Business Transformation of SBB Swiss Federal Railways

Read the project description in pdf


As a conservative company, SBB stands for safety and reliability. But the market is changing – and so are the ways in which people choose to get around. Technology continues to advance, everything is becoming faster and at the same time mobility prices are dropping. In order to survive this dichotomy, companies must adapt themselves and their ser-vices to the market. If SBB is to keep pace with these changes and remain future-ready, it must alter its culture fundamentally. It is vital that the entire business be transformed based on the IT de-partment’s experience


The new and more agile collab-oration will enable SBB to re-spond to customer needs fast-er (time to market will be con-siderably shorter), leaner (elim-ination of bureaucratic obsta-cles creates value) and with greater accuracy (launch of only the right products and services). This will also have financial implications – from 2020, the IT investment budget will see savings of 10%.


Until now, SBB has worked with highly detailed plans and with a hierarchical culture in which man-agement takes decisions. From now on, the focus will shift to cre-ating value. The objective is for every individual employee to take responsibility for their work. At the same time, teamwork will be stepped up and bureaucracy re-duced. This more integrated col-laboration will allow customers to benefit from faster and more ef-fective services.

SBB Agile Principles


Vision Agile Transformation

SBB already has a grassroots movement. Six years ago, the IT development teams were the first to start using agile methods and practices. The aim of this agile transformation now is to extend this movement throughout the entire organisation.

Together with the rest of the business, IT intends to deliver faster, leaner and more accurate value to the end customer.

Our goal is to achieve this vision by 2020. Thus, we have created a roadmap with major milestones. Each quarter we will define the next milestones on the roadmap based on the experiences of the previous quarter. They will then be divided into individual results, known as ‘features’. The features will be edited by various feature teams and the results made avail-able to the organisation at the end of the quarter in the form of a brief demo.

During this process, pragmatic solutions gmbh will assume the role of an agile coach in the core transformation team. Together with members of the transfor-mation team, our task will be to help define the process and to share our expertise in agile corpo-rate development. We will also coach individual team members and serve as members of the fea-ture teams.

Today, 18 months after starting, we have established the frame-work for agile working methods and addressed the main obsta-cles. Our next step is to anchor agile procedures throughout the entire organisation. The manage-ment philosophy must be rede-fined and plan-driven thinking and actions will be replaced by value orientation. Naturally, this also means that the concept of Fi-nance and Controlling will need to be adapted as well.

Change Team Working Mode

In the German Talk at the Agile Bodensee Stefano Trentini, Transformation Lead & member of the board of IT, and our Mischa Ramseyer, present more details and background information of Agile Transformation @ SBB.

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