Agile Transformation at Leading Bank


This case study focuses on a prominent bank that faced strategic alignment issues across its various portfolios and a large workforce. The organisation aimed to introduce a ways of working program to establish a domain-based model and address the existing challenges.


The bank encountered several obstacles that hindered its progress. Firstly, competing priorities among portfolios created conflicts and made decision-making challenging. Secondly, there was a lack of consensus on defining value within the organisation, resulting in fragmented efforts. Additionally, the bank’s focus on validating solutions rather than understanding the underlying problems stifled innovation. Lastly, the organisation struggled to quantify and measure the improvements being made.


To overcome these challenges, the bank implemented a comprehensive solution. They initiated the launch of three pilot domains to test the new framework and gain valuable insights. Moreover, the organisation introduced Quarterly Big Room Planning (BRP) sessions to facilitate collaboration and alignment among stakeholders from different portfolios. To identify improvement opportunities and establish a shared understanding of value, the bank employed Value Stream Mapping techniques. Furthermore, they incorporated elements from an Agile framework for portfolio management. To enhance visibility and track progress, the bank implemented Agile metrics dashboards, which were generated by extracting data from their project management tool using custom JavaScript.


The implementation of the solution involved a flexible approach, allowing product and operations teams to choose between Scrum and Kanban methodologies based on their specific needs. This flexibility empowered the teams to optimise their workflows and improve efficiency. The bank utilised Lean Management Portfolio techniques to create a unified value matrix, enabling better prioritisation and resource allocation. By incorporating selected elements from an Agile framework, the organisation ensured effective portfolio management and improved coordination across different teams and domains. To gather and analyze data, the bank extracted Agile metrics from their project management tool using custom JavaScript, providing real-time insights into team performance and progress.


The implementation of the solution yielded significant positive outcomes for the bank. During each quarterly BRP event, approximately 300 features were prioritised, promoting alignment and focus on critical initiatives. The Agile transformation resulted in a remarkable 60% increase in productivity compared to the previous year, indicating improved efficiency and output. Furthermore, the quality of deliverables witnessed a substantial 55% improvement compared to the previous year, showcasing a heightened focus on value delivery. Notably, the pilot domain experienced a 200% reduction in feature cycle time compared to the previous year, demonstrating the benefits of the Agile practices adopted by the bank.

In conclusion, the bank’s strategic adoption of Agile practices, including the domain-based model, BRP sessions, and Agile metrics, enabled them to overcome challenges related to alignment, prioritisation, and innovation. The successful implementation of these initiatives resulted in improved productivity, enhanced quality, and accelerated delivery cycles. This case study serves as a testament to the transformative power of Agile methodologies in the banking sector, inspiring other organisations to optimise their operations and achieve strategic alignment.