How agile methodology helps BAC Credomatic focus on its customers

Adopting agile management has helped the bank's digital teams become more motivated, productive, and customer-centric

February 2, 2018

Everybody wants to be agile. José Manuel Páez certainly does; he’s responsible for the continuous improvement of BAC Credomatic’s digital financial services across its Central American client base. He explains how agile management is changing the culture at the bank, and how agile’s ideology of continuous feedback and iterative improvement is bringing BAC Credomatic closer to its customers than ever before. We have two more videos about BAC Credomatic, on the bank’s social media strategy for building relationships, and the regulatory challenges of innovating across six different jurisdictions.

World Finance: First, what benefits has agile methodology brought to your digital development?

José Manuel Páez: Well I would say that it’s definitely brought flexibility, and it’s forced us to prioritise. So before we used to work with large projects and rigid requirements; and now we just focus on what’s important in order to deliver a minimum viable product that actually reaches the market faster.

So it has helped our teams become highly motivated and more productive.

World Finance: How is this changing the culture at BAC Credomatic?

José Manuel Páez: For one, we stop thinking about projects, and we started thinking about deliverables. So, all the metrics and structures around projects have been changed. And since we’re focusing on adding value to the customer, it has actually promoted a can-do attitude. And it has really moved us towards becoming a more customer-centric organisation.

World Finance: How is your human resource function having to adapt to this new way of working?

José Manuel Páez: Agile is about having self-managed teams, and having different roles in them. So, HR has really played an important part in defining these roles around the product owner or the scrum master; roles that didn’t exist before. So, the compensation schemes, the career progression around these roles have had to be built.

I would say that the biggest impact that we’ve experienced, and will continue to experience in the future, is that the organisation becomes flatter.

World Finance: Ultimately it is all about improving things for your customers, so how do you make sure you get their feedback, and that you’re moving in the right direction?

José Manuel Páez: This is something that we’ve tried to institutionalise in all of our markets: user testing and user research. So, we go out there and talk to the client at least twice a week. And this has been great, because you can do it either with very low fidelity prototypes – it can be a sketch or just a drawing. Or more sophisticated, clickable prototypes – and that’s depending on the stage of advancement of that deliverable.

But at the end it’s about getting that feedback, and understanding how the customer perceives our products. And being able to change or improve them before they actually reach the market.

Becoming agile definitely implies a transformation in the way we work. And right now I feel that we are closer than ever to our customers, and we’re delivering top of the line experiences. So that is definitely the future for BAC Credomatic.