Agile Transformation Journey at Allianz Turkey

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Remarkable Journey Towards Agility

We’re thrilled to host Allianz Turkey as our special guest, showcasing their remarkable journey towards agility and innovation in the insurance sector.

Discover how Allianz Turkey, with its dedicated team of approximately 2,300 employees, is revolutionizing the industry to better serve its 6.8 million customers. Explore the challenges faced and the strategic initiatives undertaken to navigate the dynamic landscape of insurance.

The Challenge

Allianz Turkey, with approximately 2.300 employees offers a wide range of products to its 6,8 million customers in the property and casualty, health and life & pension insurance business.

The main goal that Allianz Turkey aimed to achieve was to become an “enterprise-wide agile company” in order to align with the increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) in the insurance sector. The reason behind this was to maintain Allianz Turkey’s pioneering position in the industry and to make customer satisfaction sustainable by improving capabilities such as out-of-the-box thinking, time-to-market delivery, team autonomy, and sharing the desk with IT. In this way, goals provide direction and motivation, and can help individuals and organizations stay on track and measure their progress.

The transformation aimed to create a non-hierarchical, cross-functional, and empowered team structure, where employees work in co-operation with each other and with the customer. Additionally, by adopting the minimum viable product (MVP) approach, Allianz Turkey aimed to pilot its business agility transformation with only one tribe initially and then extend it to all lines of business and supporting functions to achieve enterprise-wide agility by reducing hierarchy levels, accelerating the cultural mindset-shift, and improving communication and transparency.

Allianz Turkey also listened to the voices of its employees and carefully evaluated the employee engagement survey conducted by the Allianz Group. An organizational structure in which the hierarchy is broken, communication increases, results are obtained quickly and the strategy can go from top to bottom was targeted.

Allianz Turkey's Approach

First of all, Allianz Turkey Agile Office was established under the umbrella of Human Resources, which will follow this journey at Allianz and keep the company on the road. One of the most important reasons for the establishment of this structure under HR was to aim at realizing a cultural change in the company. The transformation of the entire organization was followed closely under the leadership of Agile Office and with the ownership of the entire top management.

In line with agile principles, it was decided to initially pilot the business agility transformation with only one tribe, adopting the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach. The “Tribe” management model is chosen as an agile scaling strategy for product tribes. Primarily, non-hierarchical, cross-functional teams (squads) were created. New roles such as Tribe Leader, Product Owner, Chapter Leader, Agile Coach and Team Member were introduced in accordance with the agile business model, while dropping the actual titles.

Motor Tribe was formed by transforming the Motor department of product development experts into a tribe organization of small, cross-functional, empowered, customer-obsessed teams working collaboratively with each other and with the customer. These teams consist of people from different professions such as product development, marketing, information technology and analysis. The team was also determined as the team responsible for all kinds of results such as profit/loss and customer satisfaction. In addition, agile coaches supported the teams in order to keep the team on track, to raise the flag when necessary, and to closely monitor their needs.

Since the team is both autonomous and part of a large organization, it planned some synchronization meetings with other teams. Although responsible for its own results, these synchronizations were of great importance in order to align with cases where central decisions must be adhered to or to take action by quickly sharing the needs with the company in general.

The conversion of the motor pilot took about one year and Allianz Turkey achieved some quick gains and learnings from the piloting. Team members’ sharpening abilities such as unconventional thinking, time-to-market, sharing the desk with IT, and team autonomy were the pilot’s quick wins. Continuous communication and improving procedures were also critical aspects of the transformation.

Allianz Turkey, locomotive companies of the Turkish financial sector, has decided to turn the remaining LoBs into tribes. As of today, the four product tribes (Motor, Non-Motor, Health, and Life) and the cross-LoB Digital tribe are fully operating on the agile methodology.

Allianz Turkey continued its agile transformation journey with some supporting functions such as Legal, Risk Management, Human Resources & Operation Support, Corporate Communication, and Sustainability. Finance, P&C, Health, and Life Operations. The company’s 2023 goal is to transform the entire organization (including sales) in accordance with the agile methodology.


Allianz Turkey has transformed its workforce from a standard way of working into “being agile”. This transformation is innovative and it has also led to strengthen the innovation muscles of the whole organization. Pioneering in business agility has positively impacted the company in several ways;

  • Agility places customers at the heart of every action. Allianz Turkey became the loyalty leader in net promoter scores in all LoBs, with significant improvement and maintained being loyalty leader. Among many initiatives launched, improvement in time-to-market delivery of new products, from 6-9 months to 1-2 months, was one of the most noteworthy improvements.
  • Financial results were also rewarding. In P&C, Allianz Turkey grew in line with the market with a combined ratio, an indicator of profitability better than the market average. In life and pension, Allianz strengthened its position by gaining market share.
  • In addition to superior financial and customer satisfaction results, agility revived the perception of Allianz in the minds of its partners, prospective employees and within the business community. The implications of agility in corporate culture are also striking. Tribes and cross-functional squads fostered collaboration. Small teams boosted commercial focus and performance orientation. Empowerment coupled with end-to-end responsibility promoted ownership. Therefore, the number of management committees required to run the business declined by 30%. With correct prioritization on team level and increased transparency, efficiency gain on idle capacity rose up to 15%.
  • The mentality change accompanying the use of rituals facilitated the transition to a new hybrid work model.
  • The most compelling achievements were witnessed in the annual employee engagement survey rates. Factors like empowerment, collaboration, and transparency had a direct positive effect on motivation.
  • A book based on Allianz’s Agile Way of Working, has been written in Turkish and English and published at . HEYBook II planned to be published in 2024 is on the way.
  • All tribes have experienced many success stories that refer to sharpening the capabilities of teams in out-of-the-box thinking, time-to-market delivery, team collaboration, customer-obsessed perspective and employee engagement. Several examples can be found in the supporting documents.
  • By the agile approach, the app developments are divided into parts in order of priority from the customer’s perspective, with fast and focused work. The information that the insured can access from the app is increased.

Final details that accentuates this project’s achievement.

To support this transformation, the following additional actions, that are unique

 to the company, were taken:

  • To empower the teams, hierarchy levels (from CEO to the whole organization) were reduced from 7 to 5-3.
    To accelerate the cultural mindset-shift and continuous communication, agility was rebranded in Allianz Turkey with the HEY motto (H=Fast, E=Effective, Y=Empowered).This concept enabled agility to be understood in the same way throughout the organization by its entertaining and simple language and localised agile terminology.
  • To ensure a successful transition, internal Agile Coaches, the ambassadors of the transformation, were selected & trained. They are responsible for the organizational transformation as well as all required trainings.
    To create T-shaped and upskilled employees cross-functional learning sessions were held with professionals from various lines of work.
    To support continuous learning, periodic, customized agile seminars, workshops and other activities are being organized.
  • To measure the success and determine sustainable actions to improve, an agility maturity index was developed.
    Performance of team members is evaluated by brand-new committees (PO, CL, AC) instead of a single manager. Thus, more objective and transparent evaluation became possible.
    In addition, all procedures, systems and working environment were revised to adapt to the new working model (agile rituals, synchronization ceremonies, digital progress boards, and a fun working environment were created).
  • Agile offices and sales teams are working on the sales team’s transformation, which is the last part of our scaling agenda.
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