According to CREALOGIX, 61% of UK banking customers are thinking about opening an account with a new provider in the next three years. It is anticipated that a significant proportion of these consumers will opt for an account with a digital-native challenger bank who are disrupting the market with innovative products and unique user experiences.

This shift in consumer behaviour has given a reason for digital banks such as Tandem to be excited.

“We want our customers to have a better life with their money and are set on disrupting traditional retail banking. When we wanted to improve our delivery performance, we turned to BJSS, a company I had previously worked with.”

Paul Clark, CTO, Tandem Bank


Making banking better 


Founded in 2015, Tandem Bank’s ethos centres on helping people to spend less time worrying about money and more time enjoying life. The bank’s positioning has been designed to draw consumers away from traditional banks and compete with similar challenger organisations.

With an exciting proposition in place, Tandem attempted to use in-house agile techniques to design and develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It had five development teams based in the UK and several offshore sites. However, the team was not working in an agile way, leading to unpredictable releases, poor quality code and additional expense to rectify issues. It was becoming increasingly difficult to launch the MVP, which could’ve resulted in the bank losing out to other challenger banks who had already gone live.

Keen to launch its product, Tandem approached BJSS to evolve its ways of working. BJSS has extensive experience of integrating its award-winning Enterprise Agile® approach into some of the world’s leading financial services organisations. This includes a successful engagement with a global financial services client whereby Enterprise Agile was utilised to replace a legacy trade matching platform which handles 60% of global interbank FX trades. As a result, BJSS was selected to deliver agile coaching to the Tandem team, which would enable the bank to accelerate the delivery of its innovative products, become more competitive and efficient.


Integrating agile ways of working 


BJSS commenced the engagement by assembling a Discovery team made up of senior delivery professionals. Over 10 days, the BJSS team observed and discussed the current approach with Tandem’s delivery teams. In addition, they reviewed the application code, delivery toolchain, process pipelines and wider ways of working within the bank. Throughout the process, key observations and recommendations were relayed to the bank.

Following the Discovery, BJSS and Tandem began to work together to integrate agile ways of working into the business and ensure the successful launch of the MVP. This was achieved through the provision of a BJSS Agile Coach to train key Tandem delivery resources focused on the MVP. Support was provided by BJSS around recruitment, training and knowledge transfer. Tandem and BJSS also collaborated to create a Target Operating Model for agile delivery.

The engagement resulted in the successful launch of the MVP and the adoption of agile ways of working throughout the bank.

Since the MVP launch, BJSS continues to support Tandem in its journey to agile by carrying out regular assessments which provide key recommendations to the bank around how it can continuously improve its ways working. Additionally, Tandem now has an increased understanding of Scrum processes, product ownership and ownership of the agile process. The bank also has a functioning DevOps pipeline where it can release multiple times a day into live.

“BJSS quickly came up with an action plan centred around agile coaching with an aim to improve Tandem’s Agile maturity and build out a robust delivery model. With BJSS’ help, Tandem moved from a limited view two-week scrum cycle to a quarterly plan backed by an annual vision. Our release cadence improved from releases every few weeks to daily release cycles. BJSS’ coaching helped Tandem focus on what was important in order to get our business moving and deliver value for Tandem’s rapidly expanding customer numbers.”

Paul Clark, CTO, Tandem Bank


Acquiring over 11,000 new customers at launch 


By becoming an agile business, Tandem successfully launched the MVP into the market. As a result, it acquired over 11,000 new customers at launch. The bank’s delivery teams have become more focused on taking a single thing to done. Dependencies and issues were identified at the start of delivery and rectified before entering the implementation phase.

By continuing to undergo regular BJSS Agile assessments, Tandem can continuously refine its ways of working to become even faster and more efficient. The organisation continues to go from strength to strength having amassed over 600,000 customers since the MVP launch and is a prominent competitor in the challenger bank market. The bank now offers a range of innovative and personal products and services that help people to spend less time worrying about money and more time enjoying life.