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IT Transformation at Asia Commercial Bank (ACB)

The journey from a top bank to a modern Fintech – Dragonboat enables digital and agile transformation for ACB, a prominent bank in Asia.

ACB is a top bank headquartered in Vietnam. Its 10,000+ employees provide a full suite of banking, lending and investment products to millions of individual and business customers.

The ACB’s IT organization led by the CIO is responsible for both internal applications, and the digital product suite for its customers. These products include online banking, mobile banking, and many underlying platforms.

To keep up with the rapidly evolving needs of ACB’s customers and businesses, the CIO brought sweeping changes to all aspects of their operations, including moving to the cloud, adopting agile development, and transforming from a ticketing / project based approach to a customer focused product portfolio approach.

The ACB’s IT organization led by the CIO is responsible for both internal applications, and the digital product suite for its customers. These products include online banking, mobile banking, and many underlying platforms.

To keep up with the rapidly evolving needs of ACB’s customers and businesses, the CIO brought sweeping changes to all aspects of their operations, including moving to the cloud, adopting agile development, and transforming from a ticketing / project based approach to a customer focused product portfolio approach.

The challenge

The bank’s IT department needed a platform for all of their transformation portfolio from projects to products and from on-prem legacy systems to digital and cloud first.

Their executive leadership committed to the necessary culture changes, expanded their product management team and had their IT engineers complete agile training; however, at a high level, the tasks were daunting with many moving pieces and a lot of ideas and opinions.

In addition to the initiatives to move to the cloud and upgrade technology stacks, the IT department was supporting various requests from internal customers – the business teams. Previously these internal requests were submitted as tickets captured in their ITSM system. Some of these requests were task based such as turning on access permission for a new hire, but many were feature requests, such as adding new features to their online banking product. The IT department was facing large inbound requests that were beyond their capacity.

Additionally, since the feature requests were coming in from multiple sources, handling these requests individually did not enable holistic designs for customer experience nor scalable platforms for reusable code.

The IT leaders needed the right tool to strategize, align, execute and iterate on initiatives for all of its product and project portfolios.

After assessing several PPM tools and ITSM tools, the team chose Dragonboat, a Responsive Portfolio Product platform, to be part of its overall tool stack integrated with their existing team tool (Jira) and various reporting systems.

Transformation requires tools built for the new way of working. Traditional tools are built upon traditional methodologies that the transformation is meant to change. Dragonboat is built to enable the product portfolio best practices adopted in the most innovative companies in the Silicon Valley.

– CIO, ACB

With Dragonboat as Mission Control for Transformation

The IT department uses Dragonboat as their mission control to align transformation goals, strategies and execution for both internal and external stakeholders and the agile teams.

First, the teams started with building the dimensions (aka buckets) of their IT portfolios. The roadmaps represent the areas of changes, the transformational goals represent the type of outcomes, and the themes reflect the type of initiatives. These dimensions help the IT leaders and their stakeholders evaluate opportunities from business, customer, and organization perspectives and allocate resources accordingly. Based on the progress and outcome, leaders adjust allocations over time to prioritize holistically across the portfolio.

As new requests or ideas come up, they are put into these portfolio buckets for prioritization. Requests in the same buckets can be quantitatively prioritized against one another. Once a roadmap is in motion, when a new request comes in, the leads can easily see what other initiatives the team is working on and model out trade-off scenarios to decide whether or not to add the new request with minimal impact to the current roadmap.

Being able to see requests from different business teams in one product area helps the IT department design a more holistic user experience, as well as launch new features in a coordinated way together with the go to market teams.

In addition to planning and tracking feature requests from the business units, Dragonboat is also their source of truth to track all IT sponsored technology roadmaps, many of which are carried out by other vendors.

Through the Dragonboat expert team, the bank’s entire product and IT leadership team took the Responsive Portfolio Product Management (Responsive PPM) Essential training and certification to expand their knowledge of becoming agile leaders and running a responsive organization.

Each individual teams use Dragonboat to manage their own roadmaps. They also have easy visibility across the portfolio. Visibility via Dragonboat helps the teams to break the silos between agile teams and facilitates collaboration, which is essential in spotting potential dependencies and impacts from one area to another.

With Dragonboat, the IT department can easily create various dashboards and reports for their stakeholders. The culture of transparency and alignment is further enforced when the teams use Dragonboat to create dashboards for their Board of Directors on the state of the IT portfolio and progress of transformational goals.

“Agility relies on the speed and quality of information needed for decisions. Dragonboat is our Mission Control providing transparency for managers and executives on what’s happening on the ground. So they can make better decisions when changes or new ideas come up. We now have half of the meetings we used to have and everyone is better informed than ever before.”

Lead IT Product Manager

Key Takeaway:

Transformation is not a one-time event. Every organization is continuously transforming how to complete work and what products to build. Dragonboat enables a flexible structure that adapts to the evolution of team structures and strategic goals.

The CIO and their leadership teams, as well as their stakeholders, now have a platform to tie everything together – from prioritization, to resource and release planning, to progress visibility, and stakeholder communication.

“In addition to having an easy-to-use platform, the webinars from the Dragonboat team are forward-thinking and invaluable for our continued improvements on building products and servicing our customers.”

Lead IT Product Manager

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