"CommBank is a jetski"
Senior Mobile Product Owner
Digital Channels, Retail Banking Services
"Agile is ingrained in our culture now, because we’re passionate about rapidly delivering results and responding to market needs. The market changes faster than you can plan for, as do the needs of customers. Working in an Agile way enables us to quickly make decisions – far more so than with traditional project methodology. It’s like comparing an oil tanker and a jetski. With Agile innovation, CommBank is a jetski."
Rapidly developed in response to a fundamental market need, the CommBank Small Business app is a great example of innovation. Tu, Executive Manager for Small Business Digital Channels, discusses how – and why – the bank tackled the challenges:
“This all came about through observation and listening to our customers. We discovered a way to improve the lives of our customers when we saw that a lot of our mobile business customers didn't have an efficient way of issuing invoices. Some also struggled with accepting payments. So for example, if I’m a locksmith at your house, creating a paper invoice when I’ve finished the work, then having to chase the customer for payment at a later date isn’t very efficient.
“We asked, what if we could give our small mobile businesses the ability to generate invoices on the road. How could we save them time and effort so that they can focus on what they’re passionate about?”
The key to making it work internally, said Tu, was not only to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, but also “getting everyone to buy into our clear vision”.
“The vision of this project was critical. It meant everyone who participated could see how and why it benefited our customers, and whenever we came across a challenge we could always refer to our vision - the true north for the project.
“For example, we believed that every small business customer should have the ability to put BPAY on their invoices and that every business who signed up to the service would have it built in. This potentially had a big impact on the BPAY product team, however they understood our vision and the customer benefit. So together we collaborated to work through the technical, process and business challenges and ended up building a whole new set of processes to make this work. They went out of their way to help realise this great customer experience.”
In the end the app went from concept to release with an incredibly short turnaround time. “For me it was a magical moment to see this app released to the market. It was a very involved project, but it gave me a huge sense of pride and achievement, knowing this will have a massive impact on the lives of our small business customers. I can look back and say ‘wow!’, I’ve had a great time working on this and so many people have benefited.”
Executive Manager, Digital Channels Small Business, Retail Banking Services