How Agile Methodologies Settle Productivity in Financial Services

Nowadays, agility in financial management is one of the operational keys for an overall acceleration of business.

A new modern model of financial management has emerged in recent years, equipped for high performance and success in the digital age. It is a digital transformation in corporate finance, based on the pillars of technology and data analytics.

Agile management is a work practice that allows for action and changes in the course of processes in a much shorter time than traditional management. Called Lean and Agile, they work in companies innovating their processes, reducing their costs, and increasing productivity to become more competitive.

In this article, you will see how you can use financial services with Agile Methodologies and Scrum. GitScrum has many features to allow you to increase productivity in your financial team or give the best experience to your clients from your work!

Agile in Practice

It may seem like “agile” refers to the time in the process in general, but it shows that tasks are broken down into shorter times and by a specific team. Thus, the products are delivered in parts, as they are ready. While in traditional management, all scope and planning are defined at the beginning, with no changes along the way.

In addition, work teams are also fragmented and autonomous within companies, in action groups called “squads”. There is no hierarchy, but reference points based on specific knowledge and experience. The Agile Methodology makes everything but bureaucratic, slow, and mechanical. As teams work on dynamic tasks, each employee exerts greater creativity and achieves greater accomplishments.

How do agile methods apply in the financial sector?

We know that personal financial management is vital for the individual, just as that of a company is vital for it. Therefore, finance should be the firm foundation that supports the rest of your company’s sectors.

Agile methodologies, powerful allies as we have already said, can also bring incredible results for your company’s financial management.

Financial management can prove to be a challenge, mainly due to the complexity and importance of decision-making and also the difficulty of controlling all inputs and outputs of a company.

To assist in this challenge, agile methodologies propose that, instead of defining general financial strategies for the organization, these should be divided into sub-steps and executed adequately in the course of each process.

The Agile Methodologies for Finance Services

The first step is to define which methodology will be the most suitable for the company’s management. There are different methods available in the market, and you need to understand how the business works to make a conscious choice. Among the main agile methodologies are those listed below.

Scrum

Scrum is the most widespread agile methodology. The methodology is implemented through Scrum Events, which consists of meetings with pre-defined duration and objectives so that they do not spend more time than necessary and are effective.

The heart of the methodology is Scrum Sprints, which consist of incremental delivery cycles.

A Sprint Scrum will, from a Backlog, go through all the methodology’s events. Thus, the planning meeting to define the Sprint, the Daily Scrums (daily meetings), the Retrospective and the Sprint Review take place.

Scrum also defines people responsible for each task within Scrum, so we have the Development Team, the Scrum Master, and the Product Owner.

The methodology proposes as we said, the division of the company’s general financial strategies, as well as its routine processes, into smaller sub-steps, with short duration and specially dedicated teams.

This way, a possible error has a much smaller effect than it would if the delivery were complete, and it’s easy to go back and fix it. In other words, Scrum greatly reduces the risk of actions and decisions taken.

Thus, agile methodologies also reduce possible losses. Use GitScrum’s Sprints to increase productivity and reduce costs.  Furthermore, iterative processes should focus on maximizing the profit to be obtained from the company’s processes. Thus, one must act seeking to cut costs and eliminate waste.

Due to the division of strategies into sub-steps, there is still again in the team’s focus on certain tasks, this brings increases in productivity and quality in executions since professionals will go deeper into the process in question.

Kanban

Kanban is a complete material management system. In other words, he manages the entire production of the industrial plant, stocking is just one of the last steps.

The word in Japanese means signboard and the method is based on a way of signage that indicates and authorizes the stages of production in a pull system.

In this way, GitScrum’s Kanban Board visually controls the entire production to keep the stock between a pre-established minimum and maximum number.

There is nothing better than a visual tool for good financial management and payment and receipt flow. Use Kanban in the financial sector by defining steps and monitoring the purchase, production, sale, and payment processes.

Extreme Programming XP

Extreme Programming (XP)  is a method that is very similar to Scrum in the way it develops projects in an agile, incremental, and secure way.

The main difference, however, is that XP focuses less on project management and more on project engineering.

The method preaches that it is better to test than to look for defects and also values: constant review and refactoring, simple solutions, short iterations (complementary deliveries). Use GitScrum’s Task Type to solidify goals and optimize a workboard for your team. 

Thus, it can work in the financial sector performing quick tests using the best software and spreadsheets to adapt these tools to the company’s reality.

Lean-Agile

Lean-Agile is the name given to the combination of lean thinking with agile concepts.

Lean thinking is based on value delivery processes, aiming to eliminate or reduce all waste involved in the production of items and the provision of services.

By integrating with Agile, this method will seek its effectiveness at the team level, complementing it with work management structures for cross-functional teams.

Lean is responsible for prioritizing projects, teams, and backlog, complementing the Agile planning stage.

With direct and very clear involvement with the financial sector, as it is precisely the philosophy of waste reduction, Lean-Agile will seek greater organization in customer data and sales processes and prioritization of value delivery processes.

Agile Inception

An Agile Inception is a type of event, that is, a large meeting to discover/creating a product. Thus, Inception must be extremely collaborative for the project’s success.

Among the problems and challenges to be solved at Inception, many of them can (and will have) a financial nature, since it is the basis for any undertaking to work.

What are the benefits of the agile methodology for the financial department?

Implementing an effective and well-structured financial management is among the main challenges faced in the administrative routine, after all, the finance department is one of the pillars of a company’s growth.

In this context, active methodologies propose the division of complex tasks into sub-steps, which are performed by equally smaller teams and focused specifically on that task.

Different from what happens with planning implemented in traditional management, in which the strategies are defined in their entirety, in the agile methodology, the idea is to adapt the executions, from the development of each step, in a continuous and organized way.

The result is that tasks are performed with more efficiency and control. See below some of the benefits of the agile methodology for the financial sector.

Cost control

Cost control is an important point to be observed with the use of an agile methodology, since it proposes, among other points, the use of technological resources in management, which are capable of promoting the optimization of processes and, consequently, the cost savings.

With a more aligned team and greater availability to understand customer needs, the trend is for loyalty and, consequently, new business to be generated.

Risk reduction

As agile methodologies work from steps, which are developed by smaller teams, the risks of execution errors are considerably minimized. This is because, as the focus will be complete, any deviations can be identified and corrected efficiently.

Increased productivity

Increasing productivity is another central point, as each professional will know exactly what their role is and the importance of their performance for the successful development of each step in the process.

GitScrum supports your team to better results and effective deliveries!

Set your workflow and board to guide your Agile team, assign Tasks, Subtasks and keep in charge of the whole process evolvements. Allow your Agile team to collaborate.

Reach higher levels of efficiency, productivity, and deliverability with GitScrum. Work focused on prioritizing what’s valuable and tracking your flow to overcome results.

Sign up now and make your team grow together!

Leonardo Salles

Copywriter for GitScrum.