Agile Transformation: Grow Financial Federal Credit Union

It’s interesting when we reflect back 10
years ago it seems like we used to be able to get things done quicker but as
we’ve grown as an organization and become more complex the pace at which
projects get completed has significantly slowed down, whether it’s the regulatory
complex nature or just having to bring in more people’s perspective to get an
appropriate end product it has gotten a lot more difficult to finish projects. So
the challenge is how do we get stuff done quickly that’s really been one of
the biggest challenges we’ve had. My name is Thomas Feindt I’m the president at Grow
Financial Federal Credit Union and I’ve been with the organization seven years.
So when we think back it was about five years ago we realized we needed to do
something different but at that time we didn’t know what different was we just
knew the current status quo wasn’t working. My team actually runs in
parallel with our development team providing the analytic support
oftentimes our process was very chaotic. There was a long process.
We had many changes and people would get very frustrated because we were not
providing at a fast enough pace and it was oftentimes very difficult to show
our value because it would take you know six to nine months to be able to produce
anything of value. We started with IT and we started to
teach them how to work in a new way and it spread from IT to other parts
of their business pretty quickly. I went on site to their corporate headquarters
and work with them in person with their teams.
They weren’t agile they didn’t they didn’t know what that meant
even, but we began to work with them to build some Scrum teams, Kanban teams and
teach them the agile approach to working and that quickly
spread to other areas in their organization. There was change on our
horizon and we had problems that we needed to solve. AgileThought came in
and they did a two-day workshop with our senior team and middle management. We
ended up just seeing that we have bigger problems than what we think we do and
not only do we see the problems, we’re starting to know some of the solutions
that are behind them but we didn’t really know how to how to engage the
right teams to solve for that and so having AgileThought come in and help us
not only visualize a lot of these items but also put some solutions in and put
the right solutions in play that really helped us significantly. So for my team’s
most of them use Kanban which is form of agile and what that’s done is help them
really visualize the work that they’re doing. A lot of times you know the
business units will come in and how do you know what you got to work
on? Well now we actually have a visual representation that we can show them, so
yeah that project that you want us to work on it’s you know third or fourth
down the list. We’ve got a couple of the things that are going on, or sometimes
it’s helped us in cases where people will make requests for things that
really aren’t very valuable in terms of organizational goals and so now agile
has given us a way to where we can actually say no to that so we can say
yes to other things that are more important. There’s a better sense of
connection between our VP level group and our senior executives around what
are the key initiatives that are important to the organization. The
projects were getting done faster, the team members were a lot happier, even
across the organization people felt like IT projects that were rolled out were
more comprehensive because others were brought into the team to be a part of it
and their perspectives were added while the project was being completed. Not at
the end of the project, so even the conflict that would occur was reduced
and so we said well if this is gonna work on the IT side what if we brought
it to our marketing area? What if we brought it to our facilities? What if we
brought it into lending? And so over the years we have been
moving and introducing it into other areas. Actually the most interesting part
was it wasn’t even that the executive team made this decision. This decision to
implement agile and collaborate with AgileThought came from the business
units. They saw what happened in IT and they wanted that as well, so it was more
of a pull effort throughout the organization where folks wanted to be
engaged in this style of work. I don’t know that we knew we would have this
level of engagement at AgileThought three years ago when we started, but it
was one of the best decisions we’ve made.

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