July 8, 2019
Volkswagen has opened its new ‘We Campus’ in Berlin and claims that the agile working principles used in its design will transform the working lives and output of the 900 people at the facility. The campus will bring together about experts from Volkswagen and other firms who have previously worked at different locations. Volkswagen claims that the centre will be an essential part of what it calls the We ecosystem, which includes an electric car sharing service WeShare which has been launched in Berlin with 1,500 e-Golf cars. Volkswagen also plans to create new future-oriented jobs at the campus.
Volkswagen says the facility near Alexanderplatz has been designed to meet the requirements of a modern digital workplace. Agile working principles have been applied in the design of the 15,900 sq. m. facility to encourage interdisciplinary working between the developers, software engineers, external consultants and user experience designers who will work on the campus. The firm claims this will improve communication, simplify working procedures and accelerate the testing of new products and apps.
Agile teams must be so small that two pizzas would be adequate to feed all the team members
Volkswagen is applying the “two-pizza rule” that is now commonly used by tech companies. Under this organisational principle, agile teams must be so small that two pizzas would be adequate to feed all the team members. This approach suggests that a team size of between eight and ten people is ideal for promoting personal information exchange and reaping the benefits of non-hierarchical and agile working including speed and self-organisation.
In addition, the new Campus as a development centre will play an important role in the new “Car.Software” unit of the Volkswagen Group and offer itself as a location for other Group brands. By 2025, Volkswagen intends to group more than 5,000 experts in areas such as software development, electrical and electronics development, connectivity, automated driving, user experience, cloud architecture and e-commerce together in an agile “Car.Software” unit.
A new ecosystem
With its “Volkswagen We” ecosystem, Volkswagen claim sto be offering a growing range of vehicle-related digital and mobility services which can be used in the car or via a smart phone. These include applications for cashless parking and battery charging (“We Charge”), opening your own car for parcel services and cleaning (“We Deliver” in the new Passat), parking (“We Park”) and the full-electric car sharing service “WeShare”.
From 2020, all new models, starting with the full-electric ID.3, are to be connected to the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. This will make many functions and services technically feasible for the first time, including vehicle updates and individual and on-demand functions which can be enabled in the car. More than 1.5 million customers are already registered with “Volkswagen We”.
“Berlin is the city for digital future technologies“, said Ramona Pop, Deputy Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Economy, Energy and Enterprises. “Innovative mobility solutions are a major challenge and at the same time driver of new economic dynamism. More and more companies like Volkswagen invest in technologies and concepts for sustainable urban transport and create new jobs. Nowhere is this better than in Berlin. Here in Berlin, work is being done to reconcile mobility needs with climate and environmental protection.“