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Master alum success story: Daimler Truck IT transformation case study
Master in Management / 9. November 2023
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Senior IT Liaison Officer at Daimler Truck
Niklas Kuchinke works for Daimler Truck in the IT Transformation office to enhance carve-out program management. He is an alumnus of Frankfurt School Master in Management programme, class of 2021.

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Being part of the biggest DAX carve-out in the DAX history is a privilege and a challenge. Many things happen in parallel and need to happen fast. In the IT department, not only a lot of work is done for preparing the carve-out, but especially after the official “Independence Day”, numerous projects need to work hard to separate two, once deeply interlinked, companies. This seemed to be the best environment to run a case study with Frankfurt School’s Master in Management students from the Information Systems course run by Prof. Dr. Kai Spohrer.

The task

As a Master in Management alumni, it was quite nostalgic to be back at university, listening to the lecture in which I would present. This time, not as a student but as a company representative for Daimler Truck to enhance the practical learning experience within the Master in Management.

After introducing Daimler Truck and the organisational set-up of the IT Transformation team, I delved deep into the tech-led ambition, the carve-out status, how project/programme management is done at Daimler Truck, that projects touch the whole value chain and what the main goals and challenges of the IT Transformation are. It was a fun experience not only to present but also to answer many questions asked by the students. 1,5 hours went by very fast until we reached the point to address the tasks of the case study:

  • How to best manage multiple go-lives at the same time (cutover planning)?
  • How to organise root cause analysis if something goes wrong (multiple things happening at the same time)?
  • Project timelines move further to the future – what can we do to stop or invert that?

With that, we went into a well-deserved break & working session. After a few hours, another round of interesting questions and discussion of first ideas started. At the end of a long day, the foundation was set for everyone to work on the case for the next four weeks.

CIO event

The case study’s pivotal aspect lies in individual groups‘ collaborative efforts in addressing the assigned tasks. To support this as much as possible, I was available for two Q&A sessions per group and organised a speech by the Daimler Truck CIO Marcus Claesson on campus. He gave an engaging speech about his perspective on how technology changes the truck manufacturing industry, the challenges of the industry, the way Daimler Truck is addressing these challenges and the ambition of the carve-out. The students gathered further insights into Daimler Truck and the carve-out by asking many detailed questions. The get-together after the speech proved to be an excellent opportunity to network and discuss the case study and job opportunities at Daimler Truck.

Results 

I am thoroughly impressed by the quality and abundance of ideas generated within a relatively brief time frame. While it may not be feasible to implement all proposed ideas, there are great components that will enhance Program Management at Daimler Truck. I hope the students have gained an understanding of the real-life challenges and complexities associated with a large carve-out, contributing to their overall learning experience.

My learning

I can only recommend any company to do case studies and learn from the various new perspectives of a class of students. Preparing a topic for someone outside of the organisation helps to structure the problem differently than usual, which creates additional insights. The questions asked by the students were enriching and insightful. The fresh mindset, without an organisational bias, opens new perspectives into the challenges ahead. Feel free to reach out if you are interested in more case study details or conducting a live case study.

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