Africa’s largest bank leverages SAFe to improve time-to-market 23X, decreases cost 77%

Africa’s largest bank leverages SAFe to improve time-to-market 23X, decreases cost 77%

Case Studies

SAFe provided the structure we needed to scale Agile enterprise-wide. It addressed the complexities and gave us the framework for building portfolios, roles, and jobs to achieve our goals for productivity, morale, and quality.”
Alex Keyter, Lean Agile Transformation Consultant (SPC), Standard Bank


At Africa’s largest banking group, getting IT projects across the finish line hasn’t always been easy—especially with 600 projects a year. But in our latest case study, Standard Bank shares how SAFe enabled the $143 billion company to not only follow through on more projects, but to deliver more on time and within budget.

With 2,000 IT systems, Standard Bank was challenged to get silos working together. In 2016, the company turned to SAFe to improve quality, improve response time to market demands, improve affordability and sustainability.

In addition to mass-scale SAFe training, the bank did a number of things to ease the transition to the new way of working. For one, leaders aligned around a common understanding of goals and KPIs, and emulated Silicon Valley tech leaders on the kind of change and coaching culture required. Standard Bank also empowered employees to design their own culture as a group—to achieve true ownership. They additionally spent quite a bit of time before the first PI Planning event getting teams more accustomed to working cross-functionally and delivering on a cadence.

From July 2016 through February 2017, Standard Bank trained approximately 1,200 people on Leading SAFe in preparation for its first Program Increment (PI) planning meeting in January 2017.

Today, with more than 2,000 people trained on Leading SAFe, Lean-Agile practices and SAFe are key parts of Standard Bank’s strategic plan, and the bank notes significant gains within some of the more mature Teams or Portfolios:

  • Time-to-market reduced from 700 to 30 days
  • Deployments increased from once or twice a year to monthly
  • Productivity increased 50 percent
  • Cost decreased by 77 percent
  • Predictability is now at 68 percent
  • Organizational health improved by 12 percentage points from 2013 – 2016

Check out the complete Standard Bank case study—it’s rich with detail that makes it an especially valuable read.

Also, you might enjoy the great infographics from the slide presentation delivered by Standard Bank’s Alex Keyter at the recent 2017 SAFe Summit.

Many thanks to Alex Keyter, Lean Agile Transformation Consultant; Josef Langerman, Head of Engineering and IT Transformation; and Adrian Vermooten, Head of Digital for the Africa Regions, for sharing the bank’s transformation story.

Stay SAFe,
—Dean

Author Info

Dean Leffingwell

Recognized as the one of the world’s foremost authorities on Lean-Agile best practices, Dean Leffingwell is an author, entrepreneur, and software development methodologist.

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