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User Research and Discovery

Customer Centricity

In the past we typically gathered requirements from back-office users and converted them to functionality aimed at increasing operational efficiencies. In today's world your customers are demanding a good experience in all interactions they have with you.

Customers are key, and we want to make sure we are delivering as much value to them as possible, and so we need to observe their behaviour in the real world before designing new process and solutions. Discovery is a preliminary phase in the UX-design process that involves researching the problem space, framing the problems to be solved, and gathering enough evidence and initial direction on what to do next.

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DevOps tools

Technology to drive automation

We use DevOps as a generic term to discuss the alignment of all groups around the delivery of value. It’s not just about Dev and Ops roles, DevOps involves everyone who is part of the delivery process. Without a DevOps approach, there’s often significant tension between those who create new features and those who maintain the stability of the production environment. The development team is measured on the business value they deliver to customers, while IT service management is measured on the health and stability of the production environment. When each group has seemingly opposing business objectives, delivery inefficiency and organizational friction can result from a lack of collaboration.

DevOps ends the silo approach, providing an organisation with the ability to develop and release small batches of functionality to their customers in a flow process called continuous integration and continuous delivery. DevOps is integral to achieve speed and stability since the whole delivery teams play a part in delivering finished software to your customers. DevOps can increase the frequency and quality of your deployments, improve innovation and risk-taking by making it safer to experiment, get features and products to market faster, improve solution quality and shorten lead time for fixes, reduce the severity and frequency of release failures and improve your mean time to recovery.

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Product and Service Design

Design Thinking and Customer Centric

Processes and solutions are now viewed as services, and if you started designing your new or improved service by conducting user research in a discovery phase then you have already started in the design thinking process. Design thinking, also known as “human-centred design,” is a creative problem-solving process that puts the customer at the centre to ensure a good experience that fulfils the customer's needs.

 

We follow a double diamond approach with two phases, the Problem Phase and Solution Phase. First we get a strong shared understanding of the design problem by engaging with customers, findings from empathising with the customers are synthesised, creating a clear customer journey. This allows for Ideation and some basic questions to be addresses like desriability, feasability and viability of ideas. Once ideas have been narrowed down into opporutunities the Solution Phase can begin.

Rapid Prototyping

Experiments with fast learning feedback loops

Rapid Prototyping is a way to validate your hypothesis that a product will solve the problem you intend it to. A prototype “looks” real enough that potential customers can interact with it and provide feedback, this helps you to decide how your solution will look, feel and work. 

The “rapid” part of this comes into play with the speed that the initial prototype can be produced, how quickly feedback can be gathered and synthesized, and how fast subsequent iterations can go through the same process. Balance is needed between creating a prototype that looks real enough, so customers are providing genuine reactions and feedback but without spending so much time on the prototype that the team is hesitant to throw away the work due to expended resources and opportunity costs of going back to square one.

The Pilot step implements new processes and technologies to enable small-scale validations in real-life situations. Selected people are chosen to participate in the pilot step, new capabilities, processes and technologies are incorporated into the organisation’s operating model and validated to improve the end-to-end experience.

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Digital capabilities and agile teams

Cross-functional multidisciplinary Agile teams

Agile Teams are cross-functional, self-organizing entities that can define, build, test, and where applicable, deploy increments of value. Using methodologies like SAFe, Scrum, Kanban and Lean, coupled with team members that possess the right digital skills, these teams deliver fast continuous value to your customers. Leveraging digital resources such as the Digital Profession, Digital Service Standard, and Service Design and Delivery process from the DTA and the APSC digital roles and responsibilities we can help your organisation form and develop high performing multidisciplinary teams.

 

We do this through a mix of augmentation with specialised consultant skills, training, customised workshops, and on-site mentoring to coach your teams as they go through critical stages in their transition. AgilePM Group’s Lean Transformation Program establishes organisational best practices for Agile methods and manages cultural change throughout the Project, Program and Portfolio levels of your organisation. We deliver our services using an Agile approach, meaning you can expect quick and measurable results and a sustainable framework for change.

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Scale agile practices to programs

Scale agile practices to Programs and Portfolios

Large scale solutions require the methods, processes and tools that your Agile multi-disciplinary teams use to Scale. Multiple teams on a program will need to work together to maintain continuous exploration, continuous build and integration, continuous deployment and release of functionality to your customers on demand. These changes require alignment of multiple delivery teams to your organisation's goals, context, vision, and program objectives. Using specific methodologies such as SAFe we can deploy a dual operating system, where your program runs based on an Entrepreneurial network enabling this continuous cycle and the frequent delivery of value to your customers.

SAFe call this program team "The Agile Release Train (ART)", it is a long-lived team of Agile teams, which, along with other stakeholders, incrementally develops, delivers, and where applicable operates, one or more solutions in a value stream. Each is a virtual organisation (typically 50 – 125 people) that plans, commits, develops, and deploys together. Cadence and synchronisation assure that the focus is continuously on the evolution and objective assessment of the full system, rather than its elements and the whole program is organised around the flow of value to your customers. Our certified SAFe Program Consultant's are change agents who combine their technical knowledge of SAFe with an intrinsic motivation to improve your organisation’s product and service delivery processes. They can help you successfully implement agile at scale and launch ARTs.

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Data and Analytics

Become a data driven organisation

Most organisations aspire to become data driven, meaning that they will embrace all kinds of data to make decisions and transform services. Becoming a data-driven organisation means that you can enhance your service delivery to:

  • Become predictive. What trends can you see in data, and how can these trends affect service delivery? Can you predict where the need will shift, and adjust budgets and workloads accordingly?

  • Become proactive. If you have all the data available, you can proactively send out a proposal for a service.

  • Become preventive. Based on data, you can spot an early warning and take precautions to keep situations from arising or to minimise them.

  • Be personalised. Equipped with the right data about customers, their situations and behaviours, organisations can provide personalised services.

 

Data brings value to customer experiences by allowing better understanding of their behaviour and engaging them in meaningful interactions. Understanding customers holistically requires combining digital, behavioural, sentiment and predictive analytics. This knowledge needs to be applied to treat each customer as an individual, based on recent actions and unique relationships with your organisation.

 

Becoming a data-driven organisation also brings internal value, greater efficiency means better utilisation of resources. It also brings innovation, as data analysis generates new ideas, processes or services to transform ways of working.

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