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More Wins More Often with Agile

As a Top 10 U.S. financial institution in today’s on-demand, customer-centric market, this bank realized the need to deliver differentiating value to customers faster than ever before. It knew it had to evolve the way it brought products and services to customers—delivering the right things at the right time and anticipating customers’ needs.

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Top 10 U.S. Financial Institution
Summa Services:

The Opportunity

Leaders saw an immediate opportunity to introduce transformational change in order to:

  • Reduce the time it takes to get new features in the hands of customers.
  • Deepen their customer and employee engagement to deliver products that delight.
  • Empower cross-functional teams to evolve designs, architecture and technologies to enable scalability and enhance solution delivery.
  • Speed realization of benefits from technology investments.
  • Apply lean systems thinking to both their software development practices and supporting organizational processes.

The Approach

Summa partnered with the client to usher in new organizational agility. We stood up small cross-functional teams focused on improving collaboration and delivery. At the same time, the project team drove the larger enterprise transformation through training, strategy workshops and focused program and team level coaching.



  • Trained executive and program leadership on organizational agility and agile fundamentals.
  • Trained teams on agile fundamentals and scrum.
  • Trained the business stakeholders on agile fundamentals and the role and responsibilities of a product owner.
  • Trained project leaders in the role of a servant leader and the mechanics of managing an agile project.

Team Structure

  • Launched cross-functional agile delivery teams quickly to establish measurable, repeatable wins.

Program Execution

  • Established alignment across stakeholders, introduced a cadence for re-evaluating goals and priorities through program-level (“Big Room”) planning sessions.

Continuous Improvement

  • Facilitated and coached team and program-level “inspect and adapt” sessions to foster a culture of continuous improvement.


  • Facilitated prioritization sessions with business and technology stakeholders to ensure maximum business impact while minimizing the amount of effort expended.


  • Implemented team and program-level metrics to drive transparency, accountability and program effectiveness.

The Results

The bank is now well-positioned to deliver incremental value to its customers at a pace that is both sustainable and reflective of consumer expectations. Beyond the mechanics of Agile software development, the broader goal was to move towards organizational agility, enabling the financial institution to better engage with and delight its customers. Small cross-functional agile teams now deliver functionality that provides value to customers—they don’t simply create technology components. The client is realizing numerous downstream benefits

  • Customer feedback integrated into the product development life cycle in weeks rather than months.
  • Business engaged throughout the product development life cycle to bolster shared understanding/delivery.
  • Feature functionality delivered to production within the first 90 days rather than the historical average of 12-18 months.
  • Realized financial and soft benefits much faster with the incremental release of feature functionality.
  • Frequency and on-time delivery of releases increased dramatically.
  • Planning is more collaborative and predictability improved by building realistic plans.

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