Parts of Lufthansa were still relying on analog and paper-based processes, creating inefficiencies and overwhelming IT with requests for workflow automation.
By adopting HCL Leap, Lufthansa empowers their employees to easily develop no-code apps to improve workplace efficiencies and replace manual workflow processes.
Approximately 2,000 apps improve business workflow processes, reducing IT backlog requests and strengthening employee sense of ownership.
The Corporate IT Bottleneck
IT departments were overwhelmed with urgent requests for application development and automation coming from creative employees in almost all areas of the organization, from technical maintenance services to catering and flight operations.
Work automation requests were piling up and employees were growing impatient for their projects to be selected for implementation.
It soon became clear that IT needed to provide their energized work teams with a no-code app development tool that empowered the citizen developer or business user to create and manage their own process automation.
We believe that, thanks to the HCL Leap tool, we have successfully eliminated a large chunk of shadow IT projects, that typically appear when employees decide to take things into their own hands, as they cannot get the automation, they need delivered by the corporate IT function.
Many people were skeptical if our line of business employees would really be capable of developing Apps for Business Process Automation and conversion of paper-based processed to a digital world all by themselves, but HCL Leap allowed for easy app dev for our LOB employees
Head of Content and Collaboration at Lufthansa Group
HCL LEAP Goes Viral
Initial trials were undertaken with multiple vendors before Lufthansa committed to HCL Leap. Lufthansa really liked Leap’s overall ability to enable citizen developers to create and instantly deploy forms-based web applications that help drive process and workflow automation, capture data through flexible surveys, and analyze collected data in a dynamic way.
“Many people were skeptical if our line of business employees would really be capable of developing apps for business-process automation and conversion of paper-based processes to a digital world all by themselves,” Peter Mack, Head of Content and Collaboration at Lufthansa Group recalls.
Initially, the key question was, who should be entitled to access the tool? Peter Mack resisted internal pressure to limit access to a few preapproved users and advocated for opening Leap to all employees without restrictions.
“Everybody who can be a consumer of our digital employee services can also be created,” Ralf Schliepat, Senior Consultant at Lufthansa Industry Solutions and Project Manager of the LEAP rollout, proudly states.
“We did not even have to promote the HCL Leap tool, and within months the system had taken off with dozens of applications springing up across the enterprise.” Ralf Schliepat remembers. “In order to optimize their performance and share their knowledge citizen developers rapidly self-organized their work in a dedicated Community of Practice on Lufthansa’s collaborative teaming platform.”
“At the outset, we took a calculated risk, but now nearly 10 years down the line, we can clearly say that the benefits of the citizen developer initiative we have pioneered by far outweigh the risks,” Peter Mack adds.
We did not even have to promote the HCL Leap tool, and within months the system had taken off with dozens of applications springing up across the enterprise.” Ralf Schliepat remembers. “In order to optimize their performance and share their knowledge citizen developers rapidly self-organized their work in a dedicated Community of Practice on Lufthansa’s collaborative teaming platform.
Senior Consultant at Lufthansa Industry Solutions
Project Manager of the LEAP rollout
A Broad Range of Business Problems Solved
What kind of applications have been developed and what role are they playing within the Lufthansa organization? Today there are approximately 2,000 applications ranging from those that have casual sporadic use within small groups to business-critical ones used across an entire business unit. Here are just a few examples.
Net Correction App
Lufthansa’s air freight unit, “Lufthansa Cargo,” for example, has built a part of their standard process of accepting and invoicing deliveries coming in from customers on a Leap app. Lufthansa Cargo receives orders from its customers by tonnage. Quite frequently, the actual weight of the freight differs from the order and the handlers would need to decide how much to charge. The process, fully supported and managed by Leap, involves multiple roles and multiple levels of decision makers. If the application is not available for even a few hours, it has a significant business impact.
The beauty is that the expertise to adapt the app to frequently changing processes and business requirements sits within their department, with no cost or time dependencies on service providers that could slow down continuous development.
Personalized Name Badge App
Flight attendants design and order personalized name badges showing which languages they speak, adding a touch of personalization within a standardized format. With one click, the designs are automatically sent to a printer and arrive at the worker’s doorstep within days. This is a typical example of a Leap app that adds simplicity and efficiency to the day-to-day work experience of Lufthansa employees but would not likely have been taken on by a central IT function because the use case would not have been considered strategic or mission-critical.
Customer Satisfaction Survey App
Another app captures input from airline travelers. With the surveys function in Leap, it’s easy to aggregate and analyze data captured by multiple users. For the regular customer-satisfaction survey, conducted by staff in various Lufthansa lounges worldwide, a survey template is used on an iPad to capture customer feedback from business and first-class travelers.
A Centrally Managed Platform for Local and Global Business Needs Diminishes Shadow IT
Because Leap is a well-established platform, Lufthansa has cost-effectively migrated several standalone applications and Leap is positioned as the de-facto standard for no-code and low-code applications.
“We believe that we have successfully eliminated a large chunk of shadow IT projects, that typically appear when employees decide to take things into their own hands, as they cannot get the automation, they need delivered by the corporate IT function. “
In addition, the Leap platform can replace many of the error-prone and inefficient processes that previously caused employees to use traditional "spreadsheet/email ping-pong" due to a lack of alternatives. Leap is now seen as “mission-critical” within the Lufthansa Group.
Successfully Driving Digital Transformation Bottom Up
Overall, Lufthansa has identified their citizen-developer initiative as a major success factor in their ongoing digital transformation. With this also comes a cultural transformation strengthening the sense of ownership and responsibility in every employee, empowering them to take care of their own application needs rather than blaming IT departments for not delivering the right tools.
About the company
Deutsche Lufthansa AG, commonly shortened to Lufthansa, is the flag carrier of Germany. When combined with its subsidiaries, it is the second-largest airline in Europe in terms of passengers carried. Lufthansa is one of the five founding members of Star Alliance, the world's largest airline alliance, formed in 1997