Implementation of DevOps and Agile
as part of the tranformation into
a High Performance Organization
Implement an agile way of working across the Rabobank leadership teams, vision teams and application teams in order to choose the right products, reduce the time-to-market for development and reduce the total cost of ownership.
“More focus and collaboration in the value chain shortens
year of foundation
Rabobank is dedicated to being a leading, customer-centric cooperative bank in the Netherlands and a world leader in food and agri banking. Rabobank puts the interests and aspirations of its customers and members first. In the Netherlands, Rabobank’s main focus is on finance and banking for food and agri activities outside the Netherlands. The company’s products should be as simple as possible and fulfill a clear need. The IT organization develops and operates these products in support of this mission.
Rabobank’s ambition is to be a leading, customer-centric cooperative bank in the Netherlands. The key challenges are:
- Organizing excellent IT delivery
- Twice as fast (shorter development cycle times)
- Zero downtime for our customers (incidents in production)
- Transforming into a High Performing Organization
- Only doing the right things (business prioritizes together with
IT and only prioritized work gets done by the DevOps teams)
- Continuous improvement (teams use metrics in order to
- Twice as proud (employee engagement is measured through
an employee Net Promotor Score)
To become a High Performing Organization, Rabobank chose to combine Development and Operations in dedicated teams (DevOps) and to implement an agile way of working within these teams. Quint’s assignment was to implement an agile transformation within the Payments domain of the Rabobank by establishing the right leadership to facilitate DevOps teams in becoming cross-functional autonomous teams.
Quint started with setting up a leadership team (management), two vision teams (lead product manager + Product Owners (POs) from 2 sub-domains) and performing an Agile Maturity Scan of all DevOps teams (prepare phase). This resulted in a current state and desired future state of the Payments domain. Next, a cascade between all team levels (leadership, vision and DevOps teams) was implemented by introducing weekly standups supported by visual management for all teams (transform phase). The leadership decided on their role in supporting the transformation (delegate responsibilities to the DevOps teams). The vision teams created domain visions and product visions and translated them into a prioritized epic backlog. The DevOps teams were coached on how to continuously improve (e.g. team/individual coaching, reducing time spent on non-prioritized work). Finally, at all levels, the teams were doing the standups and coaching sessions by themselves, with Quint only present to coach and help them to become autonomous in their journey (sustain phase).
The leadership team now speaks with one voice, inspires the teams by organizing a domain-wide demo for all teams (including a fun event) and responds within days to impediments coming from any level. The vision teams have clear domain and product visions and prioritize all domain epics on one centralized portfolio board. All the DevOps team adopted an agile way of working; most are using Scrum, some Kanban. Only prioritized epics are being built (doing the right thing) and several impediments to delivery have been solved (shorter cycle times and continuous improvement). Operations work has been mostly standardized and is also prioritized on the product backlog (fewer incidents, less downtime). The Employee Net Promotor score has improved, mainly because team members feel they have more autonomy in their work (are disturbed less) and POs feel they have a stronger mandate in taking decisions.