IFRS 17: Agile implementation and Moody’s Analytics RiskIntegrity™ for IFRS 17 solution go hand in hand
22 May 2020
Waterfall or Agile? A veteran agile scrum master once told us that agile deployment will not reduce the overall implementation cost for a project when compared to waterfall. He said agile allows a project to “fail fast” and pivot to adapt to a situation or decision. The overall effort to implement under agile will be close to the same as under waterfall, but the timeline for implementation under agile will be shorter and project risks will be fewer because we learn faster.
Although the IASB has pushed out the effective date to January 1, 2023, this is still a tight timeframe. Insurers are planning to run IFRS 17 parallels starting January 1, 2022, leaving only 18 months to implement a solution. This is where agile deployment has a clear advantage over waterfall. All requirements do not need to be fully documented up front and the “sprint” approach allows projects to course-correct much faster and more efficiently.
At PwC, we use an agile deployment technique when implementing the RiskIntegrity™ for IFRS 17 solution at our clients and when deploying our managed service offering, Simplified Solution for IFRS 17 (SS 17), which also uses RiskIntegrity for IFRS 17 as a component of the offering. At the end of each four-week sprint, before kicking off the next sprint, we take time to reflect on the past sprint regarding what went well and what did not. We adapt our execution for the next sprint and “pivot” accordingly, so we don’t repeat past mistakes and emphasize things that were done well. The next sprint can start before non-critical backlog items are completed and its deliverables are adapted to reflect learnings from the prior sprint. Moody’s Analytics also develops the RiskIntegrity for IFRS 17 solution in a sprint-like fashion and by aligning our deployment to theirs, allows us to optimize the implementation of RiskIntegrity for IFRS 17. Progress is not interrupted by features still in development, working assumptions being refined, or data still being sourced.
COVID-19 has taught many of us that we need to be agile in the way we work, from spotty internet connections to having meetings through a myriad of collaboration tools. We need to use new technology and adapt to situations at hand. IFRS 17 and the deployment of vendor tools such as RiskIntegrity for IFRS 17 requires similar thinking. No one has production-ready experience with IFRS 17, which means that deploying vendor solutions such as RiskIntegrity for IFRS 17 requires a flexible approach that allows you to pivot and adapt quickly to a change in requirements. We are firm believers that following an agile methodology will result in a better outcome when deploying any IFRS 17-related project.