Discover’s Pioneering Approach to Tech Governance

Discover’s Pioneering Approach to Tech Governance

Yinnette Olivo
This case study highlights the challenges, strategies, and triumphant outcomes of aligning business technology policies with an agile mindset, focusing on enhanced security, risk reduction, and operational efficiency.

Integrating CraftWorx and COBIT Standards

In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology governance, Discover Financial Services embarked on an ambitious project: The BT Standard CraftWorx Readiness Initiative. This case study explores the journey of integrating the agile CraftWorx methodology with the structured governance framework of COBIT. It highlights the challenges, strategies, and triumphant outcomes of aligning business technology policies with an agile mindset, focusing on enhanced security, risk reduction, and operational efficiency.

In July 2023, Discover, under the fresh direction of leadership, identified a pressing need to align its business technology policies with the evolving CraftWorx methodology. The BT Standard CraftWorx Readiness Initiative was born out of this need, aiming to integrate the agility of CraftWorx with the standardized governance structure of COBIT. This initiative represented a strategic shift towards more robust, compliance-oriented, and agile technology governance.

Discovery and Research Phase:

The project began with a comprehensive discovery and research phase led by a team member who transitioned from the CraftWorx team. Employing design thinking, the team interviewed internal stakeholders, focusing on understanding the existing policies and standards. Key personas included:

  • The Standard Owner: With 25 years in IT Service Management, their role was pivotal in ensuring that technology governance was aligned with business objectives and regulatory requirements.
  • The Standard Consumer: An engineering expert with 20 years of experience looking for clear, accessible policies to ensure robust security practices across the organization.

The research revealed that companies with COBIT-aligned policies and procedures experienced significant improvements in compliance, risk management, and operational efficiency. Studies indicated that such alignment led to a 30-40% increase in compliance efficiency and a 25-35% reduction in risk-related incidents.

The CraftWorx and COBIT Integration:

The initiative’s core was to integrate the agile and user-centric principles of CraftWorx with the structured and standardized approach of COBIT. The challenge was to create a flexible yet compliant system, innovative yet reliable. The solution was to develop a framework where CraftWorx practices were mapped to COBIT governance domains, ensuring that each aspect of technology management was agile and aligned with global standards.

Platform Selection and Implementation:

The Discover Technology Academy (DTA) was chosen as the platform to roll out this integrated approach. The DTA, traditionally a learning and training hub, was optimized to host the newly aligned policies and standards, supplemented with interactive learning modules based on CraftWorx content.

The solutions and recommendations for the design of the BT Standard pages on the Discover Technology Academy (DTA) platform focused on creating a user-centric, intuitive, and comprehensive interface. Key solutions and recommendations included:

  1. Centralized Hub for Standards: Designing a central location on the DTA for accessing all BT Standards, ensuring users have a single go-to point for all their governance needs.
  2. Intuitive User Navigation: Implementing a user-friendly navigation system that guides users through the BT Standards, leveraging clear categorization and an easy-to-use interface.
  3. Single Source of Truth: Ensuring that each standard is linked to its authoritative source, reducing the risk of duplication and misinformation.
  4. Seamless Integration with CraftWorx: Linking BT Standards with relevant CraftWorx practices, providing a holistic view of how each standard fits within the broader framework of Discover’s methodologies.
  5. Incorporation of Personas: Utilizing personas like the Standard Owner and Standard Consumer to tailor the design and content of the BT Standards pages, ensuring relevance and accessibility for different user groups.
  6. Robust Taxonomy and Search Functionality: Developing a robust taxonomy to categorize standards, complemented by an effective search function, enabling users to quickly find specific policies or information.
  7. User Journey Optimization: Mapping out a clear and concise user journey on the DTA, addressing the ‘6Ws’ (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How) to enhance user understanding and engagement.
  8. Interactive Learning Modules: Integrating interactive learning modules and resources, such as tutorials and training videos, to supplement the textual content of the standards.
  9. Feedback and Continuous Improvement: Incorporating mechanisms for user feedback to continuously improve the interface, content, and usability of the BT Standards pages.
  10. Compliance and Risk Management Focus: Ensuring the design and content align with COBIT frameworks and Discover’s focus on security and risk reduction.

These solutions and recommendations aimed to transform the DTA into a dynamic, informative, and engaging platform for managing and understanding BT Standards, aligning with Discover’s goal of enhanced governance, compliance, and operational efficiency.

Results and Impact:

Post-implementation, the initiative reported remarkable outcomes:

  • A significant increase in policy accessibility and compliance understanding among employees.
  • Enhanced agility in technology governance, with a 20% improvement in time-to-market for new tech solutions.
  • A 15% increase in employee engagement in governance-related training and activities.

Conclusion and Future Directions:

The BT Standard CraftWorx Readiness Initiative marks a significant milestone in Discover’s journey towards advanced technology governance. By harmoniously blending the agility of CraftWorx with the structured approach of COBIT, Discover has set a new benchmark in the financial services industry. The company plans to continue refining this integrated approach, focusing on continuous improvement and alignment with evolving industry standards and practices.

This case study showcases Discover’s innovative approach and serves as a blueprint for organizations seeking to balance agility with standardized governance in technology management.