ANZ breaks down Agile transformation of its contact centre


Step-by-step agile transformation

ANZ Banking Group is taking a purposely incremental approach to the Agile transformation of its contact centre environment, and is using an automated test regime to ensure the overall customer experience is maintained throughout.

Engineering chapter lead for contact centre Fyfe Meggs told the Genesys G-Summit ANZ that the contact centre is one of the most challenging environments in the bank to apply new ways of working (NWOW), the name ANZ uses for its Agile transformation.

“Looking at everything end-to-end, there’s just so many moving parts when you consider workforce management, voice, downstream and upstream system integrations,” Meggs said.

“It was a huge thing to bite off, which is why you really have to take small changes over time to improve your processes, because if you set about it all in one hit, it’s almost impossible.”

Meggs said the contact centre team had adopted a mindset of “letting the squads look at how they work, look at what they’re doing, find the best way to deliver what they need to deliver, and letting them just get on with it.”

“One of the main approaches that we take in contact centre is that every time we open a task or we start doing anything, we make sure we’re looking at not just what but how we’re doing it and make that process better,” he said.

Improvements identified…do not have to be big…

Meggs said the improvements identified and pursued did not have to be big, noting that changes that shaved even a minute off a process at a time had the desired effect.

“If you have a task that takes you five hours every month, and you can reduce that by five minutes, then you’re winning. If you can reduce that by one minute, you’re also winning – it just takes longer to pay off where that is,” he said.

“One of the big areas that we’ve been focusing on recently is the really boring, plain OS patching.

“We’re identifying where we’ve got processes that have been a struggle for us and looking at ways that we can improve those without slowing down.

“I would almost stress when it comes to process improvement, you don’t need to overhaul a whole process, you need to just take one bit of it and make it better, and then next time you look at that process if you pick another bit, it’s just going to keep getting better.”

This more or less continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) approach to Agile transformation is backed by an automated test regime powered by customer experience (CX) software maker Cyara.

Cyara is also known to be used in ANZ’s New Zealand operations. It is designed to test all technology components that contribute to the inbound voice experience.

“Being able to integrate Cyara into [the CI/CD pipeline] to be able to conduct its testing and then check the results as an automated step is huge,” Meggs said.

“Where we stand today is we’ve got over 25,000 test cases built out in Cyara, and we can leverage those based on the changes that we’re doing, and adapt on-the-fly and build out our processes.”

Meggs said that in one example, the bank had cut about 90 percent of the effort involved in load testing the contact centre environment through continuous process improvements tackled across four code releases.

ANZ is also now starting to look at containerising some of the technology components that make the contact centre platform.

“Technology-wise, we’ve got a couple of main focuses, but one of the big things that we’re looking at is getting as much as we can into a lighter, more flexible container architecture,” he said.

“We’re just starting on the first bits of that for contact centre now. That’s going to be really exciting, particularly given Genesys’ roadmap in that area.”

Original article appeared in IT News, by Ry Crozier