Suncorp Group is an Australian finance, insurance, and banking corporation. It is one of Australia's largest banks and the largest insurance group in the country.
In 2007 Suncorp merged with insurer Promina. As a result of the acquisition, the group went from a company of 10,000 to 20,000. For the IT group, there was a significant amount of integration work to complete coupled with an ongoing need to increase business value, improve speed to market, and manage risks. As a way to manage their growing size, customer demand and environmental change, Suncorp decided an Agile approach was the way forward. Suncorp saw the Agile adoption as a major change initiative and a new way of working, not just a new approach to software development.
Recognising that learning and development was a vital factor in ensuring a successful adoption, Suncorp invested in developing an integrated curriculum covering the whole Agile spectrum. SoftEd was chosen as a delivery partner and soon became the primary partner for delivering the Group’s Agile training. Suncorp’s curriculum is integrated and structured around a maturity model which forms the backbone of the training initiative, with training road maps for the different roles.
To date more than 3,000 Suncorp staff have been trained and staff continue to attend Agile training through a mixture of customised in-house and public course training across Australia and New Zealand.
Suncorp has saved millions through their Agile transformation through cost avoidance and faster time to market.
A key part of the success has been the complete buy-in from the Executive Team. What began as a change program to improve the way the IT team delivered value has gathered such momentum that Suncorp has applied it more broadly across the organisation. Organisational structures that support Agile are in place in keeping with the Agile philosophy of having flat development structures, this includes having business representations as part of the development team and keeping the development teams small.
Large-scale solutions such as internet banking have been developed in a matter of weeks with competitors spending millions in a much longer timeframe to develop the same. In fact, large-scale projects are no longer the norm, with smaller cost-effective projects delivering business value early, with improved time to market driving competitive advantage.