Agility in the finance sector

Written by  Brian Browne
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Agile software delivery is becoming common practice in many organisations especially where customer demands are changing and speed to react is critical.

An Agile approach enables an organisation to focus on delivering solutions in small incremental chunks selected for the value each provides to the business. No longer are your requirements fixed at the outset of a project - they can flex to embrace change that is inevitable.

However, in an industry increasingly driven by regulation and control, is it practical to introduce Agile principles into financial organisations?

Agility with Control

Our experience is that if you get the balance right between control and flexibility you can achieve substantial gains by introducing Agile approaches. Doing this in environments with strong regulation needs a delivery team that understands where requirements need to be fixed and where they can be flexed.

However tight the process, there's always room for Agility. In fact, we have found that having some rigid requirements can help to provide a central framework around which the more flexible elements can be built. The regulatory and compliance requirements are easy to prioritise as "Must Haves". Auditing requirements can even be considered as non-functional, and can be dealt with in a similar way to performance and availability requirements - essential to agree and specify in any technology development, Agile or otherwise.

How users access information, interpret Management Information, navigate through reporting and analytical screens for example, area all candidates for an Agile development approach. Key Agile principles such as time-boxing, not compromising quality, lean documentation and frequent exposure of the solution to the business, all help to expedite delivery, only deliver what is necessary, and overall, reduce the risk of project failure or overspend.

In an industry with an increased emphasis on regulation and an increasing number of new controls, Agile can provide the platform to both implement new rules quickly and enable your organisation to deliver new products and services to the market while others are slower to react using traditional approaches.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to talk further about our experience of getting Agile working where regulation rules. With our knowledge of regulatory, compliance and audit requirements in the finance sector, combined with our knowledge and experience of Agile approaches Wisereach can help you exploit the advantages of Agile in your organisation.