ANZ is embarking on an organisational change program that will do away with hierarchies and embrace an agile approach to work.

The bank announced today it will implement the scaled agile approach to organising and delivering work within its Australian division to respond more quickly to changing consumer expectations.

Scaled agile is a proven approach for running businesses based on small, autonomous, multi-disciplinary teams. It is used by leading digital companies such as Spotify and Google and in large financial services companies such as ING and ABN AMRO.

The bank said it already uses agile to deliver around 20 per cent of technology and digital projects including initiatives such as Apple Pay.

“In the digital age, customer expectations are being redefined by their experiences with businesses like Amazon and Apple. We need to break with some of the traditional 20th century approaches to organising and working to ensure we are more responsive to 21st century customer expectations,” said ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott.

“Moving to implement the agile approach at scale in our business is an important evolution in how we run ANZ which will allow us to respond much more quickly to customer needs, create higher staff engagement and make further improvements in efficiency.”

The agile transformation will build on pilot projects and is set to launch at scale within the business in early 2018. However bank branches won’t be included in the changes, according to the AFR.

“The use of agile will mean a much less hierarchical ANZ, one built around small, collaborative, self-directed teams focussed on delivering continuous improvement in the customer experience. This is an exciting change for ANZ because we know our people are more engaged when working in ways that are less bureaucratic and more empowering,” Elliott said.

Kath Bray, currently Managing Director Products and the executive responsible for the delivery of Apple Pay at ANZ, has been appointed to oversee the agile transformation within the Australia Division reporting to Fred Ohlsson Group Executive Australia.

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