Agile Methods in the German Banking Sector – some evidence on expectations, experiences and success factors
Center for Financial Studies Working Paper No. 669, 2021
40 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2021
Date Written: November 28, 2021
The importance of agile methods has increased in recent years, not only to manage software development processes but also to establish flexible and adaptive organisational structures, which are essential to deal with disruptive changes and build successful digital business strategies. This paper takes an industry-specific perspective by analysing the dissemination, objectives and relative popularity of agile frameworks in the German banking sector. The data provides insights into expectations and experiences associated with agile methods and indicates possible implementation hurdles and success factors. Our research provides the first comprehensive analysis of agile methods in the German banking sector. The comparison with a selected number of fintechs has revealed some differences between banks and fintechs.
We found that almost all banks and fintechs apply agile methods in IT-related projects. However, fintechs have relatively more experience with agile methods than banks and use them more intensively. Scrum is the most relevant framework used in practice. Scaled agile frameworks are so far negligible in the German banking sector. Acceleration of projects is apparently the most important objective of deploying agile methods. In addition, agile methods can contribute to cost savings and lead to improved quality and innovation performance, though for banks it is evidently more challenging to reach their respective targets than for fintechs. Overall our findings suggest that German banks are still in a maturing process of becoming more agile and that there is room for an accelerated adoption of agile methods in general and scaled agile frameworks in particular.
Keywords: Agile Methods, Scrum, Banking, FinTechs
JEL Classification: G20, G21
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