Going agile with agility: The road to organizational agility

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Achieving Organizational Agility Through Agile Practices

ATB made a commitment a little over a year ago to transform the organization and dedicate ourselves to change banking through innovation. As part of that mission, we declared that we would become an agile development shop. 

Over the past year, we’ve proven that it was more than just a statement. We’ve changed how our teams work, we’ve recruited top talent from around the globe, we’ve put customers at the centre of our development processes. And we’ve shipped some incredible products as a result. 

On the journey so far, there has been massive uptake of agile development process across the pillars of our organization. But it is not something that is only relegated to the scrums and sprints of our software development teams. We’ve proven that we can innovate processes - and now we’re stepping back to bring some focus and coordination to take the agile mindset to the entire organization.  

In true agile style, we’re testing and continuously adjusting our targets. One of the things that we’ve learned in our journey is that a key component to success is a common understanding across teams of what agile means. Team members need the tools and frameworks, along with the skills and knowledge, to apply agile principles.

To increase the consistency across innovation pillars at ATB, we’ve set out to make sure ATB team members have a common baseline understanding of agile. This starts off with a training program that we’ve deployed through comprehensive online tools. Of course, we launched the training to a small test group, got feedback and adapted. With the help of agile champions, we’ve now rolled out agile training paths tailored to each ATB Transformation team member. 

Next up, we’re tackling duplication across teams through onboarding and clear evaluation of initiatives; we’re optimizing the size and composition of our squads and we’re experimenting with agile planning on rolling schedules, reviewed quarterly. 

Our slick new agile style doesn’t mean it's all run-and-gun with no reporting - part of the structure is making sure we have accountability built in, but not at the expense of the speed. As we build agility across ATB, we’ll be quicker at bringing together and disbanding project teams, allocating budgets, and shutting down projects as required. That’s why we’re working on bringing the agile mindset to ATB as a whole.

We know we’re on a trajectory to redefine how we do things here at ATB, but that doesn’t mean we know exactly where the journey will take us. Just like an agile software development team, our small team leading the agile movement at ATB is letting the client, ATB Team members, help define the end goal and the steps along the way. One thing we do know: we’re have a mission to transform banking and we’re on our way there.