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2 Drivers, motivation and context of change

2 Drivers, motivation and context of change

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11 Building Scenarios for a Globally Distributed Corporation


porations defined their core competencies and made their core context

analyses and focused on their comparative advantages. This resulted in the

reorganisation of work processes and value chains. Some functions became internally core issues, while others were managed through subcontracting and even through partnering with traditional competitors. A definition of co-opetition, i.e. collaboration and competition, was created, and

the extended enterprise or the borderless organisation was defined. The

underlying belief was that no single company could dominate the market

with appropriate technologies. It became more a competition between constantly changing partnerships and innovation value networks as opposed to

the traditional head-against-head competition. Companies that had the

competence to orchestrate these value networks became stronger, and

companies without this competence were left to be moulded by the market


For Nokia this meant a new era where growth had to be achieved

through doing less ‘in-house’ and more through partnerships. It also implied a strong need for increasing work productivity. All in all, the focus

had clearly shifted and the need to create a global strategic program to improve the facilitation of global work processes emerged.

11.3 Globally distributed mobile work environment

Traditional business models for implementation of mobile workplace development projects are very much driven by the urge to save cost. That

was initially the easiest and most tangible way to create a buy in from the

internal clients. Nokia started the development work with the template

shown in Table 11.1. The aim was to maximize the usage of tangible and

preferably numeric data.

A study was also conducted on the occupancy rates of personal static

desk-places. The utilization capacity was found to be very low (Fig. 11.2),

which implied an opportunity to make space savings. As a result of the

study an open workspace concept without assigned seats was implemented.

Already during the initial phases of the mobile workplace development

it became quite evident that a more general change was underway in the

work place. The traditional work paradigm was giving way to the emergence of a new one. The traditional and historical view of working and

workplace design assumes that people work in relatively well-defined lo

cations (“the office”) and during clearly foreseen times (“time in”).


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Table 11.1. Costs and benefits of the flexispace


Real Estate






costs (kEuro),


- xx sqm per

person/xx in


- 1700 Nokians and 240


- Decreases

moves by x %

and costs of

move by x %


- xx kEuro








- xx kEuro





- Productivity gains


- Productivity loss





- x resignations



- Nokia is

able to sell

more Business Applications Products

and Base Stations because

of showcases

that convince






= FlexiSpace


= Home connection/working from home

Performance is supervised on-site and primarily measured on the basis of

individual work. The team members are placed into a common site to allow cooperation and collaboration. In the traditional work paradigm space

is designed to reinforce status and hierarchy and the model on the whole is


11 Building Scenarios for a Globally Distributed Corporation


Fig. 11.2. The content of working and the rate of using a worksite in a working


The emerging new work paradigm was suggesting that work can and

should take place wherever and when it needs to. Work was viewed as

something fluid and mobile. Productivity was no longer measured solely

on the basis of the results of an individual, but also on those of a team. Supervision was giving way to mentoring and coaching, while remotely located team members had to be supported in their need to collaborate in

multiple ways. Space was re-engineered to support functions and tasks in a

flexible way, which would accommodate the growth and changes in the

business environment. Also, an individual-centric model for career, work

process and workplace resource allocation began to emerge.

The work paradigm changes taking place in the global enterprise workplace thinking helped us set new targets for shared service models for our

employees. To continue the development efforts of the first initiatives such

as FlexiWork, FlexiSpace, FlexiHours, FlexiResourcing, a new mobility

program was introduced. While the previous initiatives had been carried

out in separate platforms, the Global mWork Program combined the efforts

of four global platforms: Human Resources (HR), Security (S), Information Technology (IT) and Real-Estate & Facilities (CRE).

The work of the Global mWork Program began with the profiling of approximately 50 globally generic jobs according to two mobility dimensions: a) worker mobility and b) work virtuality (Figs. 11.3 and 11.4).

