This client is a global banking company and diversified financial services group with offices around the world, providing banking, financial advisory and investment and funds management services to institutional, corporate and retail clients and counterparties around the world.
The retail banking business provides a diverse range of wealth management products and services to financial advisers, stockbrokers, mortgage brokers, professional service industries and retail clients.
In 2013 the bank undertook what was to be its largest IT program to replace the bank’s loan and deposit systems with one modern, real-time banking platform. The bank chose SAP as the preferred Core Banking platform which enabled the bank to centralise and share all loans and deposits products and platforms across the group. Approximately 80 legacy IT systems were to be replaced by the Core Banking Platform.
Challenged by taking on such an ambitious program of work, in May 2016 the decision was taken to halt the planned migration of existing Home Loans on to the new platform and concentrate instead on the delivery of a stable home loan origination end to end workflow. This would be achieved by using the current Project Team to deliver an interim release, to be based on Agile methodologies as much as possible in September prior to the commencement of a more formal Agile Enterprise Release “Train” (ERT) starting from October.
The end intention was to both commence the adoption of Agile methodologies as soon as possible but to also continue stabilising the platform build. This interim state would allow the training of staff in a new Project delivery mechanism but at the same time commence the foundations that would eventually permit the ability to migrate the existing home loan book to the new platform. Additionally, ensuring that the team was well-positioned with regard to utilisation of all resourcing prior to October was also important.
Seven Consulting Solution:
Seven already had a strong presence on the program when the abovementioned decisions were taken. Seven was asked to lead the delivery of the September Release and in the process, assist the transition to a very different structure and significantly smaller team using Agile delivery methods rather than waterfall.
Six cross-functional SCRUM teams were formed and largely comprised people with little or no experience of Agile methods – likewise for the sponsors and key stakeholders whose engagement with the program would be quite different. Agile requires a distinct cultural as well as a procedural and technical change in how projects are planned and delivered.
The project was required to take on board both a delivery perspective together with a focus on training for those team members that would be remaining with the ERT plus be a communication medium of the new world to the wider organisation.
Additionally Seven assisted in the resource management across 3 Core vendors that were required to continue to deliver complex and difficult change while managing the impact of a large number of on and off shore resources that would be rolled off from the Project and the Organisation at the conclusion of the September delivery. This was juggled with managing and controlling the impact of formal training and mentoring for those resources that were remaining with the client.
Under Seven’s leadership, these teams were able to successfully deliver the agreed functionality in September after a series of 3 sprints of 4 weeks’ duration each. Stakeholders were encouraged to attend daily stand-ups so that decisions were made quickly and this also fostered clear and open communications within the team and between team and stakeholders. This approach also eliminated the need for onerous and sometimes out of date reporting.
Despite a lack of Agile experience the teams quickly adjusted to a more transparent and focused way of working. This more experienced team was able to quickly form the base for the full Agile delivery mechanism with the commencement of the ERT in October to progress the bank’s new home loan products.