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Charlotte Digital Round Table Recap

User Centric Design and Process Re-engineering as a Path to Better Application Development

This month, Synechron’s Digital Round Table in Charlotte offered insight into the trifecta of modern-day application development:

  • Taking a user-centric approach
  • Process re-engineering and platform modernization, and
  • Application development toward a minimum viable product (MVP).

The discussion began with a key piece of advice on how to get started with Digital Application Development - start with the user in mind in order to understand what the need actually is and then really understand the definition through research and strategy to understand the wants, needs, and goals. Pain points surfaced might range from “we don’t have a defined mobile experience” to “we have an inconsistent desktop experience.” The Synechron Digital experts suggested making a list of problem statements and tackle them one by one in rapid prototyping.

However, what should the approach be when the user vision doesn’t match the developer’s approach? In that case, iterative design and development via a clickable, video, or paper prototype can help set the vision and align it with the development realities. The experts advised start small, be pragmatic, have a self-service focus, and embrace an innovation mindset. What’s more, always align the Information Technology (IT) goals with the Business goals and map modules or systems to which support the business strategy.

How to put together teams was a big discussion topic with the advice being to look to put together mixed teams including product, business, development, and user experience experts alike and allow them to partner on advancing the work through incremental progress and supported by end-user and stakeholder research interviews. For example, having the technology experts part of the user experience brainstorming will ground these ideas in development realities whether it be technology limitations or regulatory considerations. Assigning a project sponsor to each key step can also make a vast difference in order to mediate, cross communicate, create a learning culture, and build momentum. Additionally, look for places where you can extract institutional knowledge and draw in creative, flexible thinkers who are willing to listen to new ideas and approaches and have a multi-disciplinary background.

As with any initiative, it is also important to understand how to define and measure success. Synechron’s experts advised to look for small wins and incremental progress that can demonstrate learnings given creating and delivering small wins on a consistent basis is the only way to move. If companies follow the best practice process to Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act on an idea and make small adjustments quickly they can help create a new culture, make the familiar unfamiliar within the organization and support re-learning initiatives. However, not every project will be a win. Importantly, companies need to be willing to fail fast, be adaptive, and celebrate the small wins. This can be achieved by embracing the four R’s of Modernization: Retool, Replace, Retire, Refit.

When engineering solutions, financial services organizations must look at what users want, re-align process to match, and overcome the barrier of legacy infrastructure. Synechron is prepared to help these financial institutions identify their greatest pain points with users and to put a plan in place to address them.

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