Introducing the new ‘Byte Sized Digital’ podcast

Craig Mundy, Senior Delivery Manager at Leeds Building Society, introduces their new podcast series, covering everything from Digital Agility to Harnessing Artificial Intelligence.

To kick off Leeds Digital Festival 2023, Leeds Building Society has launched a new podcast series with AND Digital called Byte Sized Digital. It’s a great chance for us to try something new and talk about a number of digital topics that Leeds Building Society and AND Digital are passionate about. We’ve recorded two podcasts so far – the first episode: Digital Agility: Collaborating for Success, launched in line with the first day of the Leeds Digital Festival, and is now live. Episode two: How to Harness Artificial Intelligence, launches next week on 25 September.

Who am I?

My name is Craig Mundy, I’m a Senior Delivery Manager at Leeds Building Society and I’m responsible for our digital transformation. I’m very proud to be launching this podcast series as part of our involvement with Leeds Digital Festival. Our digital teams are currently two years into their Agile journey and are making a real difference for our members. We wanted to share and talk about that good work as much possible. We’ve still got a long way to go, but we’re making great progress.

Why did we launch a mini podcast series?

We wanted to shake loose from the traditional building society tag and move towards a more agile, digital and technology-driven organisation. We’re doing some pretty cool stuff and we want to talk about it at Leeds Digital Festival.

Jay Patel, Head of Technology Channels at Leeds Building Society, said:

“We’re proud to be the launch sponsor of the Leeds Digital Festival this year and we look forward to celebrating the amazing digital work produced by businesses across Leeds. At Leeds Building Society, we’re investing in technology to help our members invest in their futures. We continue to innovate to help put home ownership within reach of more people, generation after generation. A great example of this is being the first lender to partner with Experian, to help potential borrowers boost their credit score to have a better chance of a successful mortgage application. 

Through the three events that we’re hosting, along with the podcasts we’ll release during the fortnight, we hope to inspire those working in tech, or considering a role in the digital sector, by sharing our experiences and sparking some interesting debates.”

Why is digital transformation a priority for Leeds Building Society?

We’re living in a period of rapid technological change with huge implications for how we all live our lives. To respond to that, we wanted to provide a fit-for-purpose digital channel that compliments our Branch and Contact Centre channels.

We’re currently using Azure’s public cloud to deliver modern digital journeys for our members and whilst we’ve still got a long way to go, we’re starting to build a digital channel we can be proud of. As hopefully most people know, Leeds Building Society is a purpose-led organisation “putting home ownership within reach for more people generation after generation” and we know we need to invest in our digital channel to deliver on that.

How are we better delivering our digital journeys?

We’ve moved away from traditional waterfall delivery and have adopted Agile methodologies. There has been significant and ongoing investment in our people and capabilities related to automated build, test, release and deploy are speeding up delivery. Our agile and product-based delivery model is bringing forward improvements at pace, all towards the aim of making us slicker, quicker and easier to do business with.

It’s never been a more exciting time to be working in digital or technology at the Society, as we undergo a massive tech and digital transformation to make sure we’re fit for the future.

What’s the first podcast about?

The first podcast talks about the journey Leeds Building Society is on to become a more digital, Agile and technology-driven organisation. For many years Leeds Building Society used Waterfall project management within its digital teams. I’m joined on this podcast by Rachel Cannon (Senior Quality Engineering Manager at LBS), Tom Nash (Development Engineering Manager at LBS) and Dave Gauntley (Agile Delivery SME). We speak about some of the difficulties we’ve faced and what we’ve observed on the journey so far.

Where did we start from? Previously, implementing changes was sometimes difficult and slow. The Society’s digital platform, which allows members to register online, and open and access savings accounts, was outdated and was a priority for improvement.

We started with the platform upgrade and that was an important initiative for the digital teams, involving a complete transformation from a technology perspective, and a cultural shift to more agile ways of working. A change in team mindset and the self-sufficiency to deliver change was key to building a platform to give members an improved experience.

We’ve learnt lots including there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to adopting Agile. It takes time to implement, it’s a cultural change more than anything and we’ve realised the difference of “doing” agile vs “being” agile.

Byte Size Digital Podcast Episode 1 – Digital Agility: Collaborating for Success

Please take some time to listen/watch the podcasts. The first one can be found here and also look out for the 2nd one which talks about Harnessing Artificial Intelligence and why we don’t need to be scared of generative AI.

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