Success Story

Agile approach enables rapid process adaptation

The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) needed to modify its process for CO2 tax exemptions and replace the existing application. Zühlke proposed an agile process to enable rapid adaptation of processes and implementation of IT systems.


On January 1, 2013, new legislation on CO2 taxation entered into force, resulting in a change to rules on exemptions for energy-intensive businesses. The FOEN and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy collaborated on implementing the changes ushered in by the new legislation.

As well as modifying its process flows and base data, the FOEN department responsible for the change also needed to replace the existing IT application for managing CO2 tax exemption-related processes and annual audits. To meet the tight deadlines for the changes, rapid implementation was required.


Working with the various stakeholders, Zühlke identified relevant process classes and prioritised them in accordance with the agreed implementation schedule.

A launch meeting was held at which Zühlke presented the scenario, the agile process, a schedule (in the form of sprints) and the various roles to those involved in the project. A ‘user board’ was formed in which subject experts and software developers met regularly to explore process details. The meetings worked out the basic concepts for CO2 tax exemption-related process steps and defined specific requirements for IT implementation in user story form.

Zühlke chaired these meetings, performed the product owner role within the Scrum project and assisted in evaluating potential technologies and implementing the software. The agile approach enabled a state-of-the-art web application which supported the defined process flows to be implemented on schedule. It also made it easier for businesses to fill in the complex application forms.

Client benefits

  • Zühlke’s agile methods enabled rapid identification and prioritisation of the major process classes.
  • Setting up an interdisciplinary user board helped promote communication between users and IT specialists. The required system was rapidly developed and fine-tuned, with additional requirements incorporated along the way.