Financial iInstitutions are under increasing pressure to innovate faster, better and more often while driving greater operational efficiency and an improved return on investment. An agile methodology helps them do all this, and more.

In today’s hyper-competitive and ever-changing business environment, banks find themselves under increasing pressure from a variety of fronts. To meet customer demands, they’re challenged to come up with new value-add products and services while reducing time-to-market. On the operational side, reducing risk, maintaining regulatory compliance and steering investments in the most profitable direction are all top priorities. In terms of competitive pressure, not only are banks competing with new market entrants for market share, they’re also competing with them to attract and keep top talent. As digital becomes pervasive throughout the enterprise, aligning business and IT is a top strategic imperative. Underlying all of these issues is the compelling need to foster innovation in every aspect of the business.

What all this adds up to is that banks now have an overarching strategic need for agility so they can adapt quickly to deliver greater value in every respect. What’s the solution? An agile transformation that harnesses the full power of digital technology.

The agile way

Essentially, agile is a cyclical process of rapid continuous improvement based on insights about customer wants and needs. In an agile organization, every aspect of business operations is engaged in an ongoing cycle of discover and evaluate, prioritize, build and operate, analyze…and repeat.

chart showing Agile Transformation process
*A Sprint is a compressed period of time during which specific work or a task has to be completed and be ready for review. Source: Taking the Agile Transformation Journey, Accenture, November2017


Agile organizations take a collaborative and cross-functional approach to driving iterative and repetitive strategic planning cycles that deliver innovation quickly and effectively. Strategic needs are paired with technological opportunities to drive experiments and prototypes that are prioritized and queued for fast-to-market implementation. DevOps engagement and a flexible architecture permit quick builds and releases, which are then evaluated and analyzed for the next improvement cycle. At the heart of the process is an intense focus on creating value for the customer and employees.

Agile done right is truly transformational.

In my next post, I’ll describe some common roadblocks to “going agile” and explain how to create the right foundation for an effective agile transformation in your bank.

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

Michael Werder

Managing Director, Accenture Financial Services Technology Advisory

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