Based on the specific mobility requirements the jobs were then clustered

into three broad categories: desk-based, campus mobile and total mobile


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jobs. Corresponding scenarios and hypotheses were set on the future needs

of workers as follows:

• Desk-based Mobility Scenario. A hypothesis was set stating that in the

desk-based mobility scenario the micro-mobility of the worker, i.e. inhouse mobility, will increase primarily due to the implementation of the

open office Flexi-space concept. Work virtuality will also increase due

to new collaborative teamwork tools and the broad policies on homework and flexi hours.

• Campus Mobile Scenario. Among the campus mobile employees the

hypothesis was that the worker mobility will grow in the campus radius,

i.e. city level mobility, due to the extended enterprise development

where the matrix type organisation requires multiple face-to-face meetings with colleagues, clients, subcontractors and partners. Also multisite access provision for campus mobile workers enables easy touch

downs in multiple Nokia sites. Together with flexi hours, it also enables

a better work-life balance and results in savings regarding total transportation times and distances. Another hypothesis was that due to improved

work processes and collaborative teamware tools broader, out of town

mobility was reducing.

Work virtuality will also strongly increase due to the high usage of individual wireless tools, i.e. PDAs and Communicators and due to the use

of person-to-person and teamware tools, i.e. web cameras, virtual walls,

white boards, con-call facilities and Net-meetings, among the campus

mobile people.

• Total Mobile Scenario. The hypothesis in this group was that crossborder mobility would decrease while in-campus and office micro mobility would increase.

The work virtuality will increase due to the new work processes of the

extended enterprise and due to the availability of configured trusted

knowledge management shareware tools. Also the heavy use of home access due to the wide distribution of collaboration across many time zones,

and the use of multi-site touch down locations increases virtuality.

The analysis of the category profiles provided the mWork team with the

necessary information for designing service and tool delivery templates

and a service portfolio, which would then be delivered to the incumbents

of the jobs in the three categories. After this, the service and delivery templates were tested in different countries, functions and business units. The

globally distributed R&D network provided many useful pilot environments. Some testing was also done in subcontractor sites and client premises.

11 Building Scenarios for a Globally Distributed Corporation


Fig. 11.3. Globally generic jobs forming three broad clusters of mobile, campus

mobile and desk-based jobs

Fig. 11.4. Profiles of different global jobs (CKIR, Helsinki School of Economics)

The current Flexible Working Solutions applied in different Nokia units

consist of the three areas of flexibility. These flexibility areas designed by

the global human resources unit correspond to space, time and contractual

flexibility (Fig. 11.5).


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Fig. 11.5. Flexible working solutions

Figure 11.6 shows, how a web-based interface for mobility solutions looks

from the user perspective to find required protocols, services, tools and

policies. The experiences obtained in the pilot cases using similar webbased interfaces became sources for creating global services, tools, products and policies to be later localized by regional mWork implementation

teams. This process is currently under way.

Fig. 11.6. An example of a user centred, web-based interface supporting mobile


11 Building Scenarios for a Globally Distributed Corporation


11.4 Drivers and benefits of flexible working solutions

While the traditional business model based, cost savings driven approaches

had made a strong argument, it did, however, prove to be much more strategic to understand the role of other tangible and intangible business benefits of such a productivity raising, globally mobilizing project.

At the current state of the development work, the benefits of the flexible

working solution have been identified from various perspectives as follows

(Table 11.2).

Table 11.2. Foreseen benefits of a flexible working solution from the perspectives

of different stake holder groups

Human resources perspective

Employee perspective

- Support for resourcing,

increased job satisfaction, commitment and

tenure as a result of alternative modes of working, i.e. flexibility in

terms of how, when and

where they work)

- Improved efficiency as

a result of the innovative,

motivating and flexible

ways of working

- Reinforces the implementation of Nokia values by supporting employees’ personal and

work-life balance

- Easier and mobile network connections available

- Unnecessary commuting and down time between activities reduced,

which has a positive effect on work-life balance

- Support for ad hoc

planning of daily work


- Support for choice in

work practices regarding

how, where and when to


- Allows one to move between teams and work in

a more collaborative


- Improved work-life balance due to flexibility in

the way work is organized

Real estate and information technology perspectives

- Reduced need for office

space due to flexispace

solution, i.e. open workspace concept without

assigned seats)

