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Homeoffice and Innovation?

We are back in the home office. For me personally, this is not a new experience, because after the birth of my daughter more than 20 years ago, I already worked for my former employer for two years exclusively from home. At that time still a rather exotic model, with not comparable working conditions. The alternative would have been parental leave, and I am still grateful to my supervisor for preventing this. In these two years I worked on a project that did not require frequent coordination within the team.

Today there are much better tools for virtual collaboration, so there were hardly any delays in ongoing projects during the pandemic. This also makes voices louder to expand home office as a working model. The  Pros and Cons are currently being exchanged  in the current discussion.

One aspect is neglected in my view: how innovative is a virtually cooperating team?
Innovation is driven by the (sometimes hard) clash of ideas, abilities, points of view, opposites, contradictions, which cannot be avoided. Competition, tension, ambitious goals additionally fuel innovation.

As long as we do not have an answer as to how we want to shape innovation in virtual collaboration, we should not send innovation teams to the home office or bring them back as soon as possible. Once a lead has been lost, it is difficult to make up for it.

Yours, Christine Deininger

PS: If you want to know more  about the new working conditions in engineering, please contact us.

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The term "Engineering" takes the Latin term "Ingenium" for inherent qualities and abilities and turns it into an activity: applying and developing qualities and abilities. We have been doing this with our customers online since March, which means an even stronger focus on content.

To this end, we have developed formats that range from pure webinars to blended learning and targeted specialist coaching. Several hundred participants in groups from 1 to over 70 have been in our digital training courses since March.


Our digital coaching offer around engineering offers you

  • Increased effectiveness at work in the home office
  • Improvement of the technical depth e.g. in systems and requirements engineering
  • Relief of the (in the home office heavily burdened) superiors in the technical review e.g. in requirements
  • engineering, model and design reviews with the employees


Our digital training offer around engineering (in German and English)

  • Model based Systems Engineering Basics
  • Augmented Systems Engineering
  • Design reviews
  • Systematic Problem Solving
  • Agile Product Management
  • Complexity Management
  • Project management for developers
  • Organizational design for product developers
  • Systemic strategy development for managers (technical and disciplinary)


Our digital workshop concept e.g. for strategy, efficiency, organizational development offers

  • good integration into the operative daily routine
  • less joint presence time
  • more depth of results

We are also happy to support you in the professional implementation of your own training courses in digital formats - in terms of content, didactics and technology.


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Inspiration for the future

Behind us lie busy weeks in which we have completely converted our training offer to virtual formats. Admittedly, we had to catch up a bit, but in retrospect that was no problem: it works! And often even better than face-to-face events, especially when it comes to training.

Most of our customers have spent the last few weeks in their home office and still have to be patient until they are allowed to return to their workplaces. From there we perceive a great need for further training, which in smaller units can be integrated much more easily into the daily work routine. Managers want to make their employees and themselves fit through training opportunities.

At the organizational level, we see a clear mood of optimism. Managers and employees want to prepare themselves as a whole system for the future. This will certainly be strongly influenced by cost pressure. The next level of efficiency must therefore be achieved. But that is not enough.

The markets of the future will demand complex products with high demands on individuality and quality (e.g. safety, security). To be able to develop these, many development organizations must reorient their engineering systems. Identity, values, principles, roles, methods, processes are being readjusted. The value streams of the future are common value streams from innovation, production and operation (e.g. product updates for security and function extensions). The opportunity for realignment is now.

We offer you a systemic organizational development concept that is specially tailored to development organizations and related areas, in which engineers can quickly find their way around and which allows a cross-hierarchical reorganization without a huge effort.

Do you want to be inspired? Our webinar "Augmented Systems Engineering" offers more than just a touch of the future.

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Never let a crisis go waste

Since the 2008/2009 financial crisis, we have experienced years of steady growth and success. The focus of many companies has been to manage growth. It was about expanding product portfolios, serving traditional markets and conquering new ones. This growth has resulted in a loss of innovative strength, technical depth and the ability to respond to change. Signs of this are the clinging on to outdated methods and technologies according to the motto "what has worked up to now must continue to work", unsystematic procedures along habits, decisions based on "feelings" instead of "evidence", lack of active risk management at project and multi-project level.

It seems that the demand for technical excellence has suffered, i.e. the demand for training and further education, a sound understanding of system interrelationships, technical depth, elaboration and quality of work results. However, in order to master the upheavals associated with the crisis, it is essential to strengthen the competitiveness of engineering:

Reorientation and innovation
For engineering, the realignment means critically reviewing product portfolios, innovating with new products and business models, and consistently realigning value creation. Engineering methods and processes must enable a development organization to develop the products and services of the future successfully and efficiently. An effective strategic realignment is resolutely geared towards customers and users and involves the expert base in terms of technology and feasibility. The foundation of meaning is generated from exactly this basis and does not have to be prayed top down.

Back to the claim
The strategy must be carefully derived and must be clear and comprehensible - for everyone involved in its deployment. This is the basis for decision-making principles that are consistently implemented. Old habits are not combed any further. There are also demands on the quality of the implementation: a sound knowledge base through training and further education, principles of processing, a systematic approach and a quality demand on the result at every stage of the engineering process. In short: appreciation in its core meaning.

"Never let a crisis go waste" (according to Rahm Emanuel) - now change things that were previously unthinkable.

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New Year's Opportunities

For 2020 we already see upcoming new trends. For the next few month it looks like it’s time to tidy up, get rid of problems in production and engineering, get complexity management working and optimize the work organization. In the last couple years there was a strong focus on establishing agile work methods in new product development. Now it seem that there is more emphasis on life cycle engineering. The need for rapid changes requires that “engineering changes” becomes radically faster, rework is avoided and true flow is established.

In the area of trainings we see that the structural change in many industries leads to an increased need in retraining. Strengthening methodical competences is a central element in this reorientation of workforce.

We are looking forward to these challenges and the joint work with our customers in 2020.

A warm welcome and a big thank you

First the welcome: I am happy to announce that Dr. Godehard Nentwig has joined ENGENCE as a co-owner. We both worked together for quite some time in the past designing engineering leadership trainings. Godehard has extensive experience in building and rebuilding engineering and research organizations in different industries. His last assignment was as a head of development center for BSH home appliances. He is an excellent analytical thinker, a very good teacher and strategist. In short it’s fun to work with him.

The “Thank you” is for all our clients and their employees. We enjoyed working with you. The hard work and the trustful collaboration you put into it made all the difference.

Looking back we can see a shift in the topics we worked on last year. Systems Engineering became a more important part of our work. 10 years of economic expansion and continuous expansion of capacities have come to stop. In some areas competence silos have developed. They tend to optimize subsystems and components instead of optimizing the overall system.

The integration of products into net based eco-systems increases the complexity of products and services. To enable a total system optimization in this environment means to start by building up competences in function orientation, establishing a common language, system hierarchy as well as roles and organizing the collaboration. Longterm focus is on implementing robust architectures, establishing a hierarchical complexity management and maintaining the architecture.

In our second focus field which includes competence build up of engineering leaders and specialists we have seen new trends. Product conformity with laws and regulations gained more importance due to the ever increasing regulation density. More and more companies establish “Design for X” methodologies to cope with this trend.

A lot of work ahead and we are looking forward to it.