An insider‘s view and experience report on the journey of ING Bank to ‘agilize’ Business planning and Portfolio Management: In a VUCA world, how does a big and complex organisation like ING align on valuable outcome? How is Enterprise Architecture planning integrated? How do the ‘Quarterly Business Planning Process’ and the ‘Obeya’ concept support planning and tracking? What is the role of Leadership? We will explain key concepts from ING’s One Agile Way of Working and share experiences and lessons learned in ING‘s IT and non-IT departments.
Target Audience: Manager, Executive, Transformation Lead, Agile Coaches, Product Owners
In 2015, ING Bank in the Netherlands changed overnight into an agile enterprise. This transformation was the first systemic agile transformation in the financial industry. The transformation process saw many ups and downs, yet was overall successful and inspired ING to adopt a “One Agile Way of Work” for the entire worldwide organization.
Within this One Agile Way of Working, successful (delivery) alignment is crucial. We will share our insider’s perspective on the agile governance structure that ING adopted, and what we are learning to continue to further ‘agilize’ our (delivery) alignment dialogue in teams, organizations, and between organizational entities.
We will explain how ING’s “QBR process” drives vertical and horizontal alignment in pursue of the company's strategy. QBR stands for ‘Quarterly Business Planning’ and is a cyclic 3 month process. It includes a review of full business & IT scope of organisational units (operations & change) with focus on the activities that each unit plans to deliver to meet corporate priorities.
ING has developed specific agile organizational designs for delivery, sales, services and support. We will explain how Obeya’ s are used in all environments to plan, monitor and drive progress during a quarter. The ‘Obeya’ concept originated in the Toyota Lean thinking and became an essential ceremony in ING’s Agile WOW. Leadership teams of all these organizational entities meet in specially designed rooms, in a kind of ‘leadership stand-up’, to align on delivery and related organizational coaching. The Obeya sessions actively connect the delivery goals from the QBR process with actual performance data on actual results achieved. It requires focused attention and coaching to help senior leadership to get a deep understanding of the Obeya approach. Such intrinsic adoption is required to enable them to authentically coach the organization (humble leadership) towards a learning environment.
We will continue our session by sharing insights on how we have learned the hard way what it takes for a leadership team and the organization(s) they lead, to structure an effective and efficient enterprise performance and delivery dialogue. Communication on strategy and goals, on progress and (especially) impediment support-requests need to flow freely and fast between all levels of an organization. All functional areas should collaborate on planning, which, in a big enterprise like ING, can be quite a challenge… We will share our experience with structuring effective Obeya environments to facilitate continuous planning alignment between Business, Enterprise Architecture, IT, Delivery- and Support-units. We will put special emphasis on the challenges to keep these agile concepts and processes working effectively over time. Especially the required mindset and behavior to have a transparent and (thus) effective dialogue on removing organizational impediments requires constant focus.
As we are looking forward to learn from other environments, we will end our session with a facilitated Q&A session.
Annemiek and Eric are members of ING’s Agile Coaches Obeya Expert Group and develop and specify alignment tools and techniques within ING’s One Agile Way of Work model. They both actively coach (senior/executive) leadership teams in running effective Obeya sessions and related agile governance ceremonies. Annemiek brings to the presentation coaching experience of COO executives. Eric's insights are based on a long history of international (program) governance experience in (mostly) IT environments. Eric participates in the focus group ‘Supporting Agile Adoption’ of the Agile Alliance.