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Rooting out inefficiencies at bp, and saving millions of dollars in the process: Yasemin's story

02 June 2021

Yasemin Olga isn’t afraid of change – in fact, she embraces it. Her dogged determination in rooting out inefficiencies led her to become one of bp’s very first agility coaches – and help the company save millions of dollars in the process

Fact file

Name: Yasemin Olga (she/her)
Job: Agility coach based in Turkey 
Experience: More than 15 years at bp
"The culture at bp is all about being transparent. We know our weaknesses and are not afraid to own up to them and how we can do better."
I really value bp’s courage – that’s why I joined.

I started out as a bp contractor and got to see the company’s culture up close. That was a big reason why I applied for a full-time role. What I'm doing is directly linked to bp’s purpose. This is one of the reasons I love my job and I'm proud to be part of a company that wants to help the world reach net zero and improve people’s lives. 


I have always loved helping others.

My first corporate job was at a bank where I learned how to build relationships. This was useful in my first full-time bp role, which involved liaising with stakeholders, including local fishermen, non-governmental organisations and media. Later, I developed my diplomacy and influencing skills working in a complex governance role on the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline – a 1,768 km pipeline. Those skills have proved invaluable in my latest role as an agile coach.


Being part of one of bp’s first scrum teams was a proud moment.

I was working with a diverse team in Baku, Azerbaijan and together with our scrum master we helped mitigate nine months of drilling outages and an associated $100 million in lost production revenue. After that, we started receiving coaching requests almost every day. 


I started practising agile techniques before I became a coach.


Three years ago I was struggling. I was finding it hard to juggle priorities. I started experimenting with different techniques and found that one method helped me save about 20% of my time and focus on what’s most important. It works by asking myself two questions: ‘what value does this bring me?’ and ‘what value does this bring bp?’ I shared my experiences on an internal video, which went viral! It was watched by bp’s vice president of agility who encouraged me to explore the area. I am grateful for that sponsorship.


Agile is not a process, change programme or an end state.

It’s about adopting values and principles that help you find and address the systemic problems that are getting in the way of business performance. It’s something bp aims to live and breathe every day. As a coach, I can help a team set up digital tools and agile events, but the most important thing is embracing a growth mindset. 


I still make time for my own development – it’s encouraged at bp.

I give up to 20% of the week to my own personal growth. That could be learning new tools or digital techniques or meeting my own mentors.  


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