal. This example shows how flexibly and effectively we use agile methods in a wide variety of business contexts to successfully shape transformative processes. We are delighted to be accompanying the company on this journey and making a contribution to a successful energy transition.