Sam is putting the power of transformation into everyone’s hands

If you could understand exactly what you needed to do every day, would that make your life easier? What if you had the freedom to decide exactly how to make something happen or knew exactly who to ask for help if you weren’t sure? It sounds great right? But getting people on the same page can be hard. Now picture doing that in a global organisation of more than 90,000 people. Impossible?

Not according to Sam, our Global Head of Engagement for Agile Services. She’s spent the last 18 months helping people across the bank unlock the potential that comes when you truly work with agility.

It’s about the results

“Agile is really a noun that describes a lot of different ways of working. We try to focus on the word ‘agility’. Technically that means maximising value by optimising flow. In reality, it’s about being able to respond to changes at the right time and get stuff from one end of the system to the other as effectively as possible.”

Improving agility looks very different depending on the team. Sometimes it’s thinking about problems in a different way. Sometimes it’s changing how you communicate within your team. It could even be a physical solution, such as pair programming where two developers work from the same computer.

It’s an idea that’s becoming the norm here. More and more teams are embracing techniques that help them work together more effectively and make ideas happen even quicker. Some of the bank’s leading technology teams such as dbPalace have seen huge improvements since adoption and it’s not just technology. Agility is an important topic for our traders too, where key elements can improve the way we trade and help build stronger relationships with clients.

Helping people help themselves

Sam is part of a small team proving just how much small teams can achieve when they work together in the right way.

“You can’t just take a team, sit them together and say, “hey, by the way, you’ve not optimised your delivery” - because everything we do connects to a multitude of different teams and different groups” she says.

The team focus on giving people the tools to make their own changes. They’ve created the ‘Agility Guild’ that is home to different techniques and processes and where people can share what they’ve learned or ask colleagues for help. They recently launched a ‘train the trainer’ programme across the multiple countries which means there are 100 people globally and counting able to train their colleagues in improving agility.

“In an organisation this size it’s easy to want change but feel like it’s impossible. We’re tackling the factors that make change feel impossible.”

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