The genesis of agile - or ‘New Ways of Working’ at ANZ - came about from a trip Gerard Florian and I took to visit banks in Europe to see and hear what they were doing.
"The whole culture of our company is now about agility. It’s about flexibility and the ability to continue to adapt. Hence the way we operate is continuing to change as we learn and modify. It’s a continuing evolution.” Shayne Elliott
We went there to talk about core banking systems and technology but we also ended up looking at the way they worked, particularly at ING and a couple of other banks. Not just what they were doing but how they were doing it.
Fast forward a few years and what’s interesting is now people come to us to learn about our experience - in the same way we used to go and visit other companies and learn about their agile transformation.
A new way of working
The whole culture of our company is now about agility and continuous improvement. It’s about flexibility and the ability to continue to adapt and focus on the customer at the heart of everything we do. Hence the way we operate is continuing to change as we learn and modify. It’s a continuing evolution of how we work.
Here are some concrete numbers; about 14,000 people work in an agile way across ANZ today in the tribes and squad structures that have become familiar to many of us.
We also have more than 10 million transactions per day in Jira and Confluence. These are the tools we use to help manage workflow and collaboration across Ways of Working teams. That tells you a lot about the interaction agile has fostered.
The number of changes implemented by the technology team has jumped significantly across functions as varied as internet banking, core banking, payments, Microsoft Teams, email services, customer complaints and finance reporting. And all this has been achieved while improving stability at the same time.
There have been numerous recent examples of how the agile transformation has enabled rapid change within our business. Our entire workforce, for example, was able to quickly work remotely during the pandemic due to a cross-functional team and a collaborative effort to upgrade the technology to enable this shift.
We fast-tracked the implementation of Microsoft Teams so we could easily collaborate and effectively work from home.
Transformation proves its worth
One example of NWOW at the business level is the launch earlier this year of our new digital lending platform for small businesses, ANZ GoBiz.
Agile allowed 45 tribes and tech areas across ANZ to collaborate and enabled the integration of 18 different internal technology systems with four external partners to create a brand-new digital platform.
We co-created ANZ GoBiz with more than 300 business owners and their accountants and bookkeepers. This provided a great appreciation of the need for lending certainty – a fast yes or, in some cases, a fast no.
The accelerated decision making was made possible by establishing cross-functional delivery squads comprised of frontline bankers, technology architects, experience designers, data engineers, credit risk and assurance experts, among others.
A process of experimentation enabled us to devise a way to integrate external financial data to provide that instant lending decision our business customers were seeking. This was all achieved during a pandemic by teams from across the country collaborating remotely, rather than in physical workshops in Melbourne.