Skip to main content

An Agile Approach to Transforming “Our Ways of Working”

By Valden Paes, DTCC Managing Director, Head of Business Transformation and HR Technology and Operations | 4 minute read | February 23, 2023

For nearly five decades, DTCC has been at the forefront of a technological evolution across the financial services industry. But staying on the leading edge of transformation requires a focus on agility, collaboration, client-centricity, efficient decision-making and innovative thinking.

That’s why we embarked on a journey to reimagine our ways of working to enable us to amplify the positive impact we have on the global financial markets.

Related Video: What does an Enterprise Agile Organization look like?

We began with four guiding principles aimed at addressing the transformational imperative:

  1. Engage with internal and external clients early and often throughout the product and services lifecycle to make sure we’re building what they need, not what we think they want.
  2. Ensure alignment throughout our organization to enable client-centricity and efficient execution through Objectives & Key Results (OKRs).
  3. Bring together cross-functional disciplines and teams aligned for optimal value delivery, speed and responsiveness to our clients.
  4. Embrace new behaviors while still preserving what allows us to deliver the world’s most resilient, secure and efficient post-trade platform.

Our Key Differentiators

What began with an operating model to drive collaboration, efficiency and client focus has led to our company's cultural shift to what we refer to as Our Ways of Working (OWOW). To get there, key differentiators enabled our journey:

  • Our preparation, framework and approach: We visited other companies that broadly adopted Business Agility practices and engaged external management consultants to provide advisory services and recommendations. Then we leveraged best practices tailored to our unique business needs to develop a flexible and fit-for-purpose framework. We first piloted changes to organizational structure, processes, technology, and leadership attributes to learn and adapt before scaling the framework.
  • Our scope, influence and impact: When implementing, we recognized an opportunity to expand this transformation beyond IT. To improve value delivery, we primarily focused on enabling Business Agility practices and behaviors for Product Delivery teams and the Centers of Excellence that support them. After the pilot, we realized this was more than a program – we were transforming how we worked at DTCC. We didn't need to push this transformation; instead, different areas of the company raised their hands and embraced this change.
  • Our continuous improvement: This transformation does not have a start and end date; OWOW is embedded into our organization's culture and is central to our employee experience because it defines, in tangible terms, what it looks and feels like to work at DTCC. We’ve embraced continuous refinement that never ends, always seeking opportunities to learn, improve, and enhance the way we operate.

Related Video: What is a Quarterly Tribe Review

Our Ability to Adapt

By evolving how we work, we have enhanced our ability to adapt to the changing environment and continuously improve. The principles and consistent best practices of OWOW have positively affected our ability to be nimble, adaptive and leverage collaboration to overcome challenges.

A great example of this was our response to navigating work during the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to move forward without disruption as we transitioned from on-site to fully virtual to hybrid work over the course of two years. We were able to pivot and ensure we had the right delivery structures, technology and collaboration tools to succeed and make an impact, whether in the office or at home.

The transformation also enhanced the way our teams adapt to consistently put the client experience at the forefront. For instance, when business units recognize that in-flight initiative may not meet our clients’ needs, we’re able to proactively discontinue the initiative much earlier and more efficiently than we had in the past. This helps us save time and resources and focus on other higher value priorities that benefit our clients.

Our Value Generation to Clients

OWOW now sits at the heart of how we deliver for clients and continuously raises the bar on our aspirations for the future. Early in DTCC’s journey, I defined success across three pillars: Performance of Agile Teams, Operational Health, and Value Generation to Clients. We had strong metrics in place for the first two pillars, and we showed significant favorable impact on metrics such as cycle time, quality and employee engagement.

For Value Generation to Clients, our company traditionally maintained a project-based mindset. We made sure we were on track, on budget and on schedule, but we needed to shift to a value-based mindset. To help, we started to track outcomes versus outputs, and the ultimate value we want to deliver for our clients.

We've come a long way, but with change being the only constant, there are always opportunities to adapt and evolve OWOW. To that end, I look forward to supporting DTCC as we develop the next iteration of OWOW, designing the behaviors and values to account for the complexity of today’s landscape and what it’s going to take for DTCC to realize our strategic vision over the next 10 years.

< Return to Life at DTCC

Valden Paes

DTCC Managing Director, Head of Business Transformation and HR Technology and Operations