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Customer story

Team-First Approach Before Radical Changes Are Made

ABN AMRO embarks on a DevOps transformation, pushing aside a technical angle and ushering in a customized team-first approach crafted by Xebia consultants

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Digital Transformation  DevOps | Agile



Top ranked Dutch bank, ABN AMRO, is a local favorite amongst its people and its local businesses. Much like other banks, ABN AMRO provides loans, mortgages, and banking services to individuals and companies, but they do it with a people-first approach.

The 300-year-old company has been pivoting through the years to address the needs of its employees and customers in meaningful ways. With the merger of ABN and AMRO in 1991 it became the largest bank in its home country, employing roughly 19,000 people.

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Breaking Down Walls to Rebuild Stronger

In order to truly control the quality and output of ABN AMRO’s offerings, an organizational design had to include a more unified team with skills to not only build the software, but design and operate it. Reimagining the operating model was a joint effort between Xebia and ABN AMRO. The shared mission included incorporating cross-functional autonomous teams and retiring separated development and operations departments all together. The new goal was now to hoist up these cross-functional teams and remove the delays and extra operations that comes with specialist teams providing a smoother operational protocol.

Not Taking a One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Companies that start a transformation with a one-size-fits-all approach across the organization often fail and Xebia did not want ABN AMRO to meet the same fate. Simple tweaking or disjointed plans would not create the results the bank sought—this was a full transformation that would affect everything from the current way of working to the culture of each unique department. The plan required understanding the context of each team and addressing them with a customized approach for a successful, bespoke transformation.

“The team-first approach proposed by our transformation coach at Xebia gave great insight to really improve our velocity. They helped us look at and restructure current process automation but also at smart decoupling of applications and the organizational structure of the teams.”
Jan Kees van Bergen IT Engineering lead

Radical Change Starts with People, then Technology

Though many companies would lead a technology change with a technical angle, Xebia knew that addressing the teams that make it possible, and starting with a team-first approach would lead to radical change.
Jan Kees van Bergen, IT engineering lead at ABN AMRO attributes this successful transformation to the approach and organization Xebia outlined for restructuring his department. When the teams saw new clarity on their responsibilities, and boundaries, they were able to be more intentional about their tasks. Ultimately these changes also lead to the end user having a better experience through value and excellence.

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