The Springest Story: How IT Enables Holacratic Organizations

Bastian Wurm, Reinald A. Minnaar, Jan Mendling, Matt Hallmann, Saimir Bala, Waldemar Kremser, Erik Strauss

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume

Abstract

Situation faced: How to include employees in decisions? How to keep the organizational design responsive to changes in the environment? And how to support all this by means of information technology? Ruben Timmerman, the founder of Springest, asked himself these questions as his company grew from a start-up to a medium-sized platform business.

Action taken: Springest adopted Holacracy, a management philosophy that combines decentralized decision-making with high levels of formalization. To enable each employee to take action, Springest implemented the task management software ASANA that represents and allows modifications of the organizational structure at any point in time.

Results achieved: Today, ASANA plays an important role in all parts of Springest’s organizing and serves as an important tool to monitor tasks and to clarify responsibilities. Since employees record anything that is unclear or might prevent Springest from functioning in an optimal way, ASANA is also an important companion for meetings, where these action items are processed. As a result, Holacracy does not only enable Springest to react more quickly to changes in the environment, but the actions taken also result in increased workplace happiness, which is higher than in most other tech companies. In the Netherlands, Springest has received the best employer of the year award in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Lessons learned: The use of information technology is key to support holacratic organizing. Only IT allows constant transparency of the organizational structure and to understand who is responsible for what. As a result, engagement in IT tools needs to be ensured and special attention should be paid to the fit of applicants with the organization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigitalization Cases
Editors Urbach N., Röglinger M., Kautz K., Alias R.A., Saunders C., Wiener M.
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
PublisherSpringer
Pages327 - 342
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-80002-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 102015 Information systems

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