A $9B agile program: Kaching and the CBA journey 2011-14
In 2011 Commbank committed to pilot agile on an experimental payments program that would fail fast. Its first release delivered neither advertised customer experience nor internal business commitments. Business and tech execs were ropeable and disagreed hard on what to do about it.
We'd promoted this program called "Kaching" as the flagship of Agile in the bank. If we did as the business wanted and returned it to Waterfall, the agile transformation would be set back years. And as CBA's first Enterprise-Agile Coach I'd trained Kaching's delivery team myself. If this ball was dropped, I'd wear it, and deservedly so.
So I wound up seconded to the program for the next year and a half. I assembled case-study data on every release and until now I've sat on that data. With most of the Aussie banks wandering in the agile wilderness however, this stuff is all too timely. It's a classic study of how agile goes wrong in an Aussie bank, and how to set it right again.
Most of the challenges we faced on Kaching had less to do with Agile delivery than Agile Product Management. The contract with external Design consultancies left no room for collaboration with the bank's internal delivery streams. The product management hierarchy saw no reason the program should deviate from specs. A dozen layers of legacy made an immovable tech bottleneck. And everyone was blaming everyone else. CBA's Program Steering Group had Kaching marked dripping-red.
Yet within three months this same program went green across the board in PSG - the first in the bank to ever do so. It stayed that way for the next year too. After twelve months it won a dozen external product awards and the CBA Group CIO award for best program in the bank. The next year the AFR reported Kaching as a digital channel worth $9 Billion.
In 2013 this commercial success influenced Group CIO Michael Harte to declare, "Agile has become one of the five pillars of this bank's future". And a few months later Kaching was renamed "The CBA Mobile App" and remains the bank's principal digital channel today.
Meanwhile Agile Product Management has become a burning platform around the world. The breadth-first product management pattern language we pioneered on Kaching has found its way into Deutsche, RBS, ING, ESI, Bank of America, and large and small agile programs around the world.
Pirate Canvas, Behavior Mapping, Business Bingo, Release Refactoring, Leadership as a Service, 3D Kanban and Product Squads aren't agile mainstream yet. But they're well on the way because they're easy, effective and really reliable. So this session isn't just war stories, but a how-to you can apply in any agile value stream.
Outline/Structure of the Keynote
10 minutes numeric case study of the history of Kaching in CBA 2011-13.
10 minutes on Product Squads & Leadership as a Service.
10 minutes on Pirate Canvas
10 minutes on Behavior Mapping
10 minutes on Business BIngo and Release Refactoring
10 minutes Q&A
The session will provide insights into breadth-first agile product management, de-scaling metrics, and how to discover and open bottlenecks in the flow of learnings in large organizations.
Business, Design and Technical Leaders, Execs, Managers, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, RTEs, VSEs ...
Prerequisites for Attendees
It's not a pre-requisite, but it's helpful to view the brief "Principles of Agile Organization" videos here.