Agile Operating Model

Wednesday 3rd January 2024

Agile Operating Model

Foundations for communications transformation -  Agile Operating Model

The next in our series of Signal deeper dives into the four capability pillars that FS leaders need to focus on to enable success in communications transformations. Here we focus on the third of those pillars – the importance of an Agile Operating Model.  

An Agile Operating Model brings together CX focus, adaptability, and an ability to manage complexity. And is crucial to enabling the incremental delivery of customer value from complex technology and regulatory change – whilst continuing to deliver communications BAU.  

 Tailoring an Agile Operating Model for Financial Services Communications 

There are six key elements to ensuring your operating model delivers rapid and incremental customer value: 

  1. Form Cross-Functional Teams made up of communications/ CX professionals, Product/ Business stakeholders, Data/IT specialists and Compliance experts. With each team responsible for a specific aspect of customer communications, fostering collaboration and shared accountability. Adopt Scrum to structure workflow with regular ceremonies for sprint planning, stand-ups, and sprint reviews. Regularly reassess priorities basd on business value, regulatory changes, and customer feedback to ensure the team is working on the most impactful tasks. 
  1. Embed a User-Centric Approach with Adaptive planning: Prioritize customer needs by maintaining a focus on critical communications journeys, touchpoints and customer feedback. Regularly solicit input from customers to ensure that communication strategies align with customer preferences and requirements.  Embracing adaptive planning allows the team to respond quickly to changes in product and regulatory requirements or customer needs - use short planning cycles to adjust communication strategies based on real-time information and feedback.
  1. Move to Iterative development lifecycle for communications: Implement iterative development cycles to deliver incremental improvements in communications. Utilise continuous integration and deployment practices to ensure that updates to communication channels can be delivered rapidly and reliably - using automation tools to streamline testing and deployment processes, reducing the time between ideation and implementation. 
  1. Establish Regular Stakeholder Engagement with executives, product teams, IT and the regulator, to provide updates on communication initiatives and gather feedback. With regular reviews to ensure that communication strategies align with organisational goals, regulatory requirements and the wider enterprise technology agenda.
  1. Incorporate Risk Management practices into the Agile operating model to address potential risks early in the communication development process. Regularly assess and reassess risks, adjusting strategies as needed to mitigate potential issues.  
  1. Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of communication initiatives. Regularly analyse and report on these metrics, using the insights gained to make data-driven decisions and continuously improve communication strategies.  

People & skills to make it happen  

To implement an Agile Operating Model for customer communications, teams require the leadership and skills to develop customer first strategy, architect communications process redesigning, and bring knowledge of communications systems that complement/enhance existing tech stacks. And crucially teams need to develop CX and agile competencies through hiring, training & partnerships. And have the autonomy to define the Target Operating Model, with formal decision rights to manage the transition.

The final in our series of blogs exploring the four key pillars behind transformational customer comms can be found here: Performance Management