Fortune 500 Bank reduces quarterly planning from weeks to days

Summary: This is a case study on how a Fortune 500 Bank with 10s of thousands of product and engineering team adopts Dragonboat to achieve visibility, alignment and autonomy and fosters an outcome-driven transformation.

One of the top 5 banks in the United States was struggling with strategic alignment and visibility, especially as its business was growing both organically and via Mergers and Acquisition (“M&A”). They sought a comprehensive portfolio management solution to enhance collaboration and streamline outcomes. 

After trying many platforms and tools including Jira Align, the bank’s team finally found Dragonboat. Within a few weeks, some teams already started using Dragonboat for outcome-focused roadmapping while keeping the rest of the engineering process intact.

“With Dragonboat, quarterly planning has gone from weeks to days (for my business unit). PMs no longer feel stressed out prior to the business reviews. They now feel confident knowing the data is correct and in one place. So we can actually have productive discussions to solve actual product and business challenges.”

The Challenges

The bank has dozens of portfolios and thousands of product teams with various ways of working. In particular, the bank faces some common challenges of a large product organization. 

  1. Visibility of the product portfolio across various business units for fast decision making
  2. Multiple business units working in different ways; want to align goals and strategies while still allowing for autonomy
  3. Need an effective way to enable strategic plan of enterprise-level initiatives propagated to team roadmaps for context
  4. Achieve visibility across disparate systems which, while essential, have complicated workflows, extensive manual reporting, and inhibited productivity and collaboration
  5. Enhance visibility and upward communication across the portfolio

Leadership wanted to keep autonomy and creativity, while at the same time, achieve a concerted movement towards vision and strategies. To achieve this, the bank embarked on an enterprise-wide transformation from project to product, and output to outcome.

Choosing the Right Platform: the Decision-Making Process

The teams were using Jira Premium and Confluence to manage and communicate their own goals and work, but there was no solution to build roadmaps across portfolios and connect outputs and outcomes.

The company had been looking for an integrated system that included ideation, planning, and cross-team tracking and alignment. After trying a variety of tools including Jira Align, it became evident that they needed a platform that enables alignment on both goals and strategies, with autonomy on how teams work across the enterprise (without forcing how teams operate day-to-day). 

After extensive research, Dragonboat was a clear choice for strategic alignment, enhanced collaboration, and improved quarterly product planning. And equally important, was the ability to enable alignment while preserving autonomy.

Rolling Out Dragonboat

Adopting Dragonboat required no changes to their current engineering process. Dragonboat and the bank’s transformation leadership team aligned on an agile rollout practice, and the roll out for each portfolio took only a few weeks at a time. 

Dragonboat allowed them to connect with their existing engineering tool (Jira) but provided them an extra layer for alignment, collaboration, and planning. The additional Responsive PPM training also helped their product teams adjust to the outcome-focused practice.

“We’ve been leading a project to product, output to outcome focused transformation in the last a few years. Teams are gradually moving towards the right direction, but we don’t have the tools to support our enterprise. Jira Align is too restrictive on how our teams want to work. We don’t want to disrupt engineering teams’ existing process and practice.“

The Results

“With Dragonboat, quarterly planning has gone from weeks to days (for my business unit). PMs no longer feel stressed out prior to the business reviews. They now feel confident knowing the data is correct and in one place. So we can actually have productive discussions to solve actual product and business challenges.”

 With Dragonboat, hundreds of product teams at the Fortune 500 Bank accelerated their transformation from project to product and output to outcome by: 

  • Enabling clear visualization between the work teams were doing and strategic objectives that the work is driving
  • Providing the ability to manage cross-team dependencies to plan and deliver with confidence that was previously not possible
  • Facilitating top-down alignment by seamlessly integrating strategic planning and cross-portfolio management 
  • Empowering operational autonomy at the portfolio level for multiple business units that allowed individual teams to make independent decisions while staying aligned to strategic objectives and priorities
  • Reducing manual reporting efforts through automatic stakeholder reports
  • Aligning OKRs with outcomes and product management to track, measure, and align strategic roadmaps to enable teams to stay on track towards achieving goals 
  • Increasing adoption of OKR practice as more advanced portfolio leads were able to showcase and share best practices with other portfolios
  • Promoting transparency through self-serve reporting capabilities, streamlining how teams access and share progress, insights, and updates across the organization

By accomplishing these key achievements, Dragonboat has brought about a transformational impact, aligning teams, enhancing autonomy, fostering a culture of outcomes, streamlining reporting processes, and providing a trusted and centralized platform for roadmap planning and tracking.

Benefits Achieved

  • Better risk management with portfolio wide visibility by connecting the work from the backlog up, linking dependencies and having a singular source-of-truth view of the portfolio health.
  • Faster and better decisions by reducing tool sprawl and having one integrated system for autonomous product teams to take an outcome-driven approach while enabling enterprise-wide visibility in multiple dimensions.
  • Improved product and outcome delivery through integrated data, from strategic initiatives to stories, predictive forecasting, and effective cross-team dependency planning and tracking. Bottlenecks are identified early and risks mitigated quickly.

“It’s been a great partnership with the Dragonboat team. We now have an effective tool stack for outcome focused roadmapping, portfolio management platform via seamless integration with agile delivery platform (Jira), streamlining collaboration and better decisions with a source of truth for all levels."

Want to learn more about how Dragonboat helps your product organizations to deliver more value faster and enable alignment, visility and autonomy? Contact us for a personalized demo. 

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