Role: Standards Manager

  • Client: National Australia Bank
  • Date: 2010-Present

NAVIGATE is the Continuous Improvement Program for Wholesale Banking of National Australia Bank. Stephan was part of the instantiation of this group and is responsible for "Inspiring" the internal communities to increase productivity and quality for the IT Service Delivery.

This program is highly succesful with 20% of all employees participating (Instant adoption!), delivering many productivity improvements like 6% across all developers, reducing testing efforts from 4 weeks to 4 hours for certain project, introducing Continuous Delivery patterns and Agile methodology across the business unit and beyond, to just name a few.

More achievements

NAVIGATE is the Continuous Improvement program of Wholesale Banking Technology department within National Australia Bank. Stephan was the first strategist to join this team to implement a bottom-up approach, rather than the traditional bottom-down approach where standards are put onto people.

The situation was that the previous standards group was dismantled and a new group was created to take its place. The then appointment manager did a presentation where he was asking for peoples input on how to "do it differently". Stephan, having worked on process improvement intensively at LogicaCMG, put his hand up and presented his views. Having less luck with the previous standards group, the new manager seemed to have more of an open mind for good reasons and hired Stephan for his team on the spot.

His goal was to setup and maintain a successful Process Improvement Infrastructure (PII) where a culture of continuous improvement was to be created.

He had the opportunity to start a green field approach to process improvement by selecting tools and processes that would be far more agile and lean then seen before in other organisations. He had plenty of inspiration from frameworks like Kaizen, Six Sigma, Lean start up, etc, but was amazed by the lack of technology tools to support process improvement programs. A temporary infrastructure based on SP2007 was setup, but lacking many fundamental features like history, audit trails and it created a maintenance nightmare in terms of useability to keep it up to date.

It didn't stop to become huge success though. Two and a half year into the program, it has reached a 20% participation rate, has delivered over a 100 improvements, each ranging from tiny to gigantic in terms of effort and in delivered value.

Process Improvements (Theory):

The achievements include (but are not limited to):

  • Introduction to Agile in software delivery within the enterprise context. These results were presented at "Agile Australia".
  • Introduction of Continuous Delivery practices including security architecture sign-off for automated deployments all the way into production.
  • Agile progress tracking tools evaluation
  • Method Selection Guide (Industry Leading!!)
  • Know where to store and find information by implementing a consistent knowledge look and feel across all Assets.

Implementated on projects (practice):

The improved practices are adopted by many teams which resulted in the achievements below (again, not limited to):

  • Reduction of test time from 4 weeks to 4 hours. Not to speak of their decreased time to market!
  • Reduction of number of high severity incidents by 60%.
  • Bringing project environment start up from 3 months down to less than a day.
  • Implemented self-service provisioning across all 43 environments for the Calypso team.
  • The SCM Migration delivered significant yearly license saving and extra speed for developers: Developer integration time from 30+ minutes down to 30 seconds and an impressive 6% time waste removal across all 125 Developers
  • The RDM team reduced package build times from 3 hours to 15 minutes.
  • GMM deployment down from 4 hours to 40 minutes
  • Diversification, eChannels, Agile VaR, are high profile project that used the NAVIGATE Improvements to deliver on time, under budget.
  • New source control has meant: "more responsive IDE", "happier devs", "more time in the 'flow' "
  • Migration of our large dev projects off ClearCase and onto Git has boosted productivity by 15 - 30 minutes per developer per day, decreased the turn-around time getting code changes built and deployed to test by several minutes per build, and greatly improved the morale and engagement level of the development team

Stephan managed to inspire the internal communities to keep improving their processes even through tough times of restructuring. He implemented a peer training structure that reduced training cost considerably and increased training hours with some months peaking to 1000 hours! He implemented a reward and recognition strategy and made sure all credit kept flowing on to the people doing the work and delivering the improvements.

Continue reading: Stephan's portfolio

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