October 11, 2011
Two weeks have passed since our successful AD&D and BP Forums in Boston. I’m still struck by conversations we held there and continue to hold now with many of you on how your teams can help deliver to your firm’s ever-important customer experience outcomes. Following one tip can help you either get ahead of this issue or catch up to the expectations of your stakeholders…act more like an interactive agency!
Note I didn’t say “transform” into an interactive agency. No, at the end of the day you have responsibilities to your organization the agencies your business peers use often don’t – you have to manage, operate, and maintain what’s been delivered. What I did say was “act” like one, and in doing so you’ll need to:
- Revisit your talent. For those of you that haven’t outsourced big portions of development, make sure you have great, creative developers, build a high-performance development team, and up-skill your business analysts by putting personas and customer journey maps into their tool kit. Why? The agencies your peers use have and cultivate these skills. At minimum, you'll be in a better position to manage and maintain what they’ve put in place if you have complementary skills of your own. If you have outsourced development, we can help you make the case to bring back the right pieces.
- Second-guess your development processes. Many agencies work in an iterative manner. Why? They have to. They don’t know requirements when they start and often just start with a vision set by one of your stakeholders. To respond, embrace Agile or take it to the next level. Focus on design, and make sure you deliver solutions that aren’t just useful and usable but that are also desirable! And find ways to streamline release management so you can get the instantaneous and constant feedback you need to improve upon your efforts.
- Open up your technology portfolio. Agencies don’t have to concern themselves with a lot of legacy; they bring fresh views to their clients all the time. You should too. First and foremost, have you thought about customer experience management support? Where’s multiplatform mobile in your portfolio? Are you designing REST APIs to expose your back-office systems? And are you using business rules and BPM suites to help you deliver change more quickly and enable your peers to take more ownership of how customers engage with your processes?
I must admit, in the spirit of total transparency: I think your business peers pay interactive agencies way too much for things your teams could do just as well. Don’t get me wrong, agencies provide value, but they don’t have the deep knowledge of your business that you have. But if you're going to play a bigger role, don't you think you should borrow a few pages from agencies and push your teams forward?