Thought Leadership

Agile Methods Help Your Financial Institution Evolve With Consumer Needs

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May 28, 2019
Agile Methods Help Your Financial Institution Evolve With Consumer Needs
By Bryan Adler

You’ve invested in your infrastructure, updated your services and are now delivering new products to your customers. Awesome. Wait: It’s taking you how long? You’re still building requirements? It hasn’t finished testing yet? Maybe we need to take a step back from the tech itself and look at how things are getting done.

Many companies, including banks and credit unions, are still running a more traditional methodology for developing products. This process, typically referred to as Waterfall, does have its benefits, but it’s not necessarily the best way to accomplish your strategic goals and initiatives in modern development. More and more companies are moving to processes based on a principle known as Agile to build and execute faster, while providing flexibility along their development path, allowing for changes, updates and additions along the way.

VersionOne released its 13th Annual State of Agile report released its 13th Annual State of Agile report, which clearly shows how adoption continues to ramp up for these new sets of practices, which I would attribute to the shifting focus of products development and the endgame increasingly laser-focused on end-user satisfaction, allowing that satisfaction to drive revenue growth. But how is this accomplished?

First, it’s important to understand the Agile Manifesto and its 12 guiding principles. For Agile to work, cross-functional teams communicate regularly and closely (often aided by daily Scrum Meetings). These meetings help keep everyone on track throughout each Sprint (usually a two- to four-week cycle) and are closed out by a retrospective. The purpose of the retrospective is to review what’s been accomplished, and then a planning session is set up for the next sprint. Agile focuses on just that: being agile. It focuses on working toward small, incremental goals, across various, interested teams, to constantly deliver enhancements. While the Agile method requires close coordination, team participation and communication will quickly make it second nature.

Why is this better than the traditional Waterfall method? Ultimately, the likelihood of success in Waterfall falls on the strength in early stages, primarily requirements/scope of work developed early on. This leads to the risk of the end delivery, months down the road, not meeting expectations. It also lacks the close coordination with different stakeholders being more (or less) involved at different stages.

So, if you’re focused on getting ahead, continual improvement, improving teamwork and collaboration, and making sure you’re staying on top of your customers’ evolving needs – Agile is the way to go. Not only in development initiatives, but across the company. In a digital world, continuous improvement is the only way to ensure your customers are continually activated at the point of excitement.

Because of its focus on customer – YOUR – satisfaction, Vetter uses Agile methodology. Contact us today to learn more how we can help with your digital consumer acquisition, compliance and lending needs.

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