People make companies succeed

Deutsche Bahn AG

The Deutsche Bahn AG is Europe's largest railway company. The DB Group employs 300,000 people worldwide and is one of the biggest employers in Germany with 195,000 employees. In 2016 the company transported 4.4 billion passengers and 277 million tons of goods in rail freight traffic, generating a turnover of 40.5 billion euros.

Design of the HR Transformation

Project duration: 2 years

Challenge: Due to its historic development of the DB Group, the group's personnel departments of the executive board and over 20 business areas had a decentralized structure. This structure did not blend well with the central HC Service Center, which again had decentralized management units. Within the HR function, there was no clear distribution and control logic of the expert areas, the central management support and the decentralized personnel management functions. In addition, there were internal projects for the optimization of the organization or to strengthen an HR business partner role without tangible implementation successes. From this, DB together with Kienbaum developed the objective of a qualitative boost in personnel work while at the same time leveraging synergies through clear organizational logic and further development of the HR IT system landscape. 

Project description: As part of the project, Kienbaum facilitated the integration of the broad initial interests among the central and decentralized top managers of the HR function, by starting the project with intensive interviews and workshops. Consultants and executives defined a new operating model for the DB's HR function as the project objective. The HR model was developed using well-founded organizational logics for the HR function and includes management and customer roles such as expert and service roles. This included the development of a system for the various consulting roles of the HR partner pillars. The project team formulated the central organizational demands of the HR functions, the job profiles for all roles and functions and the integration into the operative and strategic personnel planning and the HR budgeting process. 

Among other things, a significant increase in efficiency and optimization of the HR ratio in the project was achieved by Kienbaum and DB developing and implementing a personnel assessment logic for over 100 HR job roles. 

The new HR operating model was rolled out using modern approaches of communication and participation in order to strengthen the commitment, participation and the willingness to change of all HR personnel. The project exists for sustainable implementations success with in the framework of a transformation process lasting several years, which is the prerequisite for the current HR innovations of flexible career landscapes, agile forms of work and digital HR product maps.

Ulrich Weber, former Head of Personnel
" Together with Kienbaum we have developed a sustainably effective organizational and process structure for our HR functions, which is supported and successfully implemented by our managers and staff. "
Ulrich Weber, former Head of Personnel