Is the World of Finance Ready to Embrace Agility?

Once upon a time, financial regulation and Agility were two separate worlds that did not naturally mingle well. 

When people think about finance, they often picture serious (sometimes austere) environments. They also imagine rigid methods, a pyramid-shaped business structure and management that could not possibly combine “happiness at work” and “professional efficiency”, while remaining profitable… 

On the contrary, when people talk about new working methods, and the broader concept of Agility, they immediately imagine fun environments that are conducive to creativity and where’s it is a pleasure to work, whilst also keeping in mind that the main aim of the business is of course to satisfy customers in every area of business.  

I have personally experienced two totally contrasting approaches to regulatory standard implementation assignments (Basel II / Basel III).  The first case involved a major French bank that was resolutely Agile-oriented and outsourced its development work to the city of technology par excellence: Singapore. This agile experience proved positive, both in terms of relationships and actual output on a daily basis. 

Agility or how to firmly establish collaborative synergy 

Strong synergistic relations between employees were established much quicker than anyone could have imagined. The direct consequences of agile thinking enabled us to, among other things, manufacture an end product that met all the customer’s functional expectations in the long-term. 

The second case, in an industry-oriented financial company, involved the implementation of new standards, only they had not yet achieved their agile transformation and their mind-set had not yet adjusted.   Ultimately, this environment did not have the necessary maturity. This was undoubtedly due to the unwieldiness of an organisational and technical matrix that had not yet adjusted to Agility.   

Agility or how to avoid “meetingitis” 

You may be wondering how this plays out in the real world. But of course, you already know the answer: long approval meetings that lead, in the long term, to reduced team commitment due to the unwieldiness of the business’s pyramid-shaped organisation. Good year or bad year, the end product will be manufactured and functional, but at what cost and above all with what lead time! 

These two experiences show the extent to which Agility, when it is properly approached and implemented in a business structure, helps to push back the limits of traditional working methods while also meeting market expectations for a usable end product, even in the field of financial regulation.  You may still be wondering how to enter this new era and begin your agile transformation right away. SQLI will assist you every step of the way in this transformation! Come and play the digital game today.