ANZ is following the lead taken by top tech companies such as Google and Spotify by laying waste to middle management in IT and moving to an agile self-directed approach to new product development.
The shift to agile methodologies in IT development is taking the banking world by storm as incumbents muster forces to take on more nimble, fleet-footed startups. ANZ is following in the footsteps of ING, BBVA and a host of other top banks who are using the agile concept to break away from traditional bank IT development projects, which have typically worked on a two-year waterfall cycle to deliver a polished end-product.
ANZ already uses agile to deliver around 20% of technology and digital projects including initiatives such as Apple Pay, and now wants to instill the process across its entire Australian business.
ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott says: “The use of agile will mean a much less hierarchical ANZ, one built around small, collaborative, self-directed teams focussed on delivering continuous improvement in the customer experience. This is an exciting change for ANZ because we know our people are more engaged when working in ways that are less bureaucratic and more empowering."
Under the plans, which will be helmed by Kath Bray, currently managing director products and the executive responsible for the delivery of Apple Pay at ANZ, the bank will restructure into teams of about 10, known as 'squads' that group into 'tribes', replacing managers with coaches and product owners to drive development cycles.
“This is about self-directed teams," says Elliott. "Teams that have total clarity about what they are doing.
“It’s about speed to market, responding to customers really quickly and it’s about empowering our people to do absolutely the very best with our resources at hand.”
ANZ has appointed Boston Consulting Group to scope out the project and expects to begin full-scale implementation early next year.
In a video produced for inhouse magazine BlueNotes, CEO Elliott outlines his thoughts on the project and the bank’s future in partnering with external organisations and measuring success for the transition