Whilst in Warsaw for the CEE SME Banking Conference in October, the Consortium's CEO, John Williams, chaired a panel on “Digital Banking: Transformation in SME Banking”. As part of the panel, Adam Walendziewski presented on “Agile way of working in SME Banking”, showcasing ING Bank in Poland. Adam Walendziewski is the Global SME/MC Digital Platform Centre Director at ING Bank Slaski in Warsaw, Poland. In this interview, Abi speaks to him about agile transformation at ING Bank.
1. How have you pushed agile through your organisation?
We started working on the Scrum Framework in cooperation with our vendor in order to finish a crucial project. Previous way of working proved to be un-effective, and we needed a new start, new opening, a change of our way of developing, communicating and in general working for the project. In order to do that we co-located the whole IT team (ING staff and vendor staff) in one location into Katowice. This was an un-official change, leaving the structure as it is, even without signing a special agile-framed agreement. We merged two different organisational cultures and we did it in alignment with the Agile mindset (transparency, inspect and adapt, courage etc.).
In parallel, a pilot was running in order to establish an Agile Way of Working in another part of ING Bank in Poland (based on rulebook set up within ING Group). In 2017 we moved from old structures and way of working, building Tribes and Squads in the whole SME/MC segment.
The whole process is driven by the Agile Transformation Office led by the Agile Officer with the support of specialised staff, i.e. Agile Coaches.
2. How did you make the shift from tools and processes to an agile mindset?
It was quite natural to go to the scrum methodology. We prepared our tools in order to support working in scrum but working within an agile mindset is the hardest thing. This is a process, which will probably never end. We constantly need to improve our way of working, find gaps, optimise the transmission of information within the organisation etc.
3. What are you doing internally to implement these processes?
Meetings, discussions, case-sudies, showing effects, setting up bigger pictures are to name a few. We are focusing on getting rid of barriers and obstacles, making life and work of our experts easier, and all of this requires trusting each other. A lot of evangelisation to be honest. This is obviously a large role of the team members, especially the Scrum Masters.
4. Where are the team located?
All Product Owners are currently located in Warsaw, 80% of IT staff are located in Katowice. We’ve got groups of developers in other Polish cities: Gliwice, Krakow, Gdansk, Wroclaw.
5. And do many of them work remotely?
We travel a lot – especially for Scrum events like planning and demo/retros. We try to be together as much as possible but, in daily work, communicating via call/video conferences using skype or other tools is a natural option.
Agile Business Consortium's CEO, John Williams, chairing a panel on “Digital Banking: Transformation in SME Banking”
Adam Walendziewski is the Global SME/MC Digital Platform Centre Director at ING Bank Slaski in Warsaw, Poland