Twinxter supports Roche Diagnostics through strategic transformation

20 December 2023 4 min. read

Roche Diagnostics has undergone a major transformation into becoming a more client-centric and flexible business. Twinxter helped the leadership team of the Dutch organisation with introducing key elements of Agile thinking into their decision-making and transformation process.

With over 100,000 people worldwide, Roche is one of the largest healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in the world. The multinational consists of three divisions: Roche Pharma, Roche Diabetes Care and Roche Diagnostics.

Core business of Roche Diagnostics is the discovery, development and manufacturing of in vitro tests for the diagnosis of various diseases that include cancer, diabetes, Covid-19, hepatitis, human papillomavirus and many others.

Twinxter supports Roche Diagnostics through strategic transformation

Facing a fast-changing environment, Roche Diagnostics is embracing new ways of working, with the aim to better serve its customers and patients. Underpinning this mission is a new strategic direction, backed by a company-wide transformation program.

STAR: company-wide transformation

Internally known as STAR (an acronym for the four key pillars of Strategy, Transformation, Agility, Results), the program has so far seen several valuable changes made to processes, collaboration and the culture, including the introduction of a new operating model, enhanced team structures and governance, the use of clear strategic goals (OKR), and the use of agile as an overarching framework for change.

Shortly after STAR kicked off, Twinxter was brought on board to support their transformation journey.

“You can read all the books about transforming an organisation, you can do lots of workshops and have long discussions about how to get it right. But it all starts by doing. Twinxter understood the challenge we faced very well (transform while running a business) – that is why we brought them on board,” recalled Esther de Rooij, General Manager of Roche Diagnostics in the Netherlands.

One of the first tasks which Twinxter supported was ensuring that STAR was aligned to the overall strategic direction of Roche Diagnostics, and parent Roche. “We defined the why of the change and how that would contribute to the higher Roche purpose,” said Alize Hofmeester, managing partner at Twinxter.

Bringing all elements of strategy development and execution together, Twinxter helped Roche Diagnostics with setting up an Obeya room. Literally meaning “large room” in Japanese, an Obeya provides an advanced visual representation of everything that is needed to drive an integrated decision-making process. People from all related disciplines are invited to the big room to ensure decisions are coordinated, cross-functional, and broadly supported.

“At Roche Diagnostics, we identified the need for visual management techniques and introduced the teams to the Obeya. The approach proved to be really insightful and effective,” Hofmeester said.

“The Obeya is now internally regarded as their ‘war room’, where the company’s strategy, goals and performance are accessible for all. Their teams meet in the Obeya, and align on the work that needs to be done in a fully transparent way.”

Another key part of the transformation that Twinxter supported was around Agile capability development. “We organised design sprints to check Agile hypotheses and principles, and helped teams apply the key principles of Agile. We also helped develop a meeting rhythm to align with each other, have dialogues about new work coming in, prioritisation, planning, problem solving, goal setting, improving and so on.”

Notably, almost 70% of all leaders and employees within Roche Diagnostics signed up to be involved in the design sprints – a massive number in comparison to similar change programmes at other companies. 

Collaboration was also a big topic on the agenda, said Hofmeester, triggered by requests coming in from employees. “We addressed what way of working and organising would help to improve collaboration between the teams, clients and other stakeholders.”

Looking back at the journey so far, Hofmeester said that Twinxter is delighted to have been part of “such a strategic and impactful change journey” for Roche Diagnostics.

Roche Diagnostics General Manager De Rooij reflected, “Twinxter supported the leadership team, the STAR program team and all the people in the organisation with the essential ingredients for success. They notably had a pragmatic approach, delivered candid and useful feedback, offered a lot of knowledge we could tap into and was a lighthouse that kept us going.”