AZ Digital Health was founded in 2019 as a startup in the Allianz Group. In the CIO interview, managing director Stephan Nawracki and product owner Robert Finke report how they organize distributed work without the project’s progress suffering from the changed working conditions.
CIO.de: Mr. Finke, you only joined AZ Digital Health in February 2020, six weeks later everyone had to work from home. How did you experience this change?
Robert Finke: I am glad that I still had enough time to get to know all of my colleagues and to find my way into the team. As a product owner, it is particularly important to build a good relationship with all team members and to understand what their individual working styles are. For example, some colleagues prefer regular voting, while others demand more freedom. We had previously worked agile and partly remotely and were able to bring this experience to bear in the new way of working. As a result, we had to adjust very little in the current situation with Corona.
CIO.de: Mr. Nawracki, AZ Digital Health has set itself the goal of digitizing the alliance in the health insurance sector. Even without Corona, this is an ambitious undertaking.
Stephan Nawracki: We want to support the Allianz companies in the field of health insurance with digitization. Indeed, our project is complex because we are cooperating with a large number of companies in different countries in which Allianz offers health insurance. Together we develop digital solutions to optimize the processes in our insurance companies that can offer added value for our customers and Allianz alike. The different markets and market peculiarities in the health systems that we have to keep an eye on are challenging.
CIO.de: Did the cooperation with the Allianz companies in the other countries suffer during the Corona epidemic?
Stephan Nawracki: Communication cannot function regardless of living conditions, especially when countries like Brazil are very badly affected by Covid-19. Nevertheless, the new day-to-day work quickly became established, and communication is now functioning smoothly.
Robert Finke: Due to the international cooperation with the other companies, we had previously worked a lot with video conferences. It always helped a lot to see a picture of the other. A phone call doesn’t have the same effect.