NAB appears to be redoubling on its proposed expansion to its digitisation program, announcing 600 new digital and technology-focused positions within the company.
Speaking at the FST 2017 Future of Financial Service conference, Anne Bennett, EGM business transformation, NAB, said the new imports are part of a concerted push by the bank to flatten its management structure and “drive creativity, constant innovative thought, and speedy decision making” into internal processes.
Bennett said the new digital-ready staff will be deployed across the bank’s expanding DevOps, engineering, architecture, security, UX and data teams.
News of recruitment drive comes a week after the bank’s shock announcement that it plans to axe 6,000 jobs by 2020 as part of an aggressive cost-cutting program – a move which will also see a greatly expanded role for automation and cognitive computing technologies across the company.
While the impending loss of up to 6,000 jobs not been without controversy, Bennett insists the staffing cuts will provide a “blank canvass” to further the bank’s digital innovation ambitions and ultimately enhance its customer service offerings.
“We’ve recognised that our workforce needs to adapt and evolve with the necessary skills and experience to compete in today’s digital age,” she said.
“We need to make NAB simpler and faster. To do this, we’ve torn up the rulebook on the way we’ve traditionally done things.”
The launch of NAB’s Customer Journeys teams – small-scale innovation hubs that work across the wider organisation – has been a key catalyst of the bank’s rapid digitisation drive and push to streamline internal processes to meet customer demands, Bennett said.
“The way we’re re-imagining experiences and how we can best support our customers is radically changing the way we work,” she said.
“Our Customer Journeys team are looking at major life events that customers share with us, whether that’s finding their first home, applying for a home loan, starting their dream business, applying for a business loan. We’re starting with a blank canvass on how to best support our customers through these experiences.”
Effectively acting as independent ‘mini NABs’ which operate within the wider organisation, each Customer Journeys team consists of a motley workgroup that can include bankers, product specialists, risk experts, marketing leaders, digital developers and UX designers from across the company.
According to Bennett, since establishment in 2014, the bank has already realised tangible benefits through their Customer Journeys teams, “delivering change at two to three times the speed we would normally deliver under traditional methods … and [providing] something new in the hands of customers every 90 days.
One of the crowning achievements of the Customer Journeys project, according to Bennett, was teams’ complete re-engineering of the on-boarding process for small business customers, reducing a six-day wait time to just 10 minutes.
“Typically something of this size and complexity would take months to implement, but under Customer Journeys, with agile cross-functional and co-located teams at the core of how we work, this customer journey team delivered this change within five short weeks,” Bennet said.
“The team works end-to-end, from the design of the CX, until it lands it in the hands of customers,” she said. “These teams leverage an agile, human-centred design philosophy to create their operating rhythm and deliver at the speed we need to.”
While Bennett said the company is still early stages of our Customer Journey transformation, NAB plans to have 20 Customer Journeys teams up and running by 2020, up from seven dedicated teams currently.