How to run better digital banking projects: Where do projects go wrong? (Part 1)

Why is it that organisations increasingly find the process of replacing existing digital banking engagement platforms as more of a chore to endure?

There was a time when delivering the next version was seen as an exciting experience for everyone. Organisations couldn’t wait to get on with the show. The chance to be creative, stamp your own mark on the solution and then bask in the success of the delivery was all too irresistible. Now it seems like those days of glory are fading fast, and are being replaced with premonitions of anxiety and failure.

The whole industry is littered with cautionary tales of disaster when it comes to implementing new digital banking solutions. Why is it increasingly hard to make a success of these projects? To answer this, we first need to recognise the causes of such ill-fated initiatives.

Usually, these lie in the misconception that bigger is better, lessons from last time have been learned and now somehow, fortune will favour the bold.

The following statements highlight where organisations typically go wrong in the process:

“We need to involve everyone in the organisation and gather their input.”

While it is good to make sure that the whole organisation is behind the project, too much input creates the ‘too many cooks’ scenario. As a result, you get a bloated and mismatched set of requirements that shoot at the moon and are impossible to deliver.

“We must make this solution the best in the market.”

Having the ambition to create something to be proud of is always a great place to start. This generally goes wrong when you go for a complex solution and try to squeeze in all of the functionality offered by your competitors.

“We have to be leaders of innovation.”

‘Innovation’ is one of the most overused words of the 21st century. True innovation cannot simply be plucked out of the air at will. Trying to become a market leader by introducing technology for the sake of it, is neither what the business really needs nor what your customers actually want.

“We must cater to all of our customers’ needs.”

Thinking about serving your customers all of the time ends up creating a solution that is neither simple to use nor intuitive. Ironically, this is what all of your customers are expecting you to deliver.

With this in mind, is there any hope of returning to the days of high aspirations and successful projects? Can we unlearn the damaging approach to such projects that have too much scope, too much complexity and are designed by too many cooks?

If you are about to embark on your next digital banking programme or are still looking for ways to take your first steps with a finite budget and a small team, in part 2 of this blog, I’ll share with you a simple guide of how and where you should begin.

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