- IT infra cost reductions

due to higher occupancy

rate per seat

- Increased flexibility and

decreased disruption as a

result of decreasing need

for moving

- Supports short-term

flexibility, which makes

it possible to respond to

growth or change needs

without continuous investments in real estate

and IT infrastructure

- Provides showcasing

and market-making for

Nokia products, while

also providing an opportunity to “learn by doing”

There are many external driving forces, which have the potential to become opportunities for such a global mWork program. The new global division of work has brought about a war for talent. Mobile working solutions make it possible to tap into the regional talent pools also in those


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situations where people do not wish to relocate. The new economies hold

bigger pools of talent, but they are also growing market areas. This brings

forward the need to establish local R&D facilities as they can significantly

improve the local mass-customization of products and services.

The Global mWork Program is finally and foremost Nokia’s opportunity to demonstrate, how wireless technology can be used to enable mobility and enhance work performance in enterprises. This is closely linked to

its business strategy. As more and more companies define their role in

R&D from the core context analysis, the result will inevitably be an increasing need for partnering, subcontracting and collaborating even with

competitors, i.e. co-opetition. Innovation and value creation networks are

becoming more complex, which also makes the organisational and management arrangements equally complex. The developments raise security,

intellectual property rights, confidentiality, trust and other issues. The

R&D work done on the Global mWork Program will inevitably also serve

as input for the Nokia Enterprise strategy to provide tested solutions to

other enterprises in such developments.

11.5 Scenario challenges

When designing a working environment, which supports mobility, some of

the key questions that need to be addressed are listed below. The success

and arising challenges of the development work depends on the ability of

the program to take such matters into account.

• What types of workers are best and least suited for mobile working?

User Community Research is needed to investigate this aspect

• What factors or enablers may cause an increase in mobile working for

currently static populations?

• How can we sustain and improve teaming across remote or multiple locations? If individual work can take place anywhere, how can we encourage the coming together as a community?

• What kind of activities do mobile individuals choose to do in the office

and what do they choose to do elsewhere – and why?

• Which spaces and tools are most commonly used by mobile individuals

when they are in the office?

• How do mobile individuals use mobility to enhance their personal worklife balance?

• Change management and enablement: how much and what type of involvement and communication is needed to promote management buyin and user acceptance regarding the new concepts?

11 Building Scenarios for a Globally Distributed Corporation


• What support and information is needed to enable the more effective

mobile working? This includes technology tools, management training,

behavioural protocols, web tools, booking systems, presence indicators,

displays at entry space, etc.

• What measures can we develop to ensure a sustainable and socially acceptable productivity improvement?

Individual challenges primarily arise from the complexity of the very

matrix type of organisation combined with the network of multiple sites in

different countries and time zones integrated into common work processes.

The work process can be roughly divided into three phases: first, the planning phase, second, the coding and programming phase, and, third, the integrating phase. Usually most of software engineers are involved on all of

these phases. It is quite common for the engineers to also be involved in

more than one process at a time, and in some cases even as many as five

projects in different phases. Managing the projects requires standardized

processes, work practices, collaborative tools, standardized software and

system integration inter-phases. Usually the planning phase requires team

meetings, which are also physical face-to-face meetings, where relationships based on trust can be created in multinational and diverse groups.

The longest phase, which accounts for 60-80 percent of the total time, is

the coding and programming phase, which usually requires individual concentration and an individualized workspace with minimal disturbances.

Big challenges arise when this phase is disturbed by other projects in the

stage requiring collaboration. A simultaneous cognitive capacity is required to multi-task with highly conceptual problems. The second individual challenge is the work-life balance when one is collaborating with colleagues from other time zones. This is especially challenging for managers

and testing and integration engineers.

