Speaking to iTWire from Scotland, Stephen Flaherty, head of software development for JP Morgan Asset Management, said that about 71 per cent of his group’s software output is now achieved using the Agile approach which eschews large monolithic software development projects, in favour of a more iterative – Agile - approach to development. He said that ultimately the organisation would probably conduct about 80 per cent of development using the Agile approach, with waterfall techniques retained for infrastructure programmes, or where required on projects conducted in association with technology vendors.
Acknowledging that to some people Agile remained the province of “bean bags and lava lamps” Mr Flaherty said that attitudes had now pivoted in JP Morgan to the extent that “the rule now is why not - rather than why.”
He acknowledged however that one of the greatest challenges in the Agile transformation had been to reshape the culture of the organisation, away from the command and control models demanded by waterfall, to a flatter, more egalitarian culture promoted by Agile
Mr Flaherty said that Agile was delivering speed, predictability and quality to software development across the group. Despite operating in a highly regulated environment, he said that the approach also increased the quality of systems, and allowed much faster redevelopment if regulations changed.
The company believes the approach is delivering a competitive edge in terms of its ability to respond nimbly to changing market conditions. According to Mr Flaherty it’s now so far ahead of rivals that; “We can’t learn anything from other financial services companies” and is instead talking to organisations like Google. “We have to learn from other industries that have done this at this level,” he added.
Mr Gladigau said that WSS had embraced Agile, and now had 80 of its IT team of 140 equipped with Agile skills. He said that Australia was recording 30 per cent improvement in development efficiency, and that the Agile approach was being applied to “90 per cent of our strategic programmes,” although he said that there was no target being set in terms of how many of all development programmes would eventually be run using Agile approaches.