The heads of an extensive business process management project at Deutsche Bank have said they were “wise” to have ensured executive support for their project from its initiation.

The company’s Global Transaction Banking division began the BPM project in late 2008 with the aim of standardising and simplifying the processes of starting up and running client accounts. GTB manages payments and securities transactions, and as the world’s largest clearing bank of the Euro currency it clears €1.2 billion daily.

Abhijit Gupta, chief enterprise architect at Deutsche Bank, yesterday told delegates at the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit in London: “We took this project to the global head of the unit, to avoid needing to get buy-in later. It was too fundamental a change not to.”

The key to the project’s success so far, Gupta said, was fitting IT processes to a blueprint, which was created by top level business strategists. The blueprint also involved key stakeholders who used the systems being asked what they needed.

Under the first two phases of the programme, now running, the firm’s legal contracts for new customers, and the processes of starting new accounts, were essentially standardised – within the context of the local regulatory environment and the products on offer.

In the final phase of the project, due by July, ongoing operational systems will be fully standardised, with legacy technology being removed. Previously, Gupta said, any ‘onboarding’ process of new customers could involve over 12 systems.

The whole project also involved a shift to more service oriented architecture, in order to create an integrated suite of services open to different countries with different demands and ways of working.

Gupta said the changes meant “faster onboarding” of clients, simplified and consistent processes, and greater self administration for customers. The bank estimated that it had set up accounts for nearly a thousand large customers, with complex portfolios, using the new system.

“It was hard at first to explain to the business the need for a blueprint,” he said. “But they’ve seen how effective it has changed things. People now check that any changes fit with the blueprint.”