ANZ announces transition to Agile

Melbourne-based bank says it needs Agile software development practices to keep up with changing consumer expectations, says CEO.

ANZ bank says it is re-organising the IT function of its Australian business based on a scaled Agile management system. Scaled Agile is typically defined as an enterprise-wide implementation of the Agile methodology, an iterative approach which emphasises speedy development times for software and a shortened customer feedback cycle.

The bank has appointed Kath Bray, currently managing director of products and the executive responsible for the delivery of Apple Pay at ANZ, to oversee the agile transformation across the bank’s Australian operations. Bray will report to group executive Fred Ohlsson.

ANZ’s CEO Shayne Eliott said that the emergence of digital giants like Amazon and Apple were redefining customer experience, and driving a change in consumer expectations that had to be matched across industries. The transition to agile was part of a larger effort to keep up with these new demands.

“Moving to implement the agile approach at scale in our business will allow us to respond much more quickly to customer needs,” said Eliott. “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.”

The Scaled Agile approach is used by large digital firms like Spotify and Google, as well as ING and ABN Amro in the financial sector. According to a company press release, the ANZ has already implemented Agile in approximately 20% of its digital projects, including its Apple Pay initiative.

According to Eliott, while the agile transformation will initially be confined to its Australian business, the bank plans to implement it across the entire firm by early 2018.

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