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    5 steps for agile transformation in financial companies

    Everyone at least once heard about Agile. You may not know all the details, but we can say for sure that this framework and its practices are practically everywhere. Or not? What about your company? As the annual VersioneOne poll says, 75% of world companies using Agile are not from the IT-sphere.

    Finance companies always chase trends, keep an eye on innovations, and apply them on time. We can say from our practice that banks, insurance and other financial companies are the first to implement new things.

    What challenges do they face?

    They all manage huge amounts of data – starting from personal data and ending billion transactions. Shit happens when no knowledge management system occurs. This leads to service problems while working online, or by phone, or using an ATM.

    As one of the main Agile thesis states, being ready for changes is more important than doing everything according to plan.

    And if you work in one constant rhythm for years and even decades, in which every team member works in only one sphere he knows backward and forward, and he is the only one who can arrange super important issues, and keeps the solutions locked behind seven seals, this will get you only so far.

    And it turns out that all gained experience and knowledge are accessible to only a few.

    A proper system of knowledge management will solve this problem. It collects all the company’s information and experience. Make knowledge the main asset of the company and accessible at the right place and at the right time.

    This problem leads to another one: how to increase customer service level?

    You can do this with Service Desk, which simplifies the work of IT and customer service teams, and this means your customers and you as a business owner can breathe again.

    The main goal of a service desk is to become a Single Point of Contact between customers and service providers. You need it if:

    • The number of customer requests grows
    • There is no center to coordinate the work of many departments, as well as
    • There is no statistics or reports of all requests, work log and solution quality

    The Service Desk service forms the dream team in which everyone knows not only all the answers but can also react to the incidents on time.

    As a result, the quality of customer service grows, especially if the company has several offices in different regions. IT infrastructure security also rises, and expenses decrease, and it’s possible to forecast them.

    How can we help fintech companies with Atlassian tools and ITSM and Agile practices?

    To stand still on the market, fintech companies chase the one goal: be more open, transparent, robust, and hardly integrated into customers’ lives.

    According to our experience, we know that the work of every team in a fintech company can be optimized with the help of specialized software and basic Agile and ITSM Processes Integration.

    1.   Integrate knowledge management system

    Fintech companies need it first for the IT department to keep their knowledge, share it in the department, and collaborate on the technical documentation and information security. For better knowledge management we provide Confluence Knowledge base integration as one of ITSM \ ITIL practices.

    Though it isn’t enough just to install Confluence, it’s also essential to teach people how to use it. We provide training sessions for users and admins, in which we teach them how to:

    • Navigate in Confluence hierarchy
    • Manage tasks in Confluence, create and edit documents
    • Organize all information and knowledge into effective structures
    • Improve level of productivity and increase Confluence reliability

    As a result, all teams and departments in the company keep all the gained knowledge and use it. Effective Knowledge Base lets the organization resolve a growing number of incidents faster, which is important for the fintech company of this level.

    2.   Customize Confluence

    As a separate tool, Confluence is good on its own, but it isn’t a universal solution for every business. In this case, we do Confluence customization so that it can fit to the client’s needs.

    Atlassian based apps & add-on custom development on Java and JS solves the problem of showing the data about organizational structure and charts online.

    How does it work?

    Addon is integrated within Active Directory of the company to receive all data from it. Active Directory is a server which collects all information about staff, their positions, their organizational structure, emails, phone numbers, etc. In such way the company got:

    • All data monitoring via charts in Confluence
    • Possibility to check all organizational information online and in one place.
    • Information filtration. We added filters that allow checking data of a certain department.

    As a result, the functionality of addon allows the company to get all necessary information online from corporate ldap-server, visualize corporate organizational structures – organizational charts, and use them on Confluence pages. In two words, now the company has all needed data on hand.

    3.   Implement Service Desk

    Fintech companies often face the problem of how to maintain a high level of support services in every area and cope with fast growth of customer requests.

    We provide Jira Service Desk integration service in the way that the company can maintain faster customer requests service, and of high quality:

    • Create and adjust Service Desk portal with user friendly forms of requests
    • Set up incidents escalation to make it possible to solve requests in time by increasing the staff capabilities, level of effort and priority meant to solve them.
    • Add SLA (Service Level Agreement) and reports.

    This functionality lets the customers and manager officers see the whole picture: they can control requests and see the steps of processing the requests, monitoring how SLAs are carried out. Using basic ITIL practices of incident management and Agile, we helped the company to increase the transparency of work, and therefore the level of customer satisfaction.

    Building Agile Teams and encouraging them to use Agile frameworks is really important for fintech companies. It brings the company strict structure of work, divides big projects into small pieces of work and visualizes the workflow, involving people from different teams and increasing quality and general transparency of work, and allowing regular product releases.

    4.   Collecting all instances into single goer

    If the company already uses some of Atlassian products like Jira, Confluence, or Bitbucket on server, we provide:

    • Merge of all Jira instances into one Jira Server;
    • Server or Cloud Migration of all projects and users, workflows and tickets.

    As a result, the company gets one single working Jira instance which unites the work of all departments, so that all working processes are synchronized, allowing staff to react to incidents faster and raise the customer satisfaction level.

    5.   Implement the change control system

    The next step is to create a whole change control system. Changing control management is a formal process which guarantees that all product or system changes are under control and coordinated.

    Difficult working processes in organizations are always changing. That’s why it’s important for every company to control these changes, meaning documents.

    Using Jira Service Desk for change control management you can create change requests.

    Let’s say that a user from the IT department of your company wants to update a program up to the latest version. He opens Jira, fills in the request form, stating all needed information (what the problem is, deadline for completion, potential risks, urgency of request and what impact will be), and sends it.

    The request is being served, and all details are documented.

    To maintain the right change control process, we:

    • Install Jira and develop a plugin for it, to implement an already-present document for change control management into Jira Service Desk. By this the company don’t change all working processes for the new tool.
    • Maintain tech support for the teams of project management and change control, and other teams that use Jira for general organizational projects.
    • Do the optimization of reporting system to capitalize on the needs of the user
    • Create documentation and user guides
    • Provide Jira Service Desk training

    As a result,  the company can have the complete system that controls the life cycle of all changes and helps to сarry them out much faster, and breaks the process of service delivery only in case of emergency.

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