ANZ pitches 'NWOW' agile approach to employees as roll-out begins

ANZ pitches 'NWOW' agile approach to employees as roll-out begins

The effort to win hearts and minds for bank's 'New Ways of Working' is underway

ANZ has utilised agile working practices for around four years. The approach is used in technology and product teams to deliver around a fifth of technology and digital projects at the bank including, under Bray’s leadership, Apple Pay and a feature which automatically updates customers’ digital wallets with replacement card details if they report one lost or stolen.

The bank last week began a formal process to appoint a systems integration partner "to assist in the scoping and design of our technology architecture" to support its new organisation-wide agile approach.

“In order to keep that cadence high we have to move from the organisational structure that’s been common in many large organisations to this more multidisciplinary team where software developers and product people and the legal teams and security and everybody who needs to be involved is sitting around that table making decisions and helping us get features out in rapid succession,” explains Florian, who joined the bank in November last year from Dimension Data.

Move on up

Not every worker in the bank’s Australian division will be moving to NWOW.

Frontline staff working in branches won’t adopt the approach (“They already kind of work in a squad anyway,” says Florian, “some of the behaviours are actually already there”), nor will those in operations, distribution or fulfillment. Those in legal and human resources are likely to be ‘jumping in and out’ of squads when required.

“We’re trying not to be purist about it,” Bray says. “This is really looking across the landscape and saying – where are the areas that really benefit? Digital, product, marketing, data, projects – these sorts of areas.”

Another major change, aside from the day to day way of working, is the way employees progress their careers within the bank.

“So what we’re looking at in terms of career path is when you remove a lot of that hierarchy, you do suspend that notion of how to move ahead. [NWOW has] got to be about encouraging breadth and experience and mastery of a topic and people being continued practitioners,” Bray says.

“It is recognising and rewarding a different version of ambition which is much less about moving up, and much more about growth and mastery.”

A much bigger focus will be put on learning with individuals encouraged to expand their skill set. Some 750 staff began their agile training this week.

A buzz that won’t stop

With the marketplace now packed up, the challenge for the bank is now to maintain interest and momentum in NWOW.

“That buzz is great – we don’t expect that to stay at that level the whole time. We need to keep finding ways to reinvigorate and keep people interested and engaged around what we’re doing,” Florian says.

“We recognise that whilst there is a lot of theatre here in the room, at the end of the day this is people and people going on a fairly significant change. The risk is…we have people [who can] see it academically, but do they believe in here that they can do it and we can do it altogether? That’s the risk.”

The work will never be over, Bray adds.

“There is of course a risk that day one – everything’s done, high five in the corridor, move on, transformation over. Well that’s not the nature of this. There are many elements of this that will take time to mature and embed and that will continuously improve our efficiency over time. And that requires tenacity,” she says. “We’re clear where we are on the journey with an understanding that we will never be done.”

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Tags technologyagilefinancesprintscrumbankingANZANZ Banking Group LtdwaterfallAgile methodologySquadMaile CarnegieAgile methodologiesShayne ElliottGerard FlorianKanbanscaled agilechaptertribeKatherine BrayNew Ways of Working

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