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How to Run Better Digital Banking Projects: Taking the right approach (Part 2)

“Can we unlearn the damaging approach to such projects that have too much scope, too much complexity and are designed by too many cooks?”

“Can we unlearn the damaging approach to such projects that have too much scope, too much complexity and are designed by too many cooks?”

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25th February 2020

Kevin Phillips

In my previous blog, I had mentioned that 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, I would share with you a simple guide of how and where you should begin. So, here it is:

  1. Keep it simple. By this, I am not proposing to make it basic but think about what will really make a difference to your customers. While taking into consideration the scope and the amount of effort that you will need to put in, think of this 80:20 Rule:

    “If it’s complex, 80% of the effort will be spent creating 20% of the scope, while customers will spend 80% of their time using the other 80% of the scope, which only cost 20% of the effort to create!”

    If you’ve just had to re-read that several times to make sense of it, good! You need to really consider where you should focus your effort and spend your budget wisely.
  2. Your IT teams will say it’s all about the technology, adhering to their prescribed view of architecture and industry best practice. Sure, don’t go for something old and out of date, but also don’t be led by technology. You need to deliver a fantastic experience for your customers to enjoy.

    The customer is the archetype of your business model. You exist to service their needs (and make a healthy margin in the process), so take a customer-led, outside-in approach that puts the customer first when determining the scope of your solution.
  3. Building and configuring a digital banking platform is neither simple nor straightforward. For anyone who hasn’t done it many times before needs to learn from their mistakes and prove their proficiency with time. Unless you are already experts at delivering highly customisable build-it-yourself projects, it’s a much safer bet just to give it a miss.
  4. Avoid projects that end up taking longer than four months. Many platforms have too many options that are simply unnecessary ‘sales candy’. If you try to implement one of these with lots of bells and whistles, your scope will be on an almost reckless scale when you will need to achieve a successful timeline within budget. Financial service organisations have a habit of grossly underestimating the scale of the effort and time needed to deliver a successful solution.
  5. Choose vendors who understand your business model and the needs of your customers. The ones who are able to show that their expertise lies in simple, effective, secure and successful implementations.
  6. Don’t just select features which you think you will need. Create realistic and reliable personas of your key customer segments and use these to construct the best journeys they will need to engage with your products and services. These journeys will then define the right functionality required to fulfil their needs.
  7. Think about what happens when it’s all over. The fact is, it’s not actually over at the end of the project. It’s the beginning of a journey where you can, with the right team behind you, evolve and grow the success of the platform. Continue to delight your customers with ongoing improvements that keep you on the crest of the wave.

Follow these simple rules and rediscover the excitement of delivering your next digital banking platform without falling into the pitfalls of too much scope, too much complexity and design by too many cooks.

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