Functional Area: Information Technology Support

Client: Citizens Financial Group

Date Completed: 10 April 2015

Business Challenge: Core banking system reliability consistently and repeatedly missed customer Service Level Agreement targets over several months. Systems such as Online Banking experienced a series of sustained outages, negatively affecting bank operations. After an initial review, the Bank noticed a positive correlation between IT Changes and the number of Incidents, i.e., the Americas Availability Center would be bombarded with system outage alarms and customer reported issues during and immediately after change windows.

Solution: Ruota was engaged as part of a Release Management assessment team to measure current state maturity, identify future state enhancements, and define a roadmap for remediating the current state gaps. The assessment was based on ITIL V3 practices and principals, including software engineering, infrastructure, program management, and IT support functions.

Additionally, Ruota was responsible for developing support metrics and dashboards to measure service reliability and availability proactively. Ruota built daily scorecards using SQL and Excel macros to identify positive, negative, and neutral trends for IT leadership.

Finally, Ruota conducted a series of Lean Problem Management initiatives to determine the root cause of several core banking system issues. Ruota helped Citizens identify core issues with a document management system that drove cascading issues into other tools and platforms. These Kaizen events helped Citizens identify specific people, process, and technology enhancements as part of their remediation plan.

Benefits: The Release Management assessment identified a number of key issues and maturity challenges. The cross functional review highlighted a number of barriers and blockers to effective support operations. These issues were summarized into key findings and subsequently prioritized in order of importance.

Dashboards were socialized with key internal and external service providers. Common definitions and standards of measurement were established, along with current state reporting issues. Daily and weekly trending helped identify early indications of system reliability and performance issues before month end.

Kaizen event results were built into business cases to justify resource and system improvements for the Bank’s document management system. Resource issues identified during the analysis provided direction for the team to implement a cross-training initiative to ensure that key knowledge was shared among support team members.