This is part 3 of a series of posts reflecting our lean&agile transformation at eprimo. You can find „Unlocking the human potential“ (part 1) and „Empowering ownership“ (part 2) if you follow the links.

Lighthouse Challenge

When eprimo started the Kundenservice 4.0 project some time ago, the team took the challenge of driving their digital journey on their own. The team offered an ambitious efficiency target by leveraging digital for process automation. By switching to a new target picture of customers going increasingly digital, the team opted to develop a digital assistant, known as Sophie, to support customers in finding fast answers to their requests at any given time and place.

chatbot sophie

When the chatbot was introduced it turned out that the technology had to be qualified to understand the questions fo customers, to help answering questions and to navigate the customer. The team accepted the challenge. From there on, together with coaching by the technology partner, the eprimo team worked to develop new digital skills to train the chatbot

When Sophie was introduced for the first time, it was understood that the technology had to be qualified to recognise the questions of customers. 

Chatbot Sophie started with 700 chats on October 2017, and by February 2019 it had already reached an all-time high of 70.000 chats per month. I.e., Sophie’s traffic rose by a factor of 100 in only 18 months. eprimos who qualified human service agents before switched to qualify Sophie, the digital assistant. This highlights how eprimo’s digital challenge allowed for not only high performance, but also the discovery and growth of talent and skills within the company.

The PDC is born

However, when we performed our taking stock exercise prior to our transformation, we realised we were lacking digital talent in nearly any part of the company.

At that point in time, most of our digital capability and capacity had been sourced externally. Skills like digital marketing, UX, CX, agile masters, data science and analytics were usually contracted from agencies. Thus, eprimo with increasing demand for digital skills faced unacceptable situations and constraints: To setup a virtual meeting a tech rep was necessary. To analyze patterns in the web or a campaign teams needed to queue up for an expert to analyze. Complex service level agreements with third party providers delayed time to market. With this challenge eprimo decided to build and hire digital skills. In response to this situation, eprimo established a team fully dedicated on personal development: the Personal Development Center (PDC).

pdc team

This group consisted of four trusted and enthusiastic leaders from the operational business and human resources side of the company who volunteered to master eprimos skill challenge. The goal of the PDC is to staff eprimo with the necessary new talent and give eprimos the opportunity to develop their own digital skills to master our digital transformation. But starting from skretch it was hard for PDC to attract talent. It seemed a trap. PDC hired a few professionals over the time but focused from the very beginning on building digital skills with the the talent we already had, inviting them to their personal development journey. 

Individual Learning Journeys 

What allowed us to master this journey is in part n individual our P/H matrix. This Matrix provides an assessment of performance and mindset towards personal growth. Based on these findings development journeys were drafted which fit best to the company’s demand and the individual preferences and offering.

learning journey

With this focus in mind new talents appeared out of the blue. Agile Masters started their own journey mastering new ways of working, because they were willing and interested to do their personal next step. Data based decision making got more and more relevant. Teams wanted to leverage the data they had without waiting for experts and start their capability building. A Data Expert shared knowledge on the job by founding a google analytics user group to train and teach the experts in their respective teams. Young talents in UX, Data, Digital started their journey following their master thesis or apprenticeship with eprimo taking over new roles, like CX or UX. Most importantly all eprimos increased their digital skills in the mean time and PDC provided suitable digital workplace technology designed by users for users and specific training programs. COVID 19 in this aspect accelerated this journey. 

PDC helped us so far identifying the talent we already had, encouraging them to do their next step by demanding and fostering capabilities on an individual level.

Take Home Message —> talent building at scale can be fostered with challenges and learning journeys onsite here and now

Find Part 4: establishing Framework here!


Jens Michael Peters gehört seit Juli 2014 zur Führungsspitze der eprimo GmbH, seit Januar 2018 als Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Zu seiner Verantwortung gehören das operative Geschäft mit Sales und Service als auch die Strategie. Peters verfügt über langjährige Erfahrung bei der Vermarktung von Energie und energienahen Services im In- und Ausland. Für die innogy SE hat er seit 2015 als Head of Digital die Digitalisierung im Vertrieb vorangetrieben. So hat er von Berlin aus das internationale CX Programm für Customer Experience bei der innogy geführt und damit die Transformation der Gruppe hin zu einer kundenzentrierten und agilen Organisation entscheidend geprägt. Schauen Sie gerne auf seine LinkedIn Seite.

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