An RBC sign marks one of the bank’s many locations.
주요 고객

Slack과 협력하는 새로운 방법을 모색 중인 RBC 기술팀

“당사는 최고의 은행이 되기 위해서는 최고의 기술팀이 되어야 한다고 믿습니다. 고객의 기대에 부응하기 위해서는 직원들이 최상의 도구를 이용할 수 있도록 해야 하며 Slack은 그러한 도구 중 하나입니다.”

Martin Wildberger혁신 및 기술 부문 부사장, RBC

Slack 사용 결과:

“From designers to developers to architects, Slack has become part of our daily fabric.”

Slack과 함께 사용하는 주요 통합 앱:

  • GitHub
  • Jenkins
  • Jira Cloud
  • Donut

Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. But rather than counting candles, the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is looking ahead, investing in new ventures and reimagining banking as a seamless digital experience.

Following its purpose to help clients thrive and communities prosper, RBC is in the midst of transitioning to a digital-first, tech-enabled company. With over 86,000 employees and a long legacy, this is more than an organizational challenge—it’s a mindset shift—and employees are learning to work differently. “Today’s developers fundamentally work more horizontally than vertically, and Slack helps to enable this way of working,” says RBC Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology Martin Wildberger.

Since it was introduced two years ago, Slack, a valued RBC client, has given RBC’s tech teams the flexibility to be more nimble in how they collaborate and get work done – a key advantage in today’s rapidly changing workplace.

'An RBC sign in front of a skyscraper.'
'Two RBC employees share a laugh in a conference room.'

“It is an exciting time for innovation. We’re fast approaching a time when we will have access to almost unlimited compute capacity as well as a tremendous store of data which we will be able to connect and analyze through new technologies like AI. Soon we will only be limited by our own imaginations. These advancements are allowing us to not only derive better solutions to the problems we’ve been wrestling with for ages, but more importantly, do things that we’ve never done before,” Wildberger says.

What started as a developer tool is now fundamentally integrated in the day-to-day of over 5,000 RBC employees and counting.

“I’ve seen firsthand how Slack has connected, enabled and grown our developer community in a collaborative environment.”

Martin Wildberger혁신 및 기술 부문 부사장, RBC

Crowdsourcing solutions with Slack

RBC’s Digital Team operates on the frontlines of the bank’s digital transformation. This cross-functional group ensures that RBC’s customers enjoy a seamless digital experience—whether they’re on the web, in the app or at the bank. “We’re rethinking the way we deliver value to our clients,” says Christopher Higgs, vice president of Digital Omni and Mobile Technology at RBC.

When the Digital Team was established, developers and designers used Slack to collaborate with one another. As the team quadrupled in size, Higgs says, “Slack became a mission-critical application for everyone.”

An example conversation in the RBC #digital-proj-galaxy Slack channel
digital-proj-galaxy
Jagdeep Das오후 2:01Hi 👋 @Zoe Maxwell @Lisa Zhang, should the app be fully accessible?
Zoe Maxwell오후 2:07Yes. Each new app should be fully accessible. We need to go through everything with a screen reader and an accessible eye to identify improvements before the app is client-facing.
👍1
Lisa Zhang오후 2:10Agree with above 👆. Because this project is shared across three squads, we should align. I’ll add this as an agenda item for our next inter-squad sync.
🙌1
#digital-proj-galaxy에(게) 메시지 보내기

The Digital Team is organized by squads that are made up of product owners, business analysts, designers and developers. Each squad has its own Slack channel for its core work as well as open visibility into other squads’ channels. This transparency saves time and cuts down on redundant work.

For instance, information on how to get set up and running with a development environment is indexed, shared and made searchable in Slack. That instant access to information has streamlined development processes. What previously took hours—even days—to research, now takes minutes, Higgs says. When questions come up, “there’s always another developer out there using the channel who can jump in and help,” he adds.

“From designers to developers to architects, Slack has become part of our daily fabric.”

Christopher HiggsVice President of Digital Omni and Mobile Technology, RBC

Fostering an innersource culture

RBC’s innersource community has actively fostered a culture that brings the open-source practice of communally developing software into the context of an organization. Innersource culture is rooted in collaboration, open communication, experimentation and feedback. Slack enables these things by connecting developers with the larger RBC community in an open space, where everyone can contribute.

Employees can ask questions and be vulnerable within Slack channels. People from different teams and backgrounds often jump in to help, making it easy to obtain information. When, for example, a team member raised a question in the #developer channel about cloning GitHub repositories, a colleague provided an answer in three minutes.

An example conversation in the RBC #developer Slack channel
developer
Lisa Dawson오전 9:45Hi 👋, is there an easy way to clone all the repos from GitHub? Just trying to save some time.
Lee Hao오전 9:48You can use Beautiful Soup to scrape the URLs from the webpage and then run a for loop to execute git clone <repo_url>. Easy peasy.
🙌1
Lisa Dawson오전 9:50Thanks! Trying it out now. Will let you know if I run into any issues.
👍1
#developer에(게) 메시지 보내기

Slack also provides a low-pressure solution for gathering feedback. There are no tracked changes or forms to fill out. People can offer insight without feeling like it’s mandatory. This new way of working lets teams and individuals test, learn and pivot quickly if they need to.

Over the last six months, RBC’s innersource community has gained over 100 additional contributors to its projects. The innersource approach has produced measurable results. “One of the other key dimensions is it allows us to build code faster,” Wildberger says.

Breaking down barriers

RBC has a large international workforce, and maintaining a sense of culture is important. Slack enables connectivity and encourages teams and leaders to get involved.

Slack is especially valuable for executives like Cheesan Chew. As the Chief Operating Officer of RBC Ventures, the bank’s venture incubator, she oversees “a startup of startups.” Chew uses Slack to gain visibility on each venture—all of which have their own channels—and to communicate with her team.

'An RBC customer smiles during an exchange with bank employees.'

She’s also found that Slack removes some of the formality from conversations, encouraging the free flow of ideas. “Slack allows us to have direct conversations, whereas it can be a little more intimidating via an email,” she says. “At least in my experience, it's broken down those barriers. If you Slack someone, it's clear you're having a conversation. It isn't a directive.”

Transparency within Slack goes both ways. Employees are encouraged to ask questions, and when senior leaders drop a response in channel, it opens the door to a two-way dialogue.

By enabling leaders, teams and squads to quickly communicate and connect with the right people across departments and continents, Slack has allowed RBC’s tech teams to work differently while delivering new and improved experiences to more than 16 million clients.