This is why the ANZ is adopting a tech-style management approach to banking

Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns via Getty Images

The ANZ Bank is moving away from a traditional line management style of grey-suited managers wielding absolute power over junior staff.

It wants to be a more project-orientated business with the smaller and nimble cross-functional teams seen in the big and successful digital players such as Google.

The fundamental change will see the bank adopt what is called scaled agile, a system more usually seen in the IT department or at tech startups.

“It’s an exciting and different way of thinking about work,” says CEO Shayne Elliott.

“It moves away from a very hierarchical structure … to a very team-based approach to getting things done.”

The bank says this will enable it to respond quickly to changing customer expectations, engage and empower staff and improve efficiency.

Scaled agile is about small, autonomous, multi-disciplinary teams and is most used by digital companies such as Spotify and Google and in large financial services companies such as ING and ABN AMRO.

The move is part of Elliott’s transformation plan and is about continuous improvement in the customer experience.

“This is a completely different approach to running our business based on a proven model that will allow us to respond much faster to changing customer expectations, engage our staff and attract new talent, and reduce waste and bureaucracy,” he says.

“We have already been evolving in this direction with around 20% of technology and digital projects currently delivered using the agile approach.

“The adoption of agile at scale is a natural fit with our strategy and planning is already underway to broaden its roll out in early 2018, initially within the Australia Division.”

ANZ already uses agile to deliver about 20% of technology and digital projects including initiatives such as Apple Pay.

“In the digital age, customer expectations are being redefined by their experiences with businesses like Amazon and Apple,” says Elliott.

“We need to break with some of the traditional 20th century approaches to organising and working to ensure we are more responsive to 21st century customer expectations.”

Kath Bray, currently the managing director products and the executive responsible for the delivery of Apple Pay at ANZ, has been appointed to oversee the agile transformation.

Here’s the agile workflow, according to the ANZ:

Source: ANZ Bank

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