Applying Agile Methodology for Wealth Management Software Release

As the industry is experiencing a growing emphasis on speed to market and cost reduction, financial institutions today are focusing on technology enhancement and accelerated software delivery as strategic directions for business improvement and expansion. The following case study will examine a recent Navigant project in which a wealth management software platform was successfully implemented utilizing Agile SDLC methodology.

Challenge

Our client, a leading wealth management advisor in the U.S., engaged Navigant to assist in a firm-wide technology deployment process and change management initiative to improve quality, performance, and risk management. The client requested assistance to improve process implementation in six different workstreams with an overall enhanced program management structure.

The client faced significant pre-planning challenges to meet milestone timelines and task deadlines. Our team was engaged because of our strong heritage in the wealth management area and our understanding of the role that technology enhancements play in this highly competitive area of financial services.

Solution

The Navigant team quickly and seamlessly integrated with the client’s implementation team to define a program management governance structure for each workstream as well as regular project reporting requirements. Navigant’s industry expertise in Agile methodologies allowed the team to push software development in a timely manner. The team designed executive, program, and workstream-level reporting “dashboards," and a dependency matrix for the overall program to keep track of inter-workstream dependencies. Additionally, Navigant designed a fast lane calculator to determine which software delivery tracks were to be accelerated, and an automated Gantt chart to track high-level delivery items for executive reporting. The Navigant team also developed an automated defect- and issue-tracking dashboard. The team applied Agile Project Management Office ("PMO") methodologies to implement a new delivery and change management process to enhance software delivery throughout the wealth management organization. These tasks included:

  • Facilitating and leading weekly meetings with the entire project management office
  • Working with individual project managers in order to develop sound reporting methodologies
  • Increasing visibility into individual workstreams via different reporting methods
  • Coordinating inter-workstream dependencies to optimize delivery of different initiatives
  • Socializing results with senior leadership and obtained approval
  • Leading the technology improvement workstreams for test data and a vendor implementation
  • Developing a software platform that provides regular feedback to allow for flexible adjustments during process development and ability to adapt to new requirements using Agile methodologies vs. Waterfall procedures
  • Assisting workstream leaders in creating Work In Progress metrics through flow diagrams and control charts to identify bottlenecks and meet task deadlines

Impact

Navigant improved accountability and transparency within the client’s teams by implementing Agile SDLC methodology. This included managing individual sprints and integrating leadership and product managers to help define and finalize high-priority features for inclusion. The Navigant team streamlined application development, testing, and change deployment processes by providing PMO support to implement a “Change and Release” orchestration tool, including an automated in-house ticket generating system for change management across the organization. Navigant created an integrated roadmap detailing all phases involved in implementation of the tool. To improve accountability and transparency of the different teams involved, Navigant experts implemented Agile SDLC methodology for the development of this tool.

SDLC Agile Methodology

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