Making the Jump…when corporate agile works outside of IT and Change

In 2018, the Learning & Development HR team at Royal Bank of Scotland ran a pilot to trial Agile Working within their area.

It was a brave and innovative approach.

It involved bringing several teams together, from different locations, and with different objectives and ways of working.

It meant asking some people to let go of their past or current output, and work towards a common goal.

And it brought human-centered design to the heart of the project, more than ever before.

It worked.

The result was a collaborative project that allowed them to completely overhaul a service that had been previously fragmented and ineffective, in a timeframe that was previously unheard of.

It motivated and upskilled the people involved, and it reduced the amount of time and effort wasted on developing stuff that the (internal) customer didn’t need.


Kim Rodrigues (RBS L&D, HR) commented “The new journey was launched within months, where normally this kind of project would take up to a year, or even longer. This was made possible by a new spirit of collaboration between the teams, and a real feeling of momentum for everyone involved.”


What were the actual outcomes?  

  • Several solutions (and the teams that delivered them) were brought together, saving time, effort and money

  • Thousands of staff-hours were saved

More importantly, the customer experience was vastly improved, with engagement levels increasing by almost 100%.

From a lean agile point of view, there were two interesting additional outcomes for the team.

Mel Wichary (RBS L&D, HR) explained, “Within weeks we were making quick wins, and we also felt brave enough to test early stage concept mock-ups with users. Before this we would only have launched with finely-detailed, platinum-plated solutions.”

Not only were the team delivering quicker, but they were iterating their new solution, based on Customer feedback, every step of the way.

The conclusion….?

The L&D team at Royal Bank of Scotland proved that Agile Working doesn’t have to belong only to the agile squads delivering IT and Technical Solutions – it can and should be adopted by other business areas where appropriate. And where they’re brave enough…..