Case StudyKeynote

Banking on Flow Metrics – Bank of New Zealand Transformation Journey

The bank explains how traditional Project Management approaches failed to achieve their transformation goals, and so they turned to Flow Metrics.

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series DevOps Metrics for High Performance

Speaking at the DevOps Enterprise Summit the Bank of New Zealand presented on: “Banking on Flow Metrics – Bank of New Zealand Transformation Journey”.

The talk was delivered by:

  • Paul Littlefair – Chief Technology Officer – Bank of New Zealand.
  • BMK Lakshminarayanan – Value Stream Architect – Bank of New Zealand.

Digital First, Human When it Matters

The headline motivation for the bank is to stay at the competitive edge, being very aware of the digital disruptors, the neobanks, who leverage technology to deliver new services in innovative ways, and they must match this capability while still retaining the human interfaces that matter to their customers.

Paul is responsible for the entirety of the banks technology estate, from external systems through online channels to ATMs and internal IT, featuring a vast array of technologies including analytics, Cloud, data centres and are even still building COBOL and Assembler applications for legacy platforms that predate the moon landing!

They are committed to a modernized culture and practices, such as Cloud Native and Microservices.

Flow Factory

The analogy of the factory and being able to see the flow of work and where bottlenecks are is key, but in technology this work flow isn’t visible, and so when clogging and slow throughput is experienced it’s difficult to pinpoint where this is occurring and how to address it.

Paul describes how often Project Managers are hired to tackle the issue, on the presumption they’ll be able to drive progress. However what he experienced was that they would focus only on their individual projects, not the overall whole system, and this failed to yield results.

Consequently he disbanded their PMO (Project Management Office), and instead regrouped themselves into portfolios of value streams and adopted Lean Portfolio Management practices, from the Agile community.

Measuring the Flow of Business Value

Their core insights was the need to define and measure the full flow of work end-to-end, not just one portion of it such as code and deploy, otherwise they wouldn’t be working at the right level of improving the rate of delivering value to the business.

To achieve this they set about acquiring a tool for visualizing value streams. Diagramming tools like Visio only produced static charts which quickly went stale, so they needed a real-time method. For this they adopted the Tasktop Viz tool.

Paul’s epiphany came from reading Mik Kersten’s book Project to Product, leading them to adopt Flow Metrics wholesale across all teams.

To roll this out they also created a new role: Value Stream Architects, to act as influencers, consultants and optimizers, to ensure alignment of technology projects with business goals. They also set up learning communities to share awareness and encourage uptake of Flow methods.

This customer video from Tasktop then goes into the specifics of how BNZ uses Tasktop and Flow Metrics to get definitive visibility into product delivery and drive improvements.

Insights into flow help ensure the bank can achieve its outcomes and provide next-generation technology that supports the human element of banking.

About the Speakers

Paul Littlefair is an award-winning CIO, a highly successful transformational leader in leading and transforming complex Technology units within an Enterprise to be a high performing unit focusing on improving flow, value delivery; He is a servant leader who believes in leaders to “empower people and give them the capability and appetite to be curious, to take risks, to experiment and bring their best every day”. As CTO, he is redefining the way Technology functions and bringing the Tech & Business together to achieve BNZ’s goals – digital-first and human when it matters & enable technology to deliver customer outcomes.

BMK Lakshminarayanan is an inspiring and passionate DevOps Advocate and Value Stream Architect promoting DevOps, Lean and Value Stream Management practices. He also serves as New Zealand ambassador for the Cloud-Native Computing Foundation(CNCF), DevOps Institute and Continuous Delivery Foundation(CDF), and a Board Advisor for the Value Stream Management consortium(VSMC).

Series Navigation<< Flow Metrics – Defining Measurements for Achieving High Performance Software DevelopmentDevOps Transformation: Metrics That Show Business Value >>

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