The team, organisational and work process related challenges are primarily found in the management of the highly talented work force in a

networked global organisation. Developmental challenges are needs for

multi-skilling and updating the skills of programmers. There is also a period when engineers are motivated on pure programming. In this case,

complex multi-tier career plans and paths must be provided for engineers,

i.e. a managerial path, a scientist path, and a project path, in order to be

able to retain them in an industry where high talent is in high demand.

Significant differences in work practices are also challenging. For instance, should teams be made up of people representing many nationalities

and different practices or should diversity be exploited by having internally homogeneous groups collaborate with other homogeneous groups

that differ from each other. Work practices differ not only between nation-


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alities but also according to different local or business specific cultures.

Because new requirements emerge rapidly with new competence needs,

many competencies also become redundant and re-skilling and outlearning needs are also high. A long-term balance of a demographic mix is

needed as well as planning for it.

The latest and also future challenges arise from situations where engineers more often work with partners, subcontractors, clients and even

competitors. Specific challenges, which are specific for virtually managed

satellite sites, are the questions of weak identification to employer, multiskilling requirements, value for tacit knowledge and less social team related association.

Work process challenges are mainly on the level of collaboration when

inter-phasing with other sites. Some work is easily shifted to other trusted

partner engineers in other time zones while there remains some tasks

where shifting just doesn’t yet make sense, because the hand over times

are too lengthy. Also quality issues and documentation might be bottlenecks.

Major technical challenges relate to security and especially to challenges on wireless access technologies in Internet protocol. Other big challenges are the lack of the ambient intelligent design in the tool and service

user interface. Also the lack of open standards, standard interfaces and intellectual property rights control requirements in using open source software are challenging.

Specific challenges do exist also with collaborative tools such as virtual

walls for team inter-phasing, collaborative whiteboard design tools, different collaborating team ware tools and data warehousing techniques, mobile

meetings, ad-hoc meetings, different web casting technologies and new

multimedia mobile messaging and broadcasting technologies.

11.6 Conclusion

Nokia represents a global ICT company where core competencies exist

very much in its innovation capability to design and develop new products

to the global wireless datacom and telecom market. One of the competitive

edges in this market is to provide solutions and products timely to the market. The global processes enabling it are here called Global Product Creation Processes. The core function enabling the execution is the research

and development organisation.

The contextual environment for global product creation is as follows:

Nokia R&D operations are located in 59 different sites in 14 countries and

11 Building Scenarios for a Globally Distributed Corporation


in ten different time zones, which cover 24 hours of constant R&D activity. Nokia R&D functions employ some 21 000 R&D engineers globally.

Besides this, most product creation processes involve several partner, subcontractor and client sites. On average, each product creation process develops its products between seven sites in three countries and time zones.

Current sites are responsible for predefined product process phases and are

organized as competence centres to carry out these assignments.

The basic scenario is that managing the global product creation process

will rapidly become the major competitive advantage to its holders. Competition and development will take place in the areas of global software

talent utilization, the company’s attraction and retention, and the orchestration of networked extended partnerships beyond traditional corporate borders. Success will depend on the ability to create management tools as well

as collaborative technologies and tools, which foster productivity and innovation. The scenario is based on the following assumptions:

• Global talent and innovation capability will reside in many global locations and work mobility will play higher strategic importance than labour


• Utilization of the whole 24 hour cycle by distributing the product creation process globally will become an a decisive factor in decreasing the

time to market

• New innovative ways of global partner collaboration will increase, i.e.

battle of changing partnerships

• Technology and development will enable ever more intuitive and collaborative (ambient) new working environments, work enabling tools and

services for global R&D.

Nokia related scenarios are hopefully representative for any ICT global

company. The rapid development of global collaborative work processes

and work environments are key areas for European companies in becoming more competitive. It is challenging to clearly formulate foresights or

visions for the future as the progression seems to be very evolutionary and

rapid. What can, however, be said is that creating economic and social

benefits for Europe will require the management of the emerging value

networks, rather than just participating in them.


Gartner (2000) The agile workplace: Transforming work and the workplace

Nokia Global mWork Program 2001-2004

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