Digital - 3 Tips

Agile Organisation Design: 3 Tips for Success

Adam Starkey-Smith

The Asset Management industry is experiencing an age of significant digital disruption.  In order to innovate, compete, scale and ultimately survive, Asset Managers need to transform their operating models so that they provide the right environment for delivering technology. We are increasingly seeing Asset Managers viewing technology as a source of competitive advantage and as such, being set up to experiment and execute has become a key theme.

Alpha’s Enterprise Agility Framework

There is a lot to get right but how can we design the organisation to improve value delivery? The good news is Asset Managers can make use of organisational structures that are commonplace outside of the Financial Services industry.

It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.
Charles Darwin

Tip 1: Transition technology teams from project teams to long-standing product teams


*Note, these teams are sometimes known as Feature Teams, Squads or Tribes.

Outcomes: improved predictability, speed to market and relationship between IT and the business / customer.

Nature does constant value stream mapping, it’s called evolution.
Carrie Latet

Tip 2: Define and use the customer and business value streams to inform the product(s) the team owns.


  1. Map the customer and business value streams
  2. Identify the products and people that support those value streams
  3. Define the product(s) the teams own

Outcomes: long standing teams that are aligned behind the way the business delivers value, have clear ownership / accountability, and reduce dependencies / handoffs with other teams.

You build it, you run it.
Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO

Tip 3: Embed the roles, responsibilities, skills and processes to design, build, test, release and support the product(s) within the team.

Outcomes: reduced handoffs, dependencies, silos and competing incentives drive significant improvements to productivity, team morale and customer satisfaction.

Reach Out to Alpha

Creating the right organisational structure is essential for enabling the technology teams to create innovative solutions at speed for the business and clients. Can you use these tips to help you think big, start small and scale fast?

To share your thoughts or if you’d like to discuss these tips in more detail, please contact Adam Starkey-Smith and Kevin O’Shaughnessy.

About the Author

Adam Starkey-Smith
Senior Manager

Adam is a Senior Manager at Alpha with over six years’ experience in the Financial Services sector. He has a broad range of skills and experience, including operating model design and implementation, agile transformations, project management and process improvement. He leads the agile proposition within the Digital & Agile practice and is active member in the Distribution practice.