The function of Agile is not just confined to the IT sector or to places that require project management and identification of bugs. In the current digital economy, the main motive of Agile is to simplify the lofty, unnecessarily long processes and break them down into smaller parts that can follow a continuous execution process. Although Agile was originally thought of as an approach for software development, it can be used in a myriad of other operational procedures, ranging from marketing to procurement.
Due to its flexibility and vast use, Agile has also found its use in the financial sectors. The financial services that incorporate the use of Agile methodologies are easier to be executed in different stages. The concept of Agile transformation financial services is pretty new and has gained quick popularity in the past couple of years. Going for the best Agile certifications will help you gain expertise in your learning.
What is Agile Finance Transformation?
Agile finance transformation refers to the process of an organization transitioning towards adopting a small, reactive approach by incorporating the use of Agile principles. As an organization embraces this new technology, it undergoes a complete transformation that breathes new life into the organization.
Using Agile in financial operations can help to provide a route that can enable continuous transformation, improvement, rapid customized solutions, collaboration, and inclusive culture. Agile financial transformation also makes it easier for financial professionals to transition into a digital model easily.
Can Agile be Used in Finance?
Initially, the primary focus of accounting and financing was to perform the tasks that are related to accounting and reporting. However, the focus has now shifted to much more advanced tasks related to strategic decision support and analytics. Eminent business leaders are trying to improve the analytical and digital fundamentals the finance sector has to deal with. These require effective and efficient operational delivery and agility of execution.
Considering all these things, it can be assumed that finance teams need Agile transformation financial services methodologies to streamline and simplify tedious processes.
How is Agile Used in Banking?
In the banking sector, providing digital services does not only mean providing online banking facilities to customers. One cannot deny that market requirements are changing by leaps and bounds, and it becomes extremely difficult to keep up with the changes and adapt to them.
The banking industry is slower in terms of adapting to gradually evolving technologies. Using Agile methodology in financial services can ensure better adaptivity, optimization, and great flexibility in terms of the results obtained. If banks incorporate the use of Agile transformation financial services methodologies, they can conduct analysis, overview, and implement changes (if any) at a minimum cost.
Why Use Agile Model in Finance?
There are a number of benefits of using Agile transformation financial services methodologies. Some of them are stated below:
Helps Increase the Decision Velocity
The Agile methodology incorporates the use of “Scrum”. Scrum is a framework that helps develop products in accordance with environments prone to change. Scrum teams in Agile technologies are small groups of people working together on solving problems and preparing progress reports. This technique gives small teams the authority to make decisions and increases the speed of decision-making
Processes can be Simplified
In the field of finance, there are a lot of people who are involved in preparing budgets, analyzing them, and then approving them. This may lead to complexity. This is not the case with the Agile finance model, as only a few people are responsible for decision-making. Automating the process with the help of Agile eliminates manual intervention, which also improves transparency.
Channeling Resources that Need to be Re-allocated
In big organizations, there is a provision for resource reallocation, which means that there is a substitutable workforce that is skilled in a way that it can switch between different positions. Agile methodologies make sure that threats or opportunities can be rapidly directed on the right path. It is also essential for teams to develop new skills so that they can carry out their business using Agile in a seamless manner.
Importance of Culture in Agile Transformation
Agile transformation financial services have been designed to enable flexibility, improve the quality of products or services being offered, and speed up the time to market. With the help of Agile, organizations can respond better and more effectively to the changes that take place in the market.
However, a shift to an Agile framework comes with a shift in culture. Therefore, culture plays an important role in Agile transformation financial services. Here are some of the ways that organizations should respond to the culture shift:
Understand the Reason for the Shift and Gladly Accept it
This is the first change that needs to be brought about. During an Agile transformation, all the members of the organization should have a clear understanding of why it is important to transition to Agile. There should be an emotional commitment along with a strong determination to learn rather than shy away.
Open to Learning and Accepting
You might require some expert help in the initial times of your transition. When a finance company is undergoing Agile transformation, some people within the organization might be acquainted with Agile methodologies. Everyone should be open to learning from their expertise and experience. Organizations can also consider seeking help from external experts.
Good quality and proper completion of work can only be assured by a team driven by motivation. All the tasks have to be completed by teams; therefore, it is important to make sure that all the team members, who are assigned different tasks, are motivated to take up the roles.
Team reorganization may seem like a major shift in culture. In Agile methodology, tasks have to be completed in teams and not in the conventional compartmentalized operating unit form. There has to be a shift to teams that are cross-functional and product-based.
How Financial Companies Can Accelerate Agile Transformation?
Stated below are some of the best practices that Agile transformation companies can put to use to accelerate the Agile transformation:
Focus on Alignment
For your organization to be able to use Agile efficiently, all the departments should be thoroughly aligned with the company's future state. The teams should be thoroughly aligned with the business's intended objectives and the timeline set for achieving the goals. They should also be clear about the method to be incorporated to ensure the completion of the task.
Set a Clear Course for Transition
As has been discussed earlier, the Agile financial transition also calls for a lot of changes. Be clear about the course of work, the objectives, resources, and the scope that the financial organization will follow while transitioning to Agile. This will make sure that you witness quick results.
Assess Your Leaders
For an Agile initiative to become successful, it is important to have leaders with great expertise in a business organization. They should also be ambitious and courageous. It is important to assess the leaders and check if they possess these qualities.
Build a Clear Change Management Strategy
An organization should have a clear strategy for change management. To make sure that the change is accepted across the company, it should try to broadcast the news of quick wins through informal and formal influencer networks.
Redesign Reward and Performance Management Processes
Setting shorter feedback cycles will help to facilitate quick outcomes. There is no denying the fact that the behavior is directly aligned with the reward. The more an individual is praised, the more he will be motivated to perform better. Therefore, plan accordingly.
Agile and Scrum in Finance Transformation
Among the different subsets and branches in the methodologies of Agile transformation financial services, Scrum deserves notable mention. In this framework, there are three pillars which are transparency, adaptation, and inspection.
Alongside the rules that are aimed at maximizing the delivery efficiency and value, the Scrum framework has three main components viz the scrum events, the scrum team, and the scrum artifacts.
Partnering with IT
An important concept in this kind of setup is that there is a prominent partnership of the finance organizations with the ITs, which helps to make things easier and better. Such collaborative relations can improve the experience for the customers.
Financial Planning and Analysis
In this kind of setup, not much emphasis is laid on the preparation of annual plans and then asking the teams to deliver against the plans. In the Scrum approach, financial planning begins with a plan for the full year. The plan is considered to be a true estimate.
For analysis, the performance is assessed against the plans that had been prepared on a quarterly basis, taking into account the external agents of change such as the market conditions, alterations in the risk profiles, and so on!
As has been mentioned above in the article, the Scrum framework allows the provision for continuous assessment. This makes it easy to assess the rate of improvement or make any changes if the results obtained are not up to the mark.
While using the Scrum framework, an internal audit team is assigned that continuously adapts the decisions on the basis of the knowledge and experiences gathered during a given sprint. This helps in proper planning, makes it easy to identify the risks, and enables ease of testing, reporting, etc.
Finance and Accounting Operations
It was gradually identified that the absence of finance tasks from a company’s backlog was a hindrance for the company. Backlog refers to the tasks that have to be completed. To resolve this, the teams resorted to identifying the activities related to accounting and organizing them by the type of process, such as account reconciliation, reporting, vendor payment, etc.
After this, all the tasks are systematically assigned to the backlog. This helps eliminate the compartmentalization of the tasks assigned to operations and accounting departments.
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The given article, therefore, gives a clear idea about the Agile transformation meaning and how it can enable organizations to perform in a more effective manner, do more work with fewer resources, and provide the best services to the customers. You can opt for a course in Agile transformation financial services to understand how the transformation requires enough support, time, resources, and commitment to make it work.
Therefore, if you are looking for something that can revolutionize how a financial company works, KnowledgeHut CSM certification training will benefit you in becoming an exceptional Scrum master.