In an agile transformation, all aspects of the enterprise should be aligned under a strategic imperative to discover and evaluate, prioritize, build and operate, and analyze the results in an ongoing process of continuous improvement―whether in regard to solutions and services intended for customers or internal operational processes that make the business more innovative, nimble and competitive. This alignment sets a strong foundation for productive, iterative innovation.

In my previous post, I described the common roadblocks to agile transformation and how to avoid them. In this final post of my three-part series on agile transformation, I’m going to give you some tips for making sure your transformation meets your banks unique needs and gets off to a strong start.

Pick the path that works best for your bank

Banks have several options in terms of how to roll out an agile transformation within their organization.

Showcase (or Lighthouse) projects provide opportunities to demonstrate the agile approach and the benefits it yields across the value chain without involving the entire operation. Lessons learned from these pilot projects can be applied to subsequent projects, and an eventual organization-wide adaption.

Another option is to create an entire agile business unit, leveraging motivated and agile-knowledgeable individuals from other existing business units. In this scenario, banks can grow agile capabilities over time through coaching, training and bringing in outside expertise.

Lastly, banks can work on specific agile capability development, implementing components of the agile approach along the entire solution delivery value chain in a step-by-step process.

Accelerate your journey with capability assessments

Capability and maturity assessments are useful for diagnosing agile competencies, evaluating organizational strengths and weaknesses, and driving action plans for implementing agile. These assessments leverage industry standard agile benchmarks to assess status across the following dimensions:

  • Leadership
  • Agile methods and tools
  • Agile delivery team and community
  • Agile supporting functions and continuous improvement

An assessment should be conducted at the outset of the transformation to determine the appropriate starting place, then repeated at specific milestones to gauge progress.

Agile Transformation - continuous improvement
Source: Transforming a Bank into an Agile Powerhouse, Accenture June 2017

Implement a 365-day plan

A 30/100/365-day plan provides a roadmap for showcasing and engaging the entire organization in the agile transformation. In the first 30 days, the focus is on identifying executive sponsors and key contributors, as well as pinpointing the best opportunities for implementing agile within the bank’s operations. The capability assessment is critical to this effort. From the beginning of the journey, employees have to be encouraged to be part of the agile transformation.

By the 100-day marker, key contributors should be fully engaged in the process. At this point, a “level 2” capability assessment is conducted to further refine efforts. This is also a great time to present any showcase projects to the broader organization. At this juncture, any roadblocks should be defined and eliminated, and a mindset shift should be well underway.

Over the remaining time until the one-year transformation anniversary, agile capabilities should be scaled out across the entire enterprise, based on learnings from pilot initiatives. By the end of 365 days, agile should be “business as usual” for the organization as a whole.

A journey without an end

While the transformation to agile can be plotted in a 365-day plan, the journey is never complete. Agile is a constantly evolving effort that helps organizations identify and engage in ongoing opportunities for improved performance.

For more detail about taking the agile transformation journey, please see Taking the Agile Transformation Journey.

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