Spanish bank BBVA invests in Quarterly planning sessions

BBVA Digital Transformation

BBVA Digital Transformation

Encouraging to see BBVA (Spain’s second-largest bank) adopting new ways of working commonplace for start-ups to accelerate its digital transformation. Reported by The Economist,BBVA, a Spanish bank, reinvents itself as a digital business’ (registration may be required):

‘BBVA, Spain’s second-largest bank, began quarterly planning sessions like this three years ago, in its Mexican subsidiary. This is the fourth global gathering. The idea, explains Derek White, head of global customer solutions, is to replicate the nimbleness of financial-technology startups (“fintechs”) at large scale. When a project is conceived, a small group is assembled to work on it within three days. A prototype is created in six weeks. The finished article should be “en las manos de los clientes”—in customers’ hands—within nine months. The quarterly cycle starts with a planning session to thrash out priorities. It ends with a demo day, startup-style.’

No longer a bank but a ‘digital house’ – and led by a former programmer!

Under Mr González—who began his career as a computer programmer and says “I do not see myself as a banker”—BBVA started early. It began overhauling its computing systems in around 2007, a six-year task Mr González says he would rather have undertaken sooner. Now the bank is focusing on what customers see “above the glass” of their smartphones and on the internal processes below it. “At the end of the day, we won’t be a bank any more,” he says, but a “digital house”.

Corporate Strategy needs to change

The article states the impact has yet to ripple through to its share price; corporate digital transformation is a 5+ year investment so to expect otherwise would be naive. Corporations struggle to adopt effective annual planning so its refreshing to see BBVA adopting a quarterly cycle. Anything less is not enough given the size of the cultural challenge, the pace of technological change and accelerate x-functional collaboration.

What % of Telcos have a clear strategy?

According to the KPMG International Survey of telecommunications executives (November 2016) just 11% of respondents feel strongly that their organization has a clear strategy and mission for disruptive technology and only 23% feel their company is very prepared in terms of a strategic vision for disruptive technology.  In addition, four-fifths are worried that they don’t have the capability to take advantage of opportunities in key areas like Over-The-Top (OTT).

Is BBVA alone?

Do you know how other banks, telcos or retailers are improving the way they transform? Comment below. Or get in-touch to find out more how we can help to re-invent the way you do business planning.

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