A leading top 30 global bank with over 60 million customers approached CI&T three years ago with a challenge: change the way they work. Though this bank was ahead of its competition, it believed that fintechs, new digital banks and tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook were the real threat. They had two challenges: speed and culture.
The bank was taking over 18 months to go from concept to delivery. With the bank’s traditional 70-year established history, it is competing with digital-native companies who can attract more talent with its fresh-looking brand and inviting trendy offices.
The real question to be answered quickly became apparent: how do you transform the way a 100,000-employee company functions? Since the beginning of CI&T’s work with the bank, the engagement has proven results.
Setting the stage
Changing an organization’s culture takes time. It involves setting a new standard of working and ensuring that it is not only rolled out to the entire organization but that everyone involved in the business understands the shift.
CI&T took on the daunting task piece-by-piece beginning with the mobile banking value stream. One of the bank’s priorities was faster delivery so CI&T ran value stream mapping to quickly identify barriers to speed. To their surprise, the exercise exposed that inefficiencies such as excessive hand-offs, idle times, and poor requirement breakdown management as the culprits for the 18-month lead time, which is more time to actually develop the solutions.
Metrics and visual management became two of the main cornerstones to scale Agile inside the bank. Discussions around quality, productivity, rework, and predictability are now based on actual data. Replacing the old ways of command and control management with the new lean-based leadership, slowly took place within the bank. For example, “Gemba walks” were introduced. The Gemba is perhaps the most important place to be--it is where the real work happens. It is where managers engage employees, learn more about the work processes and explore opportunities for continuous improvement.
An uncontested reference
Can a shorter lead-time directly affect customer satisfaction? In this case, it did--the bank’s mobile app had a lacklustre 2.9-star rating in the App Store and Google Play. CI&T increased its number of new releases from 0.7 per month to 4.5 per month in less than one year, which revamped the customer experience. The app currently has a 4.6 rating comparable to top fintech companies’ mobile apps.
Moreover, CI&T worked with the bank to embed data analytics and user research into the value stream providing the bank with the insights needed to formulate growth hypotheses. For instance, a specific demographic was reluctant to install and use the mobile app due to their lack of experience with technology and due to the app’s size (over 100Mb). Based on this feedback, a lite version of the app was then designed--the smaller and simpler interface took 3 months to develop and launch. In just a few months, there were more than 5 million new users and a 4.5-star rating with a “best banking app” recognition. By continuously listening to and understanding the customers and their needs, the bank, in partnership with CI&T was able to bring them a customer-centric banking experience.
All the pieces were in play across the business, customer experience, and technology--Agile, visual management, experimentation, data analytics, design and user research, and an organizational structure based on value streams. Instead of trying to deploy all of the pieces at once, CI&T and the bank strategically connected the dots in order to establish a powerful use case that proved to be successful inside the bank.
Cross-pollination and new practices
The challenge for the next few months was then to expand the transformation program. It meant introducing new value streams and continuously improving existing practices while developing new ones. With successful programs already running within the bank, CI&T established a cross-pollination strategy rooted in the concept of “learning by doing”, which CI&T has found to be effective. CI&T teams blended with the banks’ teams to work together in the same environment that created hundreds of squads. With processes set in place and tools defined, the squads made up of CI&T and the bank employees were immersed in a new way of working side-by-side. It is the outcome of this new way of working that changes the culture.
While rolling out this program, continuous improvement is also in play as CI&T teams reviewed current bottlenecks and prioritize what needed to be tackled. For instance, they discovered that the mainframe team was struggling to meet deadlines for endpoints creation so the team experimented with their approach. The team was used to working in batches, developing and deploying many requests at once, and so they then tried a "one-piece flow" strategy, keeping their work-in-progress as low as possible (ideally, one API at a time). That naturally led to a discussion around application modernization, test automation, and DevOps., at the same time, co-creation sessions and validation through prototyping became the de-facto standard to prioritize initiatives.
The most recent projects from CI&T and the bank are focused on business impact--connecting product discovery and delivery with business strategy. Strategic planning sessions with the bank’s executives are run in order to define quarterly business goals and identify gaps and countermeasures needed in order to achieve those goals. Data drives the decision making; decisions are designed and scoped to impact business KPIs. In one of the value streams, for instance, a redesigned online/offline experience generated an annual increase of US$ 210 million/year in investment fund volume. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are being used to measure progress and to better communicate goals to stakeholders across the organization making shared goals a reality. The new way of operating has expanded from technology to lines of businesses, HR and compliance. Even the bank’s CEO is an advocate of lean digital. With more than 5,000 people working in technology alone, this is a massive transformation that proves elephants can dance, indeed.
According to CI&T EVP, Leonardo Mattiazzi, “Today, everything is a moving target. Your consumer, your business, your processes, and your people. It is not a matter of finding and deploying the perfect way of doing things. The golden and immutable set of best practices will not work anymore. The real deal is to become better at being better. And to be Faster, Faster